• Birdies three of the final four to deny play-off with Matt Kuchar
• Will now look to complete a Scottish double at St Andrews
RICKIE FOWLER | SCOTTISH OPEN
Three birdies in the final four holes sealed a stunning Scottish Open win for Rickie Fowler – as he looks to follow in the footsteps of Phil Mickelson and complete a Scottish double at St Andrews next week.
The 26-year-old was two shots adrift after a bogey at the 14th but surged back into contention with birdies at the 15th and 16th. And heading down the 18th, it looked likely that he’d be fighting it out in a play-off with fellow American Matt Kuchar, until an incredible approach shot left him with a tap-in birdie to clinch the title.
His success at Gullane is only his third professional win on the two main tours, following on from the Wells Fargo Championship in 2012 and his play-off victory at the Players Championship earlier this year.
"That's my second win this year and I could definitely get used to it," beamed Rickie Fowler. "My bogey at 14 was a minor setback and I went into the last four just trying to birdie them all. I made some great swings, just missed on 17, but saved the best for last and didn't have to think about the putt too much.
"I like my chances " - Rickie Fowler
"I thought the course was great, very scoreable when the wind's down but you get some like today and it's a true test of golf. It's a great course and from the first time I saw it on Tuesday, I liked the way it fitted my eye.
"The majors last year, obviously I had better finishes than I have so far, but the way my game feels right now going into next week, I like my chances and I'm looking forward to heading to St Andrews."
Kuchar, who played alongside Fowler on Saturday and remarked afterwards that ‘we came halfway across the world and we’re still playing a round of golf together’, reached 11-under-par after a round of 68, which was matched by Raphael Jacquelin, who birdied the last.
Scot Marc Warren held the clubhouse lead on ten-under-par for the majority of the afternoon after a stunning round of 64, matched only by Swede Rikard Karlberg - who gained entry into the Open Championship along with Jacquelin and overnight leader Daniel Brooks.
The 34-year-old was naturally delighted with his efforts, which included 30 on the back nine, and believes his game is in great shape heading into St Andrews.
“I knew that there was a good round in there somewhere,” said Warren afterwards. “I waited until the back nine for it to really get started but I played really well all day. Ken, my caddie, said it was 29 putts for 64 and it’s not often that happens, so I’m really happy that I had a run at it there.
"My game’s feeling really, really comfortable" - Marc Warren
“I had the aim of trying to get into the top ten and confidence wise, heading into next week to see a few putts going in from that eight to 12 foot range was good. My game’s feeling really, really comfortable and that’s all you can ask for heading into a major.”
Eddie Pepperell and Joost Luiten finished alongside Warren on ten-under-par, while Brooks shot 73 to finish back on nine-under.
Russell Knox, three shots back heading into Sunday, finished T10 after a round of 71, while Paul Lawrie was level par for his final round and ended a shot back of his fellow Scot on seven-under.
Rickie Fowler :: Open win?
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