PGA: Hero World Challenge – Final Round

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PGA: Hero World Challenge - Final Round

Tiger Woods was back in his traditional Sunday red, but no one could keep up with the bright orange-clad Rickie Fowler in the final round of the Hero World Challenge.

Fowler began the day with seven consecutive birdies and shot 11-under 61 to win by four strokes. The 28-year-old began the day seven shots back of 54-hole leader Charley Hoffman and wasted no time making up ground. He birdied eight of nine holes on the front and nine of his first 11 to run away with the tournament at Albany Golf Club.

“You kind of just try and ride her till she bucks ya, you know?” Fowler said of his birdie run. “Ride until the horse kicks you off. I birdied the first three holes of the day and when I made the putt on four … it kind of wiggled in the middle and found its way to the middle of the hole. And to make the bunker shot on the next hole, after those two it was kind of just keep the gas pedal down.”

It’s the first win for Fowler since the Honda Classic in February and lowest round of his career, one better than his second-round 62 at the 2011 Waste Management Open.

Fowler’s victory caps a stretch of consistency dating back to mid-June. Since then he’s registered six top-5s in 11 starts, beginning with a T-5 at the U.S. Open. He finished solo second in his only other start of the season last month at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.

Hoffman began the day with a five-shot lead and opened with a birdie at No. 1 before back-to-back bogeys at holes No. 4-5. He made par on his final nine holes to shoot even-par 72 and finish alone in second at 14 under. Tommy Fleetwood and Jordan Spieth were T-3 at 12 under and Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Reed and Justin Rose were T-5 at 11 under.

Woods bounced back nicely from a disappointing 75 in Round 3, recording an eagle on the par-4 seventh and shooting 31 on the front nine. He ultimately carded a 4-under 68 to finish T-9 alongside Matt Kuchar, beating out notables like reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year Justin Thomas, World No. 1-ranked Dustin Johnson and U.S. Open champ Brooks Koepka.

“With some young guys out there, they haven’t been up against (Tiger),” Fowler said. “I haven’t played against him in his prime. I think we’re all looking forward to having the chance to play with Tiger down the stretch and have his name on the board there come Sunday.”

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