Rickie Fowler celebrates his victory at the Players Sunday at TPC Sawgrass.
Ponte Vedra, Florida - In a week that started with conversations of world dominance by
Rory and Jordan Spieth, it was a disrespected young gun who won the most exciting Players
at TPC Sawgrass ever. This edition of the Players resembled a back nine at the Masters, with
Sergio Garcia, Kevin Kisner, Ben Martin, Bill Haas and Fowler all making a back nine charge
. . . it was electric. Fowler was clutch down the stretch, going six under for the final six holes
of regulation, shooting 67 Sunday and posting 12 under par while 7 groups remained on
the course .
Earlier in the week on the grounds and inside the media center at TPC Sawgrass there was
a controversy. Golf.com released the results of their anonymous Tour Player poll - Rickie
Fowler and Ian Poulter were voted the most overrated players by their peers on tour. It
did seem to spur on Fowler, who stated earlier in the week that "I'll let my clubs do the
After a thrilling 72 holes of regulation, the battle continued in the first ever three hole
aggregate score playoff. Three men, Fowler, Garcia and Kevin Kisner continued the fight
in extra holes. After each parred the par-5 sixteenth, Kisner and Fowler once again birdied
the iconic par-3 island hole. Sergio two putted for his par.
On the tough finisher, all three made par, eliminating Sergio. Moving on to a sudden death
format on the seventeenth, Kisner hit another solid wedge right online, but it bounced hard
right off the collar rolling out to 14 feet. Fowler then stepped up and stiffed his tee shot to
4 feet. With the pressure on, Kisner narrowly missed - setting the stage for Fowler to quiet
his critics and win the biggest event of his career. He calmly drilled the 4 footer in the center
of the cup . . . Game Over.
After the most clutch performance on tour in recent memory - on the Tour's biggest stage,
it's doubtful that any of his peers on tour still see the 26 year old as overrated. Afterward
Fowler was both elated and relieved: "I was always looked at as only having one win on
Tour," Fowler said. "I always felt that I needed to put myself in position to win more often,
and I did that last year. I wasn't able to end up as the last guy standing. It feels good to be
in that position."
The Players victory is Rickie Fowler's 2nd PGA Tour title and moves him to No.9 in the
Official World Golf Ranking.