Rickie Fowler fires bogey-free 61 to claim Hero World Challenge win
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 04/12/17 9:39am
Rickie Fowler birdied his first seven holes on his way to breaking the course record and claiming a four-stroke victory at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.
Fowler went into the final round seven strokes off the pace but stormed up the leaderboard with a front-nine 28, with three more birdies on the back nine closing a bogey-free 61 at the Albany.
Overnight leader Charley Hoffman stuttered to a level-par 72 to end the week in second, while tournament host Tiger Woods closed his competitive comeback with a four-under 68 to finish in a share of ninth.
Fowler holed a 12-footer on his opening hole and added further birdies over his next three holes, before chipping from a bunker at the fifth and posting a kick-in gain at the next.
The world No 9 holed a 10-foot birdie at the par-four seventh and narrowly missed out on an eighth straight gain at the eighth, only to pick up another shot at the ninth to reach the turn two clear.
The possibility of a sub-60 round increased when his pitch at the 11th set up a close-range gain, with a 20-foot birdie at the 13th and a six-foot putt at the 15th taking him 11 under for the day.
Holding a commanding lead over the closing stretch, Fowler then completed his round with three cast-iron pars to stay at 18 under and secure a second win of 2017.
Tommy Fleetwood, making his sixth tournament appearance in as many weeks, carded a blemish-free 67 to end the week in third spot alongside Jordan Spieth, with defending champion Hideki Matsuyama one of three players sharing fifth spot.
Woods made six birdies and an eagle in an encouraging display, his first competitive appearance since February's Dubai Desert Classic, although slipped away with bogeys over his last two holes.
World No 1 Dustin Johnson ended his season with a level-par 72 to end the week in 14th spot, while US Open champion Brooks Koepka propped up the 18-man leaderboard despite a two-under 70.