Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Russell Knox earns $135,600 for T12 finish in Deutsche Bank Championship

Stenson's late stumble: Fowler wins by a stroke

             And the winner is .... Rickie Fowler! 
  Picture by courtesy of Getty Images(c)

NORTON, Massachusetts -- In the span of five short months, Rickie Fowler had gone from being overrated to overlooked.
Each time he responded, though, with actions rather than words.
On Monday, Fowler made his point with a win at the Deutsche Bank Championship, where he outdueled Henrik Stenson down the stretch. In the process, he also disposed of the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 players in the world -- Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day, a trio of twentysomethings like himself who had commanded all the headlines as the FedExCup Playoffs arrived at TPC Boston last week.
Overlooked? No more.
And back in May, Fowler had shrugged off the sting of a poll of his peers in Sports Illustrated that found him the most overrated player on the PGA TOUR with a win at THE PLAYERS Championship. The 26-year-old played the final four holes at TPC Sawgrass in a phenomenal 5 under, something no one had ever done -- at any venue -- since such records began being kept in 1983.
Fowler, who before this year hadn't won since the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship, says he isn't the type to use newspaper clippings or blog posts or Twitter feeds for motivation. At the same time, though, he's only human and the words had to hurt.
"I definitely want to be the best player that I can be," Fowler said. "I want to be the best player in the world at some point. But, yes, being called overrated, I won three times (worldwide, this year), so thanks for the poll, I guess.
"I've been playing very well the last couple of years, it was just a matter of time before I knocked on the door. ... And with the three guys that they talk about, Jason, Rory and Jordan, they've clearly played the best out of anyone over the past few months to couple of years.
"So I'm trying to be a small fourth thrown in there.”
Fowler's caddie, Joe Skovron, says his enormously popular boss didn't talk much about the poll before the emphatic win at THE PLAYERS. He didn't let on if he was feeling left out this week at TPC Boston, either. That's just not Fowler's nature.
"But you can tell he's wearing it on his shoulders; you can tell," Skovron said. "... It builds up because he wants to win. He wants to do all these things and I think the expectations were so high so quick because of the popularity -- and he's just grown into his game.
"... Everybody just gets really ahead of themselves. We obviously were expecting more, too, and wanted it. But sometimes it doesn't come exactly when you want it."
Fowler certainly made a statement on Labour Day, though, playing in the final group with Stenson, who came in at the top of his game after finishing second a week ago at The Barclays. When the Swede finally blinked, his 7-iron coming up short and tumbling back into the water at the par-3 16th, Fowler was there to take advantage, polishing off a 68 for the one-stroke win.
"I definitely felt very calm out there," Fowler said. "I knew what I was trying to do. Knew what I had to do. And was very much ready to do it."
And when the deed was done, Fowler moved to No. 3 in the FedExCup, his highest position ever, as well as fifth in the world rankings. He's a lock to remain in the all-important FedExCup top five, the players who will be assured the $10 million bonus at East Lake with a win at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
Fowler's bank account took a small hit on Monday, too. He one-upped himself by sending 10 bottles Tattinger's champagne to the media centre after he feted an ace at the Quicken Loans National with 150 cans of beer.
This time, though, Fowler came into area where all the scribes were huddled over their computers, took the microphone and made a toast before sipping from one of the bottles of bubbly. And he's got another week to celebrate before heading to the BMW Championship in Chicago with his game face on again.
"This is bonus material, here," Fowler said. "We came into the season obviously wanting to play well in the majors and to win a major; wasn't able to do that. But we wanted to win, and win more than once. So we've done that.
"And now it's about getting myself in a great position for Atlanta and to see if we can get some more wins this season. I don't want to stop. I like coming and hanging out here late on the final day. It's good with me." 
Russell Knox, in the top 10 for most of the tournament, dropped down to a final placing of T12 after a disappointing final round of four-over-par 75 for six-under 278.
The Inverness-born player still finished as the leading British player, above Luke Donald and Ian Poulter and he's laughing all the way to the bank with a cheque for $135,600.
Nice work if you can get it! 



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