PROBABLY smarting a bit at being left out of golf’s new “big three”, Rickie Fowler ran down Henrik Stenson to win the 2015 Deutsche Bank Championship and push his case for a little more love.
The 26 year old American rallied from two shots behind with five holes to play to post a 3-under 68 and beat the 2013 FedEx Cup winner by a stroke on Monday.
Adding what is the second event of the US PGA Tour’s four round final playoff series to a season tally that already included victories at The Players championship and the Scottish Open make it not a bad year, with a guaranteed spot in the Tour Championship in three weeks to come.
The win, Fowler’s third US PGA Tour win and fifth overall, moved Fowler to No.5 in the world, snapping at the heels of the acknowledged “Big Three” of Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day.
“They’ve clearly played the best out of anyone over the past few months to couple of years,” Fowler said pointedly. “So I’m trying to be a small fourth thrown in there. But there’s a lot of other really good young players playing well right now, as well.”
As for the much anticipated showdown between the three frontrunners, it was pretty much a no show, as these things often are.
In his latest measured “comeback” from injury, McIlroy performed reasonable well, shooting a final round 68 to finish at 3-under tied for 29th. Spieth missed his second cut in a row, but given the season he has had, he can be forgiven for the hiccup in his sensational form.
Day’s winning juggernaut finally came to an end, with the emotional energy of being at the forefront of the world golfing spotlight clearly catching up.
Day’s 2-over 73 in the third round ended a run of 22 straight below par rounds since the US Open, a run that included a T4 at the British Open and then three wins in four starts.
Still, Day finished with a 69 at 6-under tied for 12th. He will relish the week off before the third FedEx event, the BMW Championship at the Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois.
Day, Jones & Bowditch through to third Playoff event
The Aussies going through with Day, who still ranks #1 in the FedEx Cup standings, into the third round 70 starter event are Matt Jones and Steven Bowditch.
Jones looked a real chance of taking the event over the weekend, tied for the three way lead for much of the third round, before seemingly tightening up. He finished at 8-under, tied for fourth. The former Sydneysider, who won the Shell Houston Open in April 2014, needs to remember that winning feeling.
Jones is sitting nicely at 33 in the rankings and just requires a good performance in Illinois to make the 30 man Tour Championship.
Despite missing the cut, Bowditch only dropped two places to 22nd in the rankings and should make the final. The missed cut did cruel his chances to be an automatic qualifier for next month’s Presidents Cup though.
Bowing out this week were an unlucky John Senden, who overcame a first round 76 to be right on the cusp, unfortunately making a bogey on the final hole to end his season.
Marc Leishman is also out, ending his season with his third straight missed cut. Much better to reflect on his inspiring run at the British Open at St Andrews.
Rickie Fowler’s Hard Fought Deutsche Bank Championship Win: Highlights VideoDeutsche Bank Championship Leaderboard