Four shots. Rickie Fowler won by four shots on Sunday. However, this wasn’t enough for Johnny Miller because according to him, Fowler needs to...
"Learn to finish out Sundays like a true champion.”
Fowler went into the final round with a four-shot lead and finished the tournament winning by the same margin. Do players get an extra trophy for winning by 10 shots rather than four? No, he went out to win and did exactly that.
After being +2 through nine holes, Fowler rallied on Sunday, making three birdies on 12, 13 and 16. Those birdies helped him gain a five-shot cushion which most sane people would recognise as finishing out a Sunday like a true champion. But no, this wasn’t enough.
This was Fowler’s fourth victory on the PGA Tour, one being at the Players Championship, where he was five shots behind on the 13th hole and managed to force a play-off.
Fowler held his nerve in the play-off as he fired his shot into four feet at the island green 17th to win the tournament. This was something even Tiger Woods in his prime would have been proud of, but I guess Miller would say Fowler should have won the tournament after 72 holes?
Anyway, does Fowler’s final round struggles not just suggest that the golf course was difficult? We expect these players to be shooting -5 or -6 regularly, but sometimes you make a small mistake and these courses bite you in the arse. The most important thing to Fowler was winning, it didn’t matter to him if it was by 1 shot or 10 shots as long as he got the job done.
Miller’s commentary even angered Fowler’s fellow players Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald.
The art of a great player is getting it done despite not having your best. Great patience, resilience and putting by Rickie today— Luke Donald (@LukeDonald) February 26, 2017
McIlroy responded to a tweet that explained himself, Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day combined had 25 worldwide wins since January 2016. Mcilroy quote tweeted it saying: “Johnny still not impressed”.
Many people on Twitter were unhappy with how disrespectful Miller was to Fowler during the final round given the stature of the lead he had established.
In the future, Miller should think before he speaks, or he will continue to receive a backlash like the one he did last weekend.
One the 86th birthday of Peter Alliss we should maybe be careful what we wish for on our screens!
Sports journalism student, Sergio's #1 fan and a lover of a snap hook!