A brilliant late birdie burst helped Rickie Fowler secure his first European Tour victory in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
For much of the day, Fowler struggled to find his rhythm in the strong winds and cold temperatures at Gullane Golf Club, but rose magnificently to the occasion late on with three birdies in his final four holes – including a tap-in at the last courtesy of a wonderful wedge shot.
A round of 68 for a 12 under par aggregate total saw him leapfrog compatriot Matt Kuchar, who had previously set the clubhouse target on 11 under par after he too signed for a 68.
“I felt really good coming down the stretch. It was nice to be back in contention again, and I’m excited about where the game is at. I have a few things we need to straighten out before Thursday, but I’m very excited about next week now,” said Fowler.
“Probably the only thing that would be more special than this would be winning next week. But winning on a links golf course in Scotland, the Home of Golf, is a special week. I beat some pretty good players out there today. The guys were on top of their games. I didn’t see many scores being under par with the way the wind was blowing, so it was going to be a tough test of golf. I’m definitely proud of how I finished.”
Raphaël Jacquelin, playing alongside overnight leader Daniel Brooks in the last group, needed an eagle on the 72nd hole to force a play-off, and the Frenchman almost pulled off the unlikely feat when his approach stopped within a foot of the cup.
That tap-in birdie set the seal on a level par round of 70, and his tied runner-up finish earned Jacquelin a place in next week’s Open Championship.
Brooks struggled in a round of 73, but the Englishman took ample consolation from a place at St Andrews along with Sweden’s Rickard Karlberg, who closed with a superb 64 to claim the third and final Open Championship berth.
With this win, Fowler is now ranked fifth in the Official World Golf Ranking as he leads in to the 2015 Open Championship at St. Andrews.
What’s in the Bag: Rickie Fowler
Fowler used his COBRA Golf equipment to help secure his win. His bag consists of:
- Driver: Fly-Z+ Driver 10.5° in Orange weight Forward | Matrix Prototype 70X
- 3 Wood: Fly-Z+ 3W 14° Orange |Aldila Tour Blue 73X
- Irons: Fly-Z+ Forged 3 iron; Fly-Z Pro MB Irons 4-9 | KBS C-Taper S+ 125; Fly-Z+ Forged 3i Matrix hm2
- Wedges: Tour Trusty | 47°, 51°, 57°, 62° RF Grind Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400
Fowler’s PUMA Golf equipment helped him play through the blustery Links conditions and secure his win.
- PWRWarm – PUMA Golf’s new apparel technology; A ceramic print inside the garment engineered to retain your body heat which maintains an optimum body temperature throughout every round providing lightweight warmth, breathability and freedom of movement.
- TITANTOUR Footwear – Designed to be the coolest shoe in golf, the shoes helped keep Rickie cool, steady and comfortable through all four rounds.
- #GOTIME Blur Stripe Polo, Tech 6 Pocket Pants, Script Cool Cell Snapback Cap and Highlight Fitted Belt completed his look for Sunday.