Rickie Fowler celebrates his victory at the HSBC Golf Championship with caddie Joe Skovron
Abu Dhabi - Rickie Fowler came into the HSBC Championship as an obvious player to watch,
perhaps even a contender, but he left the Middle East much more than that. With all of the
talk in the golf world centered around the new "Big Three" of Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and
Rory McIlroy, it's seems obvious that Fowler plays his best when he's overlooked. Jordan
Spieth and Rory McIlrory were the headliners for sure, but it was the guy wearing the high-top
Puma shoes that stole the spotlight.
Fowler's final round 69 included a chip in eagle at the eighth and another for birdie at the
seventeenth to reach -16. A tap in for par at the last was enough to hold off a hard charging
Thomas Pieters (-15) who barely missed his eagle putt on the 72nd hole. McIlroy made a
charge of his own at the last, pouring in a 30 footer at the last for eagle to reach 14 under
par and a tie for third with Henrik Stenson.
Fowler is eager to turn the "Big Three" into the "Big Four", "I'd like to jump in and be part of
that crew and see if we can continue to win some majors if I can jump in there, he said. "The
goal right now with where my game's at , the best it's been this early in the season in my career.
I'm working on getting ready for Augusta, and I'd like to have my shot at getting the Green
Jacket there. The ultimate goal this year this year is to go win a major and this is a step in the
right direction for sure." "It's nice to come out on top this week."
The win was Rickie Fowler's second European Tour victory (2015 Scottish Open) and moves
him to No.4 in Official World Golf Rankings. With his fourth worldwide win in the past 10
months it seems like a "Big Four" to me.
Dufner Takes Career Builder Challenge in Playoff
Jason Dufner celebrates his victory at the Career Builders Challenge
La Quinta, California - There were a few pars on Sunday that mattered when all was on the line
for Jason Dufner. An incredible chip from the rocks beside the 17th green was one, a clutch 12
footer to keep the playoff alive with David Lingmerth was number two, and his routine par on the
second playoff hole was the clincher. On a day where Dufner started the day leading Jamie Lovemark
by two and Adam Hadwin by three strokes, he shot a solid but unspectacular 70 to reach -25.
However it was not, Lovemark or Hadwin that challenged, it was Lingmerth (65), Andrew Loupe (68)
and fan favorite Phil Mickelson (68) who made it interesting. Loupe and Mickelson finished tied for
third at 21 under par (four shots back). The win was the fourth of Dufner's career and his first since
his PGA Championship victory at Oak Hill in 2013.
Dufner has had to overcome a very messy public divorce, and some health issues early last year
which prompted Dufner to lose over 30 lbs. A new putter coupled with some confidence on the
greens was an obvious difference in his game at PGA West this week.
Dufner seemed more relieved than excited as he was interviewed after his round:
"It's pretty tough, there's great players out here every week, playing great golf courses . . .
this is the best tour in the world - so for me to win this week, I feel like I'm one of the best
players in the world this week. It's not easy, but it feels good when you do it."