“I had to dig deep”. But the nice thing about golf is that we are a brotherhood and anybody who wants can come to me for advice on what I do. And his links game looks in good shape ahead of next week’s British Open at St. Andrews. Fowler, a top-five finisher in all four majors in 2014, has been elbowed out of that particular conversation. But was it a harbinger for St. Andrews?
Nick Faldo, who had also previously said this Open would be his last but may now play at Troon next year, is alongside Justin Rose and Scottish Open victor Rickie Fowler at 2:45pm, immediately after the group containing Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson. Fowler did not hold the lead until his tap in birdie on the 18th hole on Sunday, but in the end, that’s the only lead that counts.
Americans Fowler and Kuchar were in pursuit but they were finding birdies hard to come by as the day wore on. “So that gave me a few confidence going in and was able to play well”. “Maybe this was payback”. Jacquelin almost holed his second shot for eagle, but settled for a birdie and a tie for second with Kuchar. He shot a final round 64 to move him towards the top of the leaderboard, but fell two shots short.
He didn’t quite get that, but the going out on the picturesque Gullane coastline was still tough enough to make matching him a difficult prospect. Englishman Eddie Pepperell. meanwhile, was in the clubhouse at nine under after a superb 65.
Jacquelin, who won a record nine-hole play-off to claim his last European Tour title in the 2013 Spanish Open, celebrated the wins of compatriots Thomas Levet and Gregory Havret in this event by spraying the victors with champagne on the 18th green. The 12th-ranked Jimmy Walker made three double bogeys and a triple-bogey 8 in his front nine on his way to a 78, which left the American in last place.
Fowler’s triumph, added to that at the Players Championship in May, supplies proof of his coming of age. Jacquelin nabbed the first spot, thanks to his T2 finish.
Daniel Brooks of England led coming into the final round at Gullane but he struggled on the final day, particularly from the tee.
“Last year I finished eighth here and then went on to have a good week at The Open”. He had missed the cut at 13 straight tournaments before finishing tied for 20th at the French Open on Sunday.
“Yes, we are”, said Gilbert when asked if his firm was content with the policy of changing venue year on year. Unfortunately for Yang, his world ranking was not as good as Karlberg’s, and was passed over for the final Open invite.