Fowler wins the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open after thrilling finish

12th July 2015

Rickie Fowler - Scottish Open Champion 2015America’s Rickie Fowler birdied the last to snatch victory and deny compatriot Matt Kuchar in a thrilling finish to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.

The World Number Nine produced his second brilliant finish of the season at Gullane, having fallen two shots off the lead when he bogeyed the 14th hole of the final round.

Fowler responded with birdies at the 15th, 16th and 18th to finish 12 under par and snatch victory from Ryder Cup team-mate 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.

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 ten 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 Raphaël 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.

There were also three Open Championship places available to those not already exempt, and they went to Jacquelin, overnight leader Daniel Brooks and Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg.

And Fowler hopes to emulate compatriot Phil Mickelson by doubling up at St Andrews in the year’s third Major next week.

“Phil [Mickelson] mentioned to me win this and there’s a good chance you win next week so I had to take care of business,” said Fowler. 
“I don’t know what’s so special about links golf but it’s my favourite. The golf course can play so different day after day and it presents a new challenge. It was a good test this week at Gullane.

It's pretty special - I played great coming in and it's been a great week. - Fowler

"I will have a bit of time tonight to let it sink in and get right back at it next week.

"This is a big win. I had a couple of missed cuts after winning the Players, which was disappointing, so it feels good to get back on form.

"I had to dig deep. I was a little bummed to drop a shot on 14 but knew I had some birdie holes coming in. I had played the last four holes well this week and luckily 14 didn't cost me."

Fowler, who finished in the top five in all four majors last year, added: "There are a few things we can tighten up for next week but I am looking forward to getting back to St Andrews, the Home of Golf, and getting into contention."
Jacquelin was thrilled both to make it to St Andrews and to have recaptured some form.

"I played great and I'm very happy with my game," said Jacquelin, who had missed five straight cuts before last week's Alstom Open de France. 

"The way I played the last three months was not very good so I'm very pleased with the second place, even if I was hoping to win the trophy.

"I tried my best and did pretty good at the end. I tried to hole that last shot. It was almost in. I gave everything."

Brooks had been in even worse form than Jacquelin this season, missing the cut in 13 consecutive events before finishing 20th in Paris last week.

"Overall it's been a great week, I've played some lovely golf," the World Number 528 said. "Not so much at the weekend but I've scrambled like you would not believe over the last two days. To get the final spot for The Open, I'm over the moon.

"It's been tough the last few months playing so bad. But the last few weeks have been great."

Warren had hoped it would be third time lucky after finishing third in this event in 2012 and last year, but eventually saw his total overtaken.

"I felt there was a good round in there somewhere and waited till the back nine today I suppose to get going,'' Warren said after covering the back nine in 30.