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Fowler snaps four-year win drought with PGA playoff victory

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Rickie Fowler sank a birdie putt from just inside 12 feet on Sunday to win a playoff for the PGA Rocket Mortgage Classic title and snap a four-year win drought.

Fowler defeated fellow American Collin Morikawa, a two-time major champion, and Canada’s Adam Hadwin to capture his first victory since the 2019 Phoenix Open and his sixth PGA triumph overall.

“It’s just nice to have this one out of the way,” Fowler said. “I’m obviously going to soak this one in and celebrate a bit. It has just been a long road. I’ll get emotional at some point.”

Fowler, 34, won the 2017 Players Championship but has struggled in recent years, falling to 185th in the world rankings last year before reviving his form this season with nine top-20 finishes in his past 10 events.

“Had to keep putting the time in, keep grinding, keep pushing,” Fowler said. “Then started to see some positive results and to build some confidence and momentum last fall.

“A lot of great stuff this year. I knew it was a matter of time the way I’ve been playing.”

In the four years, four months and 29 days between his titles, Fowler became a husband and father and smiled as he held his daughter Maya on the 18th green.

“Winning is great,” Fowler said. “But there’s a lot more to life than that.”

Morikawa, Fowler and Hadwin all finished 72 holes on 24-under par 264 at rain-softened Detroit Golf Club, where players started early in threesomes to escape a stormy afternoon forecast.

Fowler, Morikawa and Hadwin shared the lead at 23-under as they came down the stretch.

Morikawa and Hadwin each birdied the par-5 17th but Fowler needed three to reach the fringe there and settled for par.