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Record-breaking Fowler takes Hero glory as Tiger completes comeback

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Rickie Fowler overturned a seven-shot deficit in the Bahamas to take the Hero World Challenge in style as Tiger Woods completed his long-awaited return.


So what happened at the Hero World Challenge?

Rickie Fowler happened.

The 28-year-old began the day seven shots back from overnight leader Charley Hoffman, by the time he was finishing up on the 7th hole he was tied for the lead – it was a signal of things to come.

Fowler raced out of the gates with seven straight birdies on his way to carding a remarkable front nine of 28 with a par and another birdie to close out.

As Fowler charged Hoffman, his nearest challenger, failed to live with the pace being set as he reached the turn in a level par 36 with two birdies and two bogeys etched onto his card.

Two more birdies saw Fowler placed firmly on 59 watch as he reached the 14th tee with a new course record (63) and going lower than he ever had before (62) firmly in his sights.


Another birdie followed on the 15th but the 2016 Players champion couldn’t quite keep his momentum going as he parred home to sign for a personal best 61 and take the tournament by four shots ahead of Hoffman.

Englishman Tommy Fleetwood continued his strong 2017 with a T3rd finish alongside Open champion Jordan Spieth at 12-under. 2016 Hero winner Hideki Matsuyama put up a strong defence as he finish in a tie for fifth with Patrick Reed and Justin Rose at 11-under with Franceso Molinari eighth all on his own at 10-under.

The returning Tiger Woods showed signs of rust finishing up his comeback with two bogeys in a row but overall it was a strong week for the 41-year-old who made his competitive return to finish up ninth alongside Matt Kuchar at 8-under.


Talking points

Is there anything else to talk about?

69-68-75-68 was a solid return from Tiger Woods as he began his second comeback to competitive golf in the Bahamas. There were fist pumps, club twirls, chip ins and, perhaps most importantly, there was no visible back pain as he finished 8-under for the tournament.

With ball speeds of up to 180mph from the tee box he answered his critics following fused back surgery earlier in the year and after a solid four days the 14-time major champion even admitted he would start looking at a full 2018 schedule.


“I want to play enough but not too much,” Woods said.

“We’ll sit down and figure out the best way for me to plan for the major championships. It’s a conversation I need to have with my team.”

Raise your hand if you’re excited for some 2018 Tiger action!


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