Rickie Fowler wins the Scottish Open
Rickie Fowler made birdie on the final hole at Gullane on Sunday, besting Matt Kuchar by one shot to take the 2015 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
Daniel Brooks came into Sunday with the lead at Gullane and was paired with France’s Raphael Jacquelin, but a host of big name players lurked in the rearview, most notably Fowler and Kuchar. Marc Warren set the early pace, posting a 6-under par 64 to get into the clubhouse at a 10-under par total, but it wasn’t ever likely to hold up.
Brooks took himself out of the conversation pretty early with four bogeys and ten pars through 14 holes. After opening his day with a bogey, Kuchar was solid the rest of the way with three birdies and no other dropped shots, allowing him to best Warren’s total by one, but Fowler made birdies on 15 and 16 before making a par on 17 to tie Kuchar at the top.
The tee shot on the par-4 18th at Gullane is rife with hazards, as pot bunkers seem to be all over the fairway but Fowler, much like he did on Sunday at the PLAYERS Championship, smashed a tee ball down the middle of the fairway, which set up this approach:
The only player still standing in Fowler’s way was Jacquelin, who needed to hole out for eagle to force a playoff, and, well:
- 1. Rickie Fowler -12
- T2. Matt Kuchar -11
- T2. Raphael Jacquelin -11
- T4. Marc Warren -10
- T4. Eddie Pepperell -10
- T4. Joost Luiten -10
What The Win Means For Fowler
Fowler has made frequent references to how much he loves playing links golf and this week is absolute proof of that. He was already looked at as a favourite for next week at the Old Course, but you can bet that he’s feeling even better about his chances after this performance, as if we needed any other storylines for next week. This win doesn’t mean much to him in terms of gaining exemptions or anything like that, but when you combine this win with his victory a few months ago at the PLAYERS, there’s definitely some people who are eating their words about calling him overrated or thinking that he’s more flash than substance. These two wins, against great fields, prove that Rickie Fowler has plenty of substance.
The winning particulars:
- Fowler earns just over $845,000 US dollars.
- Picks up his fourth professional win. (2011 Korean Open, 2012 Wells Fargo and 2015 PLAYERS)
- Will move up from ninth to fifth in the Official World Golf Rankings on Monday, besting his previous high of seventh from earlier this year.
George O’Grady’s comments
Back in April, it was announced that George O’Grady would step down as chief executive of the European Tour this summer. Canadian media veteran Keith Pelley is set to take over, but O’Grady joined Rich Lerner in the broadcast booth during Sunday’s final round and he had some interesting things to say about the European Tour and their relationship with the PGA Tour.
On the European Tour and the PGA Tour competing in China:
“Well, I think in a way, at the top level, there’s a coming together between the PGA Tour and ourselves. Commissioner Finchem, who I respect a great deal, we’ve talked about this on many occasions on how we work together and whether really, you could almost say that there could be one brand for golf at the top level for tournament golf, and one for the teaching professional, the PGA. If we keep competing with each other all the time, it’s going to get harder and so our scheduling and dates have got to come together.”
Lerner then asked him about whether we could see a day where the PGA Tour co-sanctions European Tour events. O’Grady:
“Well, I think the home market here is in different times. I think the PGA Tour knows what the rest of the world is as you saw in China and the talking will continue.”
So, so interesting. Now, maybe I’m reading too much into this, but it certainly sounds like there’s been conversations around the idea of one singular, global golf tour at the highest levels, which is something I’ve talked about in the past. At the very least, it seems possible that there could just be some better scheduling around the marquee events on both tours, allowing the players to not have to make as many difficult decisions on where to tee it up each week.
Don’t Hit It There
Just Like Us
- Notables to miss the cut: Stephen Gallacher, Thorbjorn Olesen, Matteo Manassero, Thomas Bjorn, Ian Poulter, George Coetzee, Anirban Lahiri.
- That missed cut for Olesen? He led after a 63 in the opening round before blowing up to a 77 on Friday.
- Jacquelin, Brooks and Rikard Karlberg secured spots in the Open Championship with their finishes this week.
- LOOK OUT:
- Really enjoyed Brandel Chamblee’s commentary this week on the broadcast. I know he’s a divisive personality, and I haven’t always agreed with what he’s had to say, but there’s no doubt that he has a reverence for the history of the game and he knows a ton about the golf swing. It was a nice change of pace from the usual crew of American announcers that we see week to week.
- Not surprising to hear a lot of the American players saying that Phil Mickelson winning this tournament two years ago and then taking the Open changed their view on prepping for the season’s third major championship. It’s a pretty big deal for the Scottish Open to get commitments from players like Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, Jimmy Walker and Matt Kuchar and I’m sure that we’re going to see even more PGA Tour players make the trip over a week early in future years.
- We’ll end off with Miguel: