Rickie Fowler began the final round of the Hero World Challenge seven shots behind 54-hole leader Charley Hoffman. Then Fowler teed off and played like a fireball dressed in his Sunday orange. Hoffman’s lead went up in a plume of smoke.
Rickie finished with a course-record 61 that included a 28 on the opening nine, featuring seven straight birdies to start his day. His winning 18-under total bested runner-up Hoffman (72) by four strokes.
“Seven [consecutive birdies]was the most I’d made before,” Fowler told NBC Sports’ Steve Sands, “so I was really trying to get that eighth.”
He added, “I knew I needed to get off to a quick start today to at least show Charley I was there and get up there on the board a little bit.”
Meanwhile, the week’s biggest story was the comeback of tournament host Tiger Woods, who, playing in his first event since a fourth back surgery, finished 8 under and in a tie for ninth in the 18-man field. Three of those rounds were in the 60s.
“I knew I was going to be able to play all four rounds, that wasn’t going to be any issue,” Tiger told NBC Sports’ Terry Gannon and Gary Koch. “The issue was going to be, how is my scoring going to be? How is my feel? How am I going to get used to the adrenaline in my system for the first time in a while?’ Overall I’m very pleased. I showed some good signs, hit some good shots out there.”
With his back and body holding up well during 72 holes of tournament play—and with no pain whatsoever, according to Tiger—the 14-time major winner looks ahead to resuming his PGA Tour career.
“I think that we’re going to sit down here and we’re going to figure out what’s the best way for me to build my schedule for the major championships,” Tiger said. “Play enough, but don’t play too much. I don’t know what golf courses I’ll be playing and what’s the best way to go about it. We’ll sit down with the whole team and we’ll figure it out.”
With Fowler’s victory at the Hero World Challenge, his second title of 2017, he rises to No. 7 in the world rankings.
Rickie uses Cobra woods and irons. Here’s a look inside his bag.
Rickie Fowler’s Clubs
(As reported by GolfWRX.com)
Driver: Cobra King F8+ Nardo (8 degrees) with Aldila 2KXV NV Blue 70x shaft
3-Wood: Cobra F8+ (13 degrees) Aldila Synergy 70X shaft
5-Wood: Cobra F8+ Baffler (14.5 degrees) Aldila Synergy 70X shaft
Irons: Cobra King Forged MB (4-PW) with KBS Tour C-Taper S+ 125 shafts
Wedges: Cobra King V-Grind (52, 56 and 60 degrees) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts
Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS prototype
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
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