Fowler storms to Hero World Challenge win

Rickie won by four and Tiger finished in the top-10 at Albany GC in the Bahamas

Rickie Fowler completed a superb final round of 61 to surge to the top of the board and win the Hero World Challenge. Tournament host Tiger Woods finished in the top-10 on his return to competitive action.

Rickie Fowler carded 11 birdies and no bogeys in a brilliant final round of 61 at Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas. He caught and passed 54-hole leader Charley Hoffman and ended up winning the event comfortably, by four shots.

Fowler played almost perfect golf on Sunday. He holed good birdie putts on holes one and two, fired close for a further gain on the third and by the time he was through seven holes, he’d caught Hoffman and tied for the lead.

Hoffman stumbled a little on the final day and could only manage a closing 72. Fowler turned the screw with birdies on the 11th and 13th holes and he cruised in to finish on 18-under, four ahead of Hoffman.

England’s Tommy Fleetwood was tied third with 2017 Open Champion Jordan Spieth.

Tommy Fleetwood swing sequence:

3 Talking points from the Hero World Challenge

1 – It was a second win of 2017 for Fowler. He also took the Honda Classic title. This was the second time he has ended a year on the PGA Tour with multiple wins. He has moved to seventh on the Official World Golf Ranking. “I finally just kind of got everything to piece together,” he said.

2 – Tiger Woods enjoyed a fine return to competitive action following a 10 month lay-off after back surgery. Save for a poor third round, he played solidly and finished tied for ninth. It was his best PGA Tour finish since 2013.

“I’m excited,” he said. “This is how I’ve been playing at home.

Woods made 24 birdies during the week at Albany and was looking forward to next year.

"I don't know what my schedule is going to be, but my expectations are we'll be playing next year," he said. "How many? Where? I don't know yet, but we'll figure it out."

3 – It was another good week for England’s Tommy Fleetwood. Like Tiger he was left to rue a disappointing third round. But he will be pleased with a tied third place finish that solidifies his place as one of the leading players in world golf right now.

Hero World Challenge Albany GC, New Providence, Bahamas Nov 30 – Dec 3 Purse: $3,500,000 Par: 72

1 Rickie Fowler (USA) 67 70 72 61 270 $1,000,000 2 Charley Hoffman (USA) 69 63 70 72 274 $400,000 T3 Tommy Fleetwood (Eng) 66 69 74 67 276 $212,500 T3 Jordan Spieth (USA) 68 67 72 69 276 $212,500 T5 Hideki Matsuyama (Jap) 71 66 72 68 277 $145,000 T5 Patrick Reed (USA) 72 66 71 68 277 $145,000 T5 Justin Rose (Eng) 68 68 71 70 277 $145,000 8 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 69 68 71 70 278 $135,000 T9 Tiger Woods (USA) 69 68 75 68 280 $122,500 T9 Matt Kuchar (USA) 67 70 72 71 280 $122,500

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?