Fowler flirts with 59, wins Hero World Challenge by 4

Rickie Fowler shot an 11-under 61 on Sunday to win the Hero World Challenge by four shots over Charley Hoffman at the Albany Golf Course in the Bahamas.

Hoffman entered the day with a five-shot lead, but was quickly chased down by Fowler, who birdied his first seven holes and made the turn in 8-under 28. Fowler poured in three more birdies on the back nine to cruise to the victory.

“Just tried to stay as calm as possible,” Fowler said of mentality after beginning with seven straight birdies. “Just stay in the moment and make sure that I was going through my process and not get ahead of myself.

“Seven was the most that I had made before, so I was really trying to get that eighth.”

Fowler’s 61 on Sunday was the low round of the week by two shots. Hoffman shot a 9-under 63 on Friday to grab the lead entering the weekend and held onto it with a 2-under 70 in the third round.

However, Hoffman was unable to sustain his momentum after an opening birdie on Sunday. He bogeyed the fourth and fifth holes, rebounded with a birdie on No. 9, then parred every hole on the back nine.

Tommy Fleetwood, who will get married on the grounds of the golf course on Tuesday, shot a 67 on Sunday to tie Jordan Spieth for third place at 12-under. Defending champion Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Reed and Justin Rose were another shot back at 11-under.

Francesco Molinari shot 71-70 over the weekend to finished in eighth place at 10-under.

Tiger Woods, playing in his first tournament in more than nine months, shot a 4-under 68 on Sunday and reached 10-under before closing with consecutive bogeys. He tied for ninth place at 8-under with Matt Kuchar.

While all eyes were on Woods most of the weekend, Fowler was on the watch for a potential 59 after getting to 9-under for his round with a birdie on the 11th hole. He added another on the 13th hole, but knew his shot at breaking 60 was going to be difficult after a par on the short par-4 14th hole. He did manage one more birdie on No. 15.

“I knew it was at least within reach,” Fowler said of shooting a 59. “I was just happy with playing solid on the back nine, making some good swings and stepping up on 16, 17, 18, which are some of the tougher holes on the golf course.

“I really hit the shots that I wanted to.”

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