Americans Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar only live about 350 miles apart in the United States: the former in Jupiter, Florida, and the latter in Sea Island, Georgia.
The two traveled about 4,000 miles each to battle it out Sunday at the Scottish Open in Gullane, Scotland, with Fowler knocking in birdies on 15, 16, and 18 to finish 12-under and win the tournament title by one stroke.
It’s Fowler’s first win on the European Tour, and it might see him rise as No. 5 in the world come the release of Monday’s new official world golf rankings.
Also feeling successful were the three players who qualified for the Open Championship with their high finishes: Daniel Brooks, Raphael Jacquelin, and Rikard Karlberg.
Fowler finished with a 66-68-66-68 – 268 to win, edging Kuchar and Jacquelin by a single stroke. Fowler looked dead in the water through 14 holes, sitting 1-over after a bogey on No. 14 before his final flourish.
Over the course of four days, Fowler was a fantastic 9-under on the last four holes.
Playing in an earlier group, Kuchar reached the clubhouse at 11-under with a 68 of his own. Jacquelin could have taken the title for himself, but struggled to an even-par 70 on the day after a 64 on Saturday.
The 64 on Sunday belonged to Scotland’s Marc Warren, who used it to jump from 41st to a tie for fourth at 10-under. He was 5-under on the back nine alone. Karlberg also recorded a 64 on Sunday, allowing him to jump to a tie for 10th and a spot in The Open.
He and fellow qualifying hopeful Y.E. Yang both finished at 8-under, but Karlberg earned the spot in the Major thanks to his higher ranking entering the tournament.
After leading or sharing the lead after each of the first three rounds, England’s Daniel Brooks slid back to a tie for seventh at 9-under Brooks was 2-over at the turn and 4-over through 14 before salvaging a birdie on No. 16.