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Fowler shot a final-round 67 by going 6 under in his final six holes to finish at 12 under. Fowler finished his final round birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie on one of the most intimidating and toughest finishing stretches in all of golf. The stretch included a tournament record of playing the final four holes in just 11 strokes.
Fowler’s historic comeback began with a birdie on No. 13.
When Fowler walked off the 12th hole, he appeared out of the mix. He was 1 over par on his round and 6 under for the tournament.
I was out of the tournament after 12 holes,” he said.
But then he drained a 12-1/2 foot birdie putt at the par-3 13th, historically one of the toughest greens on the course. After a par on the difficult 14th hole, he then struck his approach shot at the par-4 15th to 13-1/2 feet and made that birdie putt.
At the par-5 16th, his second shot from 239 yards landed only inches from the bulkhead on the 16th green and rolled to inside 2-1/2 feet, setting up an eagle opportunity. After converting the eagle putt, Fowler was at 10 under and just one shot off the lead held by Garcia.
Rickie Fowler birdies No. 17 three times on Sunday to win THE PLAYERS
At the 17th, his tee shot landed inside 7 feet. By then, he couldn’t miss with his putter -- another birdie.
Finally, at the closing hole, the par-4 18th, his approach left him with a birdie putt just inside 17 feet. He drained the birdie to take a two-shot lead, as Garcia had suffered a bogey a few minutes earlier.
Fowler then had to wait out challenges by Sergio Garcia, Kevin Kisner, Kevin Na, Bill Haas and Ben Martin. Ultimately, Garcia and Kisner tied him to force the first three-hole playoff in PLAYERS history. The format had been changed prior to the 2014 tournament; it had previously been a sudden-death playoff beginning on the 17th.
In the playoff, he and Kisner both birdied 17, and ultimately eliminated Garcia, who parred all three holes, setting up a sudden death situation on the 17th hole between Kisner and Fowler.
In the end, Rickie Fowler had the final say on the PGA TOUR’s most famous hole. Kisner hit his tee shot inside 13 feet, but Fowler, with nerves of steel, knocked his tee shot to the island green to inside 5 feet. Kisner’s missed his birdie putt and left the door open for Fowler, who rolled in the winning putt.
The legendary finish elevated Fowler to his second PGA TOUR win, as he claimed THE PLAYERS 2015.
"It's amazing," Fowler said. "We obviously look at this tournament as one of the biggest that we play up against the Majors.”
Fowler, whose only previous win came at the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship, had entered the week having to answer questions about a recent Sports Illustrated poll in which his fellow pros had rated him as one of the TOUR’s most overrated players.
He answered that criticism with one of the most incredible comeback wins in PLAYERS, and arguably PGA TOUR history.
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