Charging down the stretch on Sunday at TPC Sawgrass, Titleist Pro V1x golf ball loyalist Rickie Fowler orchestrated a stunning 6-under-par (birdie-par-birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie) finish over the final six holes to take the clubhouse lead at 12-under 276.
But that was just the warm-up for an encore performance in a three-way playoff that culminated with Fowler sinking a clutch 5-foot birdie putt on the iconic 17th hole to take home the title.
“It's amazing,” Fowler said in his post-round press conference. “This is a special week. Everyone looks forward to it. Just happy that I had a chance after my finish this afternoon to get in the playoff and to be here on 17 and get it done.”
The win marks the second career PGA TOUR title for Fowler, who birdied the 128-yard 17th hole five times in six chances this week.
Fellow Pro V1x loyalist Kevin Kisner also produced two late birdies to fire a final-round 69, equaling the 12-under mark and earning him a spot in the playoff. Fowler and Kisner advanced after the three-hole aggregate playoff with 1-under totals, while the third player was eliminated at even par.
It took another hole of sudden death to crown the champion and in the end, Fowler’s steady and gutsy play was the difference in another classic finish at The Players Championship.
And how does it feel to earn the title of The Players Champion?
“Pretty good. It may sink in by tomorrow, but I'm not sure about that."
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE FIELD:
Titleist Brand Ambassadors Bill Haas (Pro V1x, 915D2 driver, 915F fairway metals, AP2 714 irons, Vokey Design SM5 sand and lob wedges, Scotty Cameron Futura X5R putter) and Ben Martin (Pro V1x, 915D3 driver, 915H hybrid, CB irons, Vokey Design pitching, sand and lob wedges) missed out on the playoff by one shot, as four of the top five finishers all relied upon Titleist golf balls for their success.
Titleist Brand Ambassador Kevin Na (Pro V1x, 915D3 driver, 915F fairway metals, 915H hybrid, AP2 714 irons, Vokey Design sand and lob wedges, Scotty Cameron Super Rat putter) finished two more shots back to tie for 6th.
Titleist golf balls were the top choice of players in the field with 84, more than four times the nearest competitor with 18.
Titleist also was the field favorite in the iron (35) category and Titleist Vokey Design wedges were the top choice in the approach, sand and lob wedge (127) category.
Rickie Fowler's win was the 15th for Titleist golf ball loyalists on the 2014-15 PGA TOUR, nearly four times more than the nearest competitor with 4.