Rickie Fowler delivered all the right shots Monday at the Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton, Mass., and then he delivered some champagne.
He stood near the wood railing overlooking a dozen rows of reporters, hoisting an empty bottle in one hand and a microphone in the other. “Let’s finish off the year right,” Fowler said.
He certainly showed he is capable after a tense duel with Henrik Stenson at the TPC Boston.
Trailing by three shots early on the back nine, Fowler rolled in a 40-foot putt on the 14th hole to pull within one and then seized control when Stenson hit a towering tee shot that came down short and into the water for double bogey on the par-three 16th.
That combination sent Fowler to another big win. He closed with a three-under-par 68 for a one-shot victory that assured him of a spot in the top five at the Tour Championship and a clear shot at the $10-million bonus in the FedEx Cup.
Fowler won the Players Championship in a three-hole playoff in May. He won the Scottish Open with three birdies on the last four holes.
“Being in those positions before, I definitely felt very calm out there,” he said. “I knew what I was trying to do. Knew what I had to do. And was very much ready to do it.”
Fowler moved to No. 5 in the world, not quite part of the “Big Three” this year of Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day, but perhaps on the cusp of it.
“They’ve clearly played the best out of anyone over the past few months to couple of years,” Fowler said. “So I’m trying to be a small fourth thrown in there. But there’s a lot of other really good young players playing well right now, as well.”
Stenson was a runner-up in a FedEx Cup playoff event for the second straight week.
Fowler finished at 15-under 269 and moved to No. 3 in the FedEx Cup behind Day and Spieth, with Stenson at No. 4 and Bubba Watson at No. 5.
Charley Hoffman bounced back from a 76 to close with a 67 and finish alone in third.