This past weekend the PGA Tour was in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida for the Honda Classic.
As The Masters are around the corner at the beginning of April, many professional golfers are using the next few weeks to fine-tune their game ahead of the first Major Championship of the season. The Tour recently has been dominated by young players like Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Dustin Johnson, John Rahm and Justin Thomas. The Honda Classic saw Rickie Fowler, another promising youthful player, earn his first PGA victory of 2017.
Fowler was playing terrific golf going into Sunday, posting scores of 66-66-65 over the first three days. At 13-under, Fowler had a 4-stroke lead over the field entering the final day of the competition. The former Oklahoma State Cowboy stumbled early on Sunday by hitting a putt into a sprinkler hole and having a tee shot find the water. However, Fowler drained a pair of long birdie putts on the back nine to essentiality clinch the tournament. Fowler had a chance to challenge the 72-hole record at the PGA National, but he ended his final round bogey-bogey. He finished 1-over on the day and 12-under overall, which was good enough to maintain his 4-shot lead.
As Fowler controlled the leaderboard, the only real competitor with a chance of beating Fowler was Gary Woodland who started Sunday 5-shots back. Woodland was 3-under for the day going into the final two holes and within striking distance of Fowler. However, Woodland bogeyed the 17th with a 3-putt and the par-5 18th by hitting one into the water. Woodland would finish tied for 2nd with Morgan Hoffman at 7-under. A slew of players tied for third including two-time major champion Martin Kaymer. Former Demon Deacon golfers Bill Haas and Webb Simpson did not participate in the Farmers Insurance Open.
It was Fowler’s first victory on the PGA Tour since the Deutsche Bank Championship back in September of 2015. At age 28, Fowler already has four PGA Tour wins in his career. Fowler earned $1.1 million and moved into ninth in the World Golf Rankings. Fowler will be on the hunt to win his first Major this PGA Tour season, an accomplishments many golf pundits believe is overdue.
Next weekend is the Mexico Championship, which is the first World Golf Championship of the year. Fowler will look to carry his momentum over from the Honda Classic, but will play a much deeper field. This WGC event will feature the world’s best players and should be an enjoyable four days of golf for fans of the sport.
In additional news, Tiger Woods remains inactive on the Tour due to back spasms. It is currently unknown whether Woods will return for the Masters. Woods, 41, is adamant that the back spasms are not related to his recent back surgery.
Yet, many wonder if Woods’ body is failing him after decades of competitive golf. Those who once rooted for his dominance and iconic fist-pumps, now simply want him to regain health.