Rickie Fowler claims Deutsche Bank title by one shot

Henrik Stenson cards late double-bogey to let in American star for victory

 

Rickie Fowler battled back to record a one-stroke victory with a final round of 68 to win the Deutsche Bank Championship in Massachusetts.

Fowler carded an eagle, two birdies and two bogeys to land his third PGA Tour title by one stroke from Henrik Stenson, whose double-bogey five at the 16th proved crucial.

Stenson led by two with five holes to play but a 40-foot birdie from Fowler at the 14th cut the deficit in half and he kept his nerve from there on in to win at TPC Boston.

Stenson was never behind until his tee-shot at the par-three 16th was short and bounced into the water and it cost him a five and from one shot ahead, he trailed by a stroke.

Fowler made par on the last two holes, enough to claim the title and move to number five in the world rankings with a 15-under total overall.

It was Stenson’s second straight runner-up finish in the FedEx Cup play-offs.

Charley Hoffman birdied the final two holes to sign for a four-under 67 and take third place on 11 under.

Sean O’Hair and Matt Jones both carded three-over rounds of 74 to fall out of contention and finish in a five-way tie for fourth on eight under.

Second Captains

Rory McIlroy made a brave attempt to hold on to his world number one ranking in the final round before the birdies dried up on the back nine, a round of five-under 66 seeing him finish the tournament on three under.

McIlroy needed to finish the event in the top 10 to prevent Jordan Spieth – who missed the cut at TPC Boston – from taking back top spot from the Northern Irish golfer.

An adjustment to his set-up on the greens after a second-round 74 paid dividends for McIlroy as he enjoyed a much better return with his putter.

Three birdies in the first four holes made for the perfect start and it could even have been all four after McIlroy missed from inside six feet on the par-five second.

Good par save

He didn’t miss out on the second par five, holing a 19-foot putt on the seventh for a birdie, and a fifth gain would come at the ninth as he turned in 31.

A three-iron to the 236-yard par-three 12th was followed by a 26-foot birdie putt as McIlroy moved to four under for the tournament.

A good par save on the tough 12th kept him on track, only for his putter to turn cold over the closing six holes, missing great chances on the 15th and 16th. A poor approach shot to the 17th saw McIlroy fling his club away in disgust before carding the only bogey of his final round before making par at the par-five 18th.

McIlroy admitted frustration at not being able to go really low after doing all the groundwork.

“Obviously I got it going the first 12 holes, made a nice birdie putt on 11 and made a great par save on 12 and gave myself some great chances on the way in as well and just didn’t convert any.

“So it’s a 66, it’s a great score today, but I feel it could have been a few shots lower.”

Special exemption

McIlroy is not too concerned that Spieth will go back ahead of him to the number one spot in the rankings, and is looking forward to a busy end to the season having received a special exemption from the European Tour on the minimum number of events required to play in The Race to Dubai.

“If I can shoot more rounds like this going forward I know that I’ll hopefully keep that number one spot, or get it back at least. I’m playing three of the four Final Series events, so I’m doing my utmost to get in as many as I can. Considering everything that has gone on and considering I’m still taking care of my body a little bit.

“So I’m going to give it a great run to the end of the year and hopefully I can pick up another Race to Dubai title.”

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