Fowler extends winning run with Abu Dhabi victory

Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:56am EST
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By Matt Smith

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Rickie Fowler fought off a late charge from Rory McIlroy and Thomas Pieters to win the Abu Dhabi Championship by one stroke on Sunday and land his fourth title in eight months.

The American's latest victory will propel him to fourth in the world rankings after topping a stellar field including four-time major winner McIlroy and Henrik Stenson, who finished equal third, and world number one Jordan Spieth, who was fifth.

Fowler shot a final round 69 for a 16-under 272 to pip the Belgian runner-up Pieters -- and he can thank two magical chips for his latest triumph.

The first was a 30-yard sand-wedge for an eagle on the eighth which made amends for a double-bogey a hole earlier while a low chip in for a birdie from just off the 17th green put him decisively clear.

Pieters went round in 67 but his 25-foot eagle attempt at the last stopped three inches short to deny the world number 88 a play-off.

"To come over here, my first full-field event of the 2016 season, this is a great way to start," Fowler said in a TV interview, adding the potent line-up had made his win extra special.

"I want to be playing against the best players in the world and beating the best players in the world."


Rickie Fowler of the U.S. holds his trophy after winning the Abu Dhabi Golf championship January 24, 2016. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah