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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Late birdie flourish seals title for Rickie Fowler

Rickie Fowler kisses the trophy after winning the Scottish Open at Gullane Golf Club
Rickie Fowler kisses the trophy after winning the Scottish Open at Gullane Golf Club

World number nine Rickie Fowler produced his second brilliant finish of the season to win the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Gullane.

Fowler fell two shots off the lead when he bogeyed the 14th hole of the final round, but responded with birdies at the 15th, 16th and 18th to finish 12 under par and snatch victory from Ryder Cup team-mate Matt 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.

Fowler then defeated Kevin Kisner and Sergio Garcia in a play-off, just days after he and Ian Poulter were voted the most overrated players by their peers in an anonymous survey conducted by Sports Illustrated.

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 10 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 Raphael 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.

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