Scottish Open: Rickie Fowler ready for Open after Gullane win

Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler finished in the top five of all four Majors in 2014
Scottish Open
-12 R Fowler -11 M Kuchar (USA), R Jacquelin (Fra) -10 M Warren (Sco), E Pepperell (Eng), J Luiten (Neth) -9 L Donald (Eng), R Fisher (Eng), D Brooks (Eng) Selected others: -8 R Knox (Sco), D Howell (Eng) -7 P Lawrie (Sco) -5 P Mickelson (USA), J Donaldson (Wal), G McDowell (NI) Par J Rose (Eng)
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Rickie Fowler's late surge edged out fellow American Matt Kuchar and Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin as he won the Scottish Open at Gullane.

A delightful wedge to within 2ft of the 18th hole set him up for a third birdie in the last four holes to finish on 12 under par, one clear of Kuchar, who shot 68, and Jacquelin.

Scotland's Marc Warren carded a 64 and had led in the clubhouse on 10 under.

But he was later overtaken by the big-name American duo and Jacquelin.

England's Eddie Pepperel and Joost Luiten of the Netherlands also finished two shots off the pace at the tournament used by many of the field as preparation for this week's Open at St Andrews.

Matt Kuchar
Matt Kuchar performed well across all four rounds at Gullane, scoring 66, 68, 67 and 68

"I had to really dig deep," said Fowler, who carded rounds of 66, 68, 66 and 68.

"I made some great swings coming in. I saved the best swings for the last; I hit a good drive and a great wedge to get to 12 (under).

"Jacquelin gave me a scare there on 18. It's been a special week and I'm looking forward to taking this form over to the Open.

"I had heard good things (about Gullane). The Scottish crowd appreciate good shots. I really enjoyed playing in front of them."

Jacquelin had been in a strong position, starting his round on 11 under and keeping it that way at the turn.

But a bogey at the 14th dropped him level with Warren, who had finished his round before the wind picked up, and he had to sink a 10ft putt for par at the 16th.

With Fowler's late blitz, the Frenchman knew he had to hit an eagle at the last to force a play-off.

Marc Warren
Having shot a 64 on Sunday, Marc Warren can look forward to the Open at St Andrews with confidence

His effort was close enough to alarm the eventual winner but he had to settle for a birdie instead.

A final-round par would have been enough for to take Fowler to a play-off but the Englishman's 12-under-par lead was eroded by four bogeys and he shot a three-over par 73 to finish on nine under.

Defending champion Justin Rose shot a disappointing 76 to finish on level par.

Warren, 34, praised the East Lothian course and believes the event is the perfect way to get ready for the Open, which begins on Thursday.

"I think the course set-up this week has to be praised," he told BBC Scotland.

"It has allowed you to run the ball into the green, and with conditions being softer you can fly it all the way to the hole and we're going to see the same next week.

"St Andrews is only an hour up the road from here so the conditions are going to be very similar.

"That's why you see so many guys coming over to play this week. They can get their game in good shape and get used to the conditions.

"The beauty of playing at the Scottish Open is you can relax a little bit, hit certain shots into the wind, chip and runs, putting from around the greens, see where your game is and you've got Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to prepare."

Scotland's Richie Ramsay, whose level par after two rounds was not enough to make the cut, has been drafted in to play at St Andrews after South Africa's Tim Clark withdrew.

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