American Rickie Fowler breathed a sigh of aid after clinching a four-stroke victory on the $6.Four million Honda Traditional in Florida on Sunday.
Fowler, beforehand Zero-for-Four after beginning the ultimate spherical main on the PGA Tour, frittered away virtually all of his four-stroke benefit on a breezy day at PGA Nationwide in Palm Seaside Gardens.
However he steadied a leaky ship by sinking consecutive lengthy birdie putts, a 40-footer on the 12th gap adopted by a 25-footer on the subsequent, and prolonged his result in 5 strokes with two holes left.
“My putter saved me,” Fowler, 28, mentioned in a greenside interview after carding 71 to complete at 12-under-par 268 for his fourth PGA Tour victory. He additionally has received 3 times internationally.
“I made some good putts. The 2 birdies I made on 12 and 13, if I don’t make these putts I’ve received a reasonably tight race.”
Fowler gave his adoring gallery a second of panic when he leaked his seven-iron tee shot right into a water hazard on the par-three 17th.
However after taking a penalty stroke, he calmly negotiated the water along with his third shot and sank a six-foot putt to salvage a bogey, earlier than taking a victory stroll down the final, the place one other bogey proved virtually meaningless.
“The wind was robust right now,” mentioned Fowler. “I fought as laborious as I might. I hit plenty of photographs I assumed had been going to prove good (however didn’t). It was blowing fairly good, so stored us on our toes.”
Fellow People Gary Woodland and Morgan Hoffmann tied for second on eight-under, however the day belonged to 1 man, who will head to the Masters in April with a brand new spring in his step.
“There’s much less stress, much less stress,” mentioned Fowler, who will soar from 14th on the planet rankings to inside the highest 10.
“I believe that is one thing we wanted going into Augusta and I just like the spot had been we’re at proper now.”
(Reporting by Andrew Each in Cary, North Carolina; Enhancing by Simon Evans)