Rickie Fowler Wins The 2017 Honda Classic

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2017 The Honda Classic
(The 15th of 43 events in the PGA TOUR Season)

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.                   Feb. 23 – 26, 2017              Purse: $6,400,000 ($1,152,000/winner)

PGA National (Champion Course)        Par/Yards: 35-35—70/7,140

Final-Round Notes – Sunday, February 26, 2017

Weather: Partly cloudy skies with a high of 81. Wind NNE 15-20 mph.

Final-Round Leaderboard
Rickie Fowler          66-66-65-71—268 (-12)
Morgan Hoffmann   68-67-69-68—272 (-8)
Gary Woodland       71-66-66-69—272 (-8)

Rickie Fowler
Beginning the day with a four-stroke lead at 13-under 197, Jupiter, Fla. resident Rickie Fowler posted a 1-over 71 to win by four shots, his largest margin of victory on TOUR. Fowler’s 12-under 268 is the lowest 72-hole total at The Honda Classic since Rory McIlroy’s 268 in 2012.

Fowler earns his fourth career PGA TOUR victory at the age of 28 years, 2 months and 13 days in his 179th start.

Rickie Fowler’s PGA TOUR Victories:
2012 — Wells Fargo Championship
2015 — THE PLAYERS Championship
2015 — Dell Technologies Championship
2017 — The Honda Classic

With the win, Fowler collects 500 points and moves from No. 58 to No. 10 in the FedExCup standings.

With the win, Fowler is projected to move into the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

With Fowler’s scores of 66-66-65-71—268 (-12), Fowler ties McIlroy for the second-lowest 72-hole total since The Honda Classic moved to PGA National in 2007.

En route to each of his first three PGA TOUR wins, Fowler came from behind in the final round. This marks the fifth 54-hole lead/co-lead of Fowler’s PGA TOUR career and is the first time he has emerged victorious. Most recently, he led by a stroke at the 2016 THE NORTHERN TRUST, before a 3-over 74 in the final round resulted in a T7.

Four shots marked the largest 54-hole lead of Fowler’s career to this point. Before The Honda Classic, his previous largest lead after 54 holes was a three-shot edge at the 2010 Memorial Tournament, where he finished in solo second after a final-round 73.

Fowler’s 54-hole total of 13-under 197 marked the lowest 54-hole score at PGA National by two shots. The tournament record for 54-hole total is 196 by Davis Love III in 2003 at the Country Club at Mirasol (Sunset Course).

Fowler’s first two wins came via playoffs (2012 Wells Fargo Championship and 2015 THE PLAYERS Championship).

Since moving to PGA National in 2007, the 54-hole leader/co-leader has now gone on to win eight of the last 11 times – Mark Wilson (2007), Y.E. Yang (2009), Camilo Villegas (2010), Rory Sabbatini (2011), Rory McIlroy (2012), Michael Thompson (2013), Adam Scott (2016) and Rickie Fowler (2017).

Through 15 events in the 2016-17 season, seven players have converted a 54-hole lead/co-lead into victory. Each of the last three winners on TOUR have now done so (Rickie Fowler/The Honda Classic, Dustin Johnson/Genesis Open, Jordan Spieth/AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am).

Fowler becomes the eighth player in his 20s to win on the PGA TOUR this season, combining for 11 wins.

Fowler was making his eighth start in The Honda Classic where he now owns three top-10s: T7/2012, T6/ 2016 and 1st/2017.

Fowler has broken par just once in the final round in six tries (66 in 2012).

In four starts on the PGA TOUR this season, Fowler has now collected three top-six showings: T6/World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, T4/Waste Management Phoenix Open and 1st/The Honda Classic.

Fowler’s career on the Bear Trap:

Stat
15th Par 3
16th Par 4
17th Par 3
Total
Greens in Regulation
19 of 28
15 of 28
13 of 28
47/84 (56%)
Balls in Water
2
1
3
6
Score to Par
+4
+5
E
+9

2016-17 starts-made cuts-top-10s-wins: 4-3-3-1

PGA TOUR career starts-made cuts-top-10s-wins: 179-139-51-4

Fowler’s stats for the week:
R1 – 10 of 14 fairways, 13 of 18 greens in regulation, 29 putts.
R2 – 11 of 14 fairways, 13 of 18 greens in regulation, 27 putts.
R3 – 10 of 14 fairways, 11 of 18 greens in regulation, 26 putts.
R4 – 7 of 14 fairways, 11 of 18 greens in regulation, 27 putts.
Fowler’s Strokes Gained Summary (week):
Off-the-Tee                                 +3.225 (10th)
Approach-the-Green                  +3.671 (16th)
Around-the-Green                     +0.111 (37th)
Putting                                       +7.392 (2nd)
Total                                          +14.400 (1st)
About Rickie Fowler:
Height: 5-9
Weight: 150
Birthdate: December 13, 1988
Birthplace: Murrieta, California
Residence: Jupiter, Florida
Education: Oklahoma State University
Turned Pro: 2009

Gary Woodland
Gary Woodland posted his second runner-up of the season – and eighth of his career – with rounds of 71-66-66-69—272 (-8). Woodland made bogeys at the 17th and 18th to fall into a share of second with Morgan Hoffmann. This marks back-to-back top-10s for Woodland, who finished T5 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in his last start.

In eight starts on the PGA TOUR this season, Woodland has posted a total of four top-10s and is seventh in the FedExCup standings.

Woodland was angling for his third career TOUR win, and second in Florida, in his fifth start in The Honda Classic. His best finish at PGA National before this week was T6 in 2011.

Woodland previous won the 2011 Valspar Championship in the Tampa Bay area and 2013 Barracuda Championship.

Coming off a solid 2015-16 PGA TOUR Season, Woodland’s four top-10 finishes resulted in a 20th-place finish on last year’s FedExCup points list. He finished second at last year’s Barracuda Championship.

Morgan Hoffmann
With scores of 68-67-69-68—272 (-8), Jupiter resident Morgan Hoffmann posted a career-best T2 finish. Hoffmann was the only player in the field this week – and only the third since 2013 – to post all four rounds in the 60s at The Honda Classic. Prior to this week, the only two players to achieve the feat were Ryan Palmer (2014/T2) and Justin Thomas (2016/T3).

In 10 prior starts on PGA TOUR this season, Hoffmann had made four cuts with a season-best T36 entering this week.

Hoffmann was making his fourth consecutive start in The Honda Classic, where he has not previously enjoyed much success. He missed the cut in 2014, withdrew in 2015 and finished T61 last year.

Hoffmann and Honda Classic winner Rickie Fowler both competed collegiately at Oklahoma State University.

Billy Horschel
University of Florida graduate Billy Horschel posted a 2-under 68 in the final round to finish T4 and claim his second consecutive top-10 finish in The Honda Classic (T8). This was his sixth start at PGA National.

Horschel was making his eighth start of the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season, with a playoff loss at The RSM Classic his only other top-10 finish. He is coming off a missed cut at last week’s Genesis Open.

Horschel is the winner of three PGA TOUR events; 2013 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, 2014 BMW Championship and 2014 TOUR Championship. As a result of his two wins in 2014, Horschel took home the title of FedExCup champion that season.

Martin Kaymer
Germany’s Martin Kaymer posted rounds of 65-70-68-70—273 (-7) for his sixth career top-five on the PGA TOUR and first since his win at the 2014 U.S. Open.

Kaymer’s T4 finish is his best in four previous starts at The Honda Classic. Prior to this week, Kaymer had made two cuts but never finished higher than T44 (2015).

Kaymer was playing this week’s Honda Classic on a sponsor invite. The last two players to win on the PGA TOUR as a sponsor invite were Billy Hurley III (2016 Quicken Loans National) and 2015 Honda Classic winner Padraig Harrington.

Kaymer made his first bogey on The Bear Trap on Sunday during the final round at the par-4 16th.

Kaymer, a two-time major champion and winner of the 2014 PLAYERS Championship, has only come from behind in one of his three career PGA TOUR victories. In his 2010 PGA Championship victory, Kaymer trailed by four shots entering the final round.

Kaymer was looking for his first TOUR victory since his eight-shot victory at the 2014 U.S. Open, where Fowler finished in a tie for runner-up.

Miscellaneous Notes
Defending champion Adam Scott posted scores of 68-69-71-68—276 (-4) to finish T14. The only player to successfully defend his Honda Classic title was Jack Nicklaus in 1978.

Jhonattan Vegas aced the 15th hole in Sunday’s final round from 179 yards, using a 6-iron. It was just the second in tournament history at No.15, with Scott Stallings claiming the first in round one this year: For their aces at No. 15, each will receive a 2017 Honda C-RV. Vegas’ ace marked the second hole-in-one of his career, with the first coming in round two of the 2016 Barbasol Championship.

Since 2007, here is a look at those who have made aces at PGA National:

Player
Rd.
Hole
Year
Ben Crane
3
5
2009
Charles Howell III
4
7
2012
Davis Love III
1
5
2012
Robert Allenby
2
7
2013
Alex Cejka
1
17
2016
Scott Stallings
1
15
2017
Jhonattan Vegas
4
15
2017

Vegas made the cut on the number at even-par but climbed into T4 with rounds of 69-64 to close. His 6-under 64 on Sunday was the best round of the day and tied the best round of the tournament.

Wesley Bryan posted his second consecutive T4 finish. Bryan has four career top-10s on the PGA TOUR but has posted career-best T4s in back-to-back weeks. The three-time Web.com Tour winner jumped 29 spots in the FedExCup standings into 59th.

Tyrrell Hatton, who began the final round alone in second place and four strokes back, struggled Sunday, posting a 2-over 72. He finished T4 at 7-under 283 for his best career finish on the PGA TOUR.

After opening an even-par 70 to open, Chad Collins carded rounds of 67-67-69 to finish in T4 for his seventh career top-10. Collins had made just two cuts in nine prior starts this season and moves inside the top 125 in the FedExCup standings (122) following his season-best finish.

The week of The Honda Classic offered the final opportunity to qualify for next week’s World Golf Championships- Mexico Championship, a title Adam Scott will also be defending. Based on FedExCup standings at the completion of The Honda Classic, Brendan Steele, Pat Perez and Mackenzie Hughes earned spots in the field. With a projected move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Martin Kaymer will also be in the field.

Nancy Drevins of Juno Beach & Tequesta’s Ann Vandersteel-Krueger were honored as the winning team in the 2017 PGA TOUR Volunteer Challenge sponsored by Myrbetriq® (mirabegron). The duo presented a $10,000 check on behalf of Astellas Pharma US, Inc., to Children’s Healthcare Charity after earning the most votes.

The PGA TOUR Volunteer Challenge sponsored by Myrbetriq® (mirabegron) is a friendly competition, which raises funds for charities at 16 golf tournaments this year while recognizing the talent, passion and commitment of the TOUR’s more than 100,000 tournament volunteers nationwide, including 1,700 from the Palm Beach area, who have helped The Honda Classic raise $31 million for local charities since its inception. The public can vote to help upcoming tournament charities today at pgatour.com/volunteers.

Scoring Averages at the par-70 PGA National:

Front 9             Back 9             Total                Cumulative
R1:       35.070              35.261              70.331              —
R2:       34.835              35.777              70.612              70.471
R3:       34.729              34.886              69.614              70.186
R4:       35.986              35.857              71.843              70.600

Bear Trap averages – No. 15 (3.140/7th toughest), No. 16 (4.114/9th toughest), No. 17 (3.202/4th toughest).

The par-5 third (4.506) was the easiest hole of the week. The par-4 sixth (4.257) was the hardest hole of the week.

Bogey-free rounds:
R1: Graham DeLaet (66), Ian Poulter (66) and Brian Harman (67).
R2: None
R3: Brandon Hagy (64), Rickie Fowler (65), Francesco Molinari (67)
R4: None

 

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