Rickie Fowler of the USA survived a Sunday stumble to pull through and win The Honda Classic by four shots over Morgan Hoffman and Gary Woodland.
Rickie Fowler began the final round of The Honda Classic at PGA National with a four stroke lead. But he stumbled on the front nine with a bogey on the 4th and then a double bogey on the 6th after driving into the water.
Although he rebounded with a birdie on the 8th, when Gary Woodland picked up a shot on the 13th, Fowler’s lead was down to just one shot. It looked like being a close run to the line, but the proximity of his pursuers appeared to spur Fowler into action.
Fowler rolled in a long putt on the 12th and followed it with another on the 13th. He was then able to relax and he played solidly over the closing holes to rack up his fourth PGA Tour title.
“If I don’t make those putts, I’ve got a tight race,” he said afterwards.
Gary Woodland dropped back further on the 17th and ended the week in a tie for second with Morgan Hoffman – four shots back of Fowler.
England’s Tyrrell Hatton enjoyed a great week, finishing up in a six-way tie for fourth.
3 Talking points from The Honda Classic
1 – This 4th PGA Tour title for Rickie Fowler has lifted him back into the top-10 of the Official World Golf Ranking. It was his first win on the circuit since the Deutsche Bank Championship of 2015.
“I guess I can already plan on Hawaii for next year,” Fowler said, with reference to the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. “I can relax a little bit. This just lets us chill out in a way. There’s less pressure, less stress. I think this is something we needed going into Augusta. I like this spot we’re in right now.”
2 – At 28 years old, Fowler considers himself one of the older members of the PGA Tour’s most recent youth movement. Of the 15 events held this season, 11 have been won by players in their 20s. 28 is the average age of winners on Tour so far this season.
“The game is in a great spot,” said Fowler. “It’s motivating to see my friends win.”
Rickie Fowler swing sequence:
3 – Playing in the final group with Fowler, England’s Tyrrell Hatton proved his class by finishing in a tie for fourth. He’s up to 17th on the Official World Golf Ranking and he now has three top-four finishes in his last four starts around the world. Hatton is one of six players from GB&NI in the top-20 on the Official World Golf Ranking, the others are: Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Danny Willett, Paul Casey and Russell Knox.
The Honda Classic
PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Purse $6,400,000, par 70
1 Rickie Fowler (USA) 66 66 65 71 268 $1,152,000
T2 Morgan Hoffman (USA) 68 67 69 68 272 $563,200
T2 Gary Woodland (USA) 71 66 66 69 272 $563,200
T4 Wesley Bryan (USA) 64 67 72 70 273 $232,000
T4 Chad Collins (USA) 70 67 67 69 273 $232,000
T4 Tyrrell Hatton (Eng) 68 67 66 72 273 $232,000
T4 Billy Horschel (USA) 70 68 67 68 273 $232,000
T4 Martin Kaymer (Ger) 65 70 68 70 273 $232,000
T4 Jhonattan Vegas (Ven) 67 73 69 64 273 $232,000
10 Graham DeLaet (Can) 66 68 70 70 274 $172,800
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage