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FOWLER WINS AFTER THRILLING FINISH

Three birdies on the last four holes deny Kuchar

America’s Rickie Fowler birdied the last to snatch victory and deny compatriot Matt Kuchar in a thrilling finish to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.

The World Number Nine produced his second brilliant finish of the season at Gullane, having fallen two shots off the lead when he bogeyed the 14th hole of the final round. Fowler responded with birdies at the 15th, 16th and 18th to finish 12 under par and snatch victory from Ryder Cup team-mate Kuchar. That brought back memories of the 26 year old’s victory in the Players Championship at Sawgrass in May, when he played the last six holes in six under par, taking a tournament-record 11 shots to finish birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie.

Kuchar had set the clubhouse target on 11 under par after a closing 68, finally ending the hopes of Scotland’s Marc Warren who had finished ten under par four hours earlier after a superb 64. Fowler had dropped his second shot of the day after driving into a fairway bunker on the 14th, but holed from nine feet on the next, two-putted the par-five 16th and then hit a superb approach to two feet on the last.

That left France’s Raphaël Jacquelin needing to hole his second shot to the 18th to force a play-off and his approach span back to within inches of the hole, but Fowler was not to be denied. There were also three Open Championship places available to those not already exempt, and they went to Jacquelin, overnight leader Daniel Brooks and Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg. And Fowler hopes to emulate compatriot Phil Mickelson by doubling up at St Andrews in the year’s third Major next week.

Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open - Day 4 highlights

“Phil [Mickelson] mentioned to me win this and there’s a good chance you win next week so I had to take care of business,” said Fowler. “I don’t know what’s so special about links golf but it’s my favourite. The golf course can play so different day after day and it presents a new challenge. It was a good test this week at Gullane.

It’s pretty special - I played great coming in and it’s been a great week. 

“This is a big win. I had a couple of missed cuts after winning the Players, which was disappointing, so it feels good to get back on form.

 

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