Folwer wins Scottish Open, heads to British Open.

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Scott Rushing
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Folwer wins Scottish Open, heads to British Open.

GULLANE, Scotland -- Rickie Fowler had a season full of near misses last year. He is finding the winner's circle much easier to locate in 2015.

Two months after winning The Players Championship to end a three-year title drought, Fowler produced another nerveless display down the stretch to capture the Scottish Open on Sunday for his first victory on European soil.

The American birdied three of the last four holes over the Gullane links for a 2-under 68 in his final round to pass Matt Kuchar and win by one shot. Fowler took the outright lead for the first time this week with his final shot of the tournament, a tap-in putt from inside two feet after a stunning approach with a 57-degree wedge from 109 yards.

Rickie Fowler won his first title outside the United States since the Korea Open in 2011. Andrew Redington/Getty Images

"I can definitely get used to having more of these," Fowler said, looking at the gleaming trophy in front of him.

The talk in golf is of the fight for global domination between Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth. Fowler, a top-five finisher in all four majors in 2014, has been elbowed out of that conversation.

Perhaps that should be revised.

Fowler certainly is proving he can rise to the big occasion. He went birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie on the last four holes at The Players to force a playoff in the greatest finish in the 34-year history of the TPC Sawgrass.

Here, he reacted to a bogey on No. 14 to go birdie-birdie-par-birdie.

"Very similar to down the stretch at The Players," Fowler said. "Worked out just fine."

It is the fourth title of Fowler's professional career and the second outside the United States after the Korea Open in 2011. And his links game looks to be in good shape ahead of next week's Open at St. Andrews.

"To win on a links golf course, my favorite style of golf, in Scotland and the week before The Open and going to St. Andrews, the home of golf, is great timing," he said. "I like my chances."

Kuchar was on the practice range, preparing for a playoff after shooting a 68, when applause drifted across from the grandstands on No. 18. Fowler had just nailed his approach.

After knocking in what proved to be the winning putt, Fowler doffed his cap and acknowledged the crowd. But he had to wait for the final pairing of France's Raphael Jacquelin and England's Daniel Brooks to play No. 18 before really celebrating.

Jacquelin was the only one who could force a playoff, but he needed an eagle 2. That almost happened, with his approach from 120 yards spinning back to a foot from the cup.

Jacquelin shot 70 to tie for second place with Kuchar and claim one of three Open places on offer. Brooks, ranked No. 528 and the third-round leader by a shot, and Sweden's Rikard Karlberg took the others for finishing in the top 10.

Playing the biggest round of his life, Brooks' driving was poor and he was forced to scramble for a 73 that tied for seventh with Luke Donald (66) and Ross Fisher (68).

Marc Warren of Scotland shot 64 to finish in a three-way tie for fourth on 10 under, with Eddie Pepperell (69) and Joost Luiten (70).

Fowler decided to alter his schedule and play the Scottish Open the week before The Open for the first time last year, after seeing Phil Mickelson win both events in 2013.

He is halfway toward emulating his compatriot two years later.

"I told him I would see if I could take care of the first leg of it," Fowler said of his conversation with Mickelson on the morning of the final round. "Got that done. But there's a lot of work to get done to get a win next week."

DON
I was pulling for Rickie to

I was pulling for Rickie to win the event. Now I just hope he can play really well this coming week and be in contention on Sunday at the Open. It's good to see him play well again. He's been a big NAME for years and now hie's living up to the good press he's been getting.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
True Don.  he has struggled

True Don.  he has struggled till this season and I'm glad to see him making some progress.  Be nice to see him win a major soon.

Golf is a game that can only be played...

GolfGearReview.com Administrator

DON
Did Mickleson play the Scotish Open?

When I was watching part of the Scotish Open coverage, I was looking for Phil's name on the leader board, but never did see it. I was wondering if Phil played the event this year, as I know he really likes to play it and use it as a training run for the Britich Opne the following week. Either he skipped it this year or he didn't do well enough to get a mention on TV.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

DON
Did anyone see how Ricky did

Did anyone see how Ricky did in the British Open? I didn't see any of the Open on Tv, so I have no idea how he did. Anyone know how he did?

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
Yeah, Rickie made the cut and

Yeah, Rickie made the cut and finished about 7 under so well off the pace but respectible.  I had money on Folwer, Oost, and several others, and man, if Oost had just made one of those putts he missed down the stretch and pulled off a win, I would have won a nice sum... Oh well, it was really fun to have that drama added to the finish...

Golf is a game that can only be played...

GolfGearReview.com Administrator