Fowler fires 7 straight birdies en route to title
Albany: It was fitting that Rickie Fowler rallied from way back to win the Hero World Challenge on Sunday. Tiger Woods has often mentioned Fowler's name among youngsters, who have encouraged and practiced with him him to make a strong comeback. So it was just right that Fowler won Wood's cherished event.
On Sunday, when golf fans would have loved to a golfer in red stride the 18th fairway to complete a dram win, they were served with an equally pleasing sight of a younger man clad in his trademark flaming orange blaze the Albany golf course with eight birdies, seven on the first seven holes, enroute to a record 11-under 61. That saw Fowler race from seven behind third round leader Charley Hoffman (72) to four ahead and win comfortably. With a 59 in sight, Fowler chose to focus on winning rather than the rarefied zone of a sub-60.
Fowler was 18-under, Hoffman second in 14-under with Tommy Fleetwood (67) and Jordan Spieth (69) T-3rd at 12-under and defending champion Hideki Matsuyama (68) T-5th with Patrick Reed (68) and Justin Rose (70). Francesco Molinari (70) was ninth and Tiger Woods, (68) completed the Top-10 alongside Matt Kuchar (71).
Fowler's stirring show earned him the Hero World Challenge Trophy from Mr. Pawan Munjal, Chairman, President and CEO of Hero MotoCorp and tournament host, Tiger Woods, on the 18th green. Fowler also took home a million dollar cheque.
Hoffman failed to convert his 54-hole lead into a win for the fifth time as yet another sensational final round from a rival left him stranded.
Even though the tournament featured 17 players inside World's Top-32 and eight from World's Top-10, the focus all week was Woods, who started the week at ranked 1199 but ended it at 668 with a T-9 finish including final round card of 68 and second front nine 31 in three days.
Most significantly he was back with body that is in good shape and a game, when shaken off its rust, will shine again and rekindle hopes of adding to
14 Majors and 79 PGA
A fit and painless back coupled with renewed energy and his new-found camaraderie with a bunch of youngsters, who grew up idolizing him, but are now winning Majors and dominating the game, seem to have given Woods just the reason to work towards a meaningful and lasting comeback.