AMERICAN Rickie Fowler believes he is on course to win a first Major of his career after a late surge catapulted him to victory at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Gullane yesterday.
On a day when world No2 Jordan Spieth, favourite for this week’s Open Championship, won again on the PGA Tour, Fowler warmed up for the St Andrews tournament by claiming his second title of 2015.
Having bogeyed the 14th hole, Fowler responded with birdies at the 15th, 16th and 18th to finish 12 under par and a shot clear of Ryder Cup team-mate Matt Kuchar and France’s Raphael Jacquelin.
Five-time Major winner Phil Mickelson was the last American to win the Scottish Open, at Castle Stuart in 2013, before going on to win the Open at Muirfield, a fact not lost on Fowler.
“Phil made sure I was well aware of what he did two years ago when I saw him this morning,” said Fowler, who finished in the top five of all four Majors last year.
“I’ve got the first leg done and although it will be difficult to better my Open last year, being runner up with Sergio [Garcia], I like my chances.”
Scotland’s Marc Warren carded a final round 64 to finish 10 under for the tournament, while England’s Eddie Pepperel and Joost Luiten of the Netherlands also finished two shots off the pace.
Reigning Masters and US Open champion Spieth, meanwhile, secured a play-off victory against compatriot Tom Gillis to claim his second John Deere Classic title in Illinois last night.
Spieth finished 20 under for the tournament after Gillis had earlier posted a final round of 64, providing a major boost for the 21-year-old as he prepares to cross the Atlantic ahead of Thursday’s start to the Open.