8am Round-Up: Rickie Fowler back in world’s top 10 after win

Rickie Fowler celebrates his Honda Classic victory in Florida. Picture: Getty Images
Rickie Fowler celebrates his Honda Classic victory in Florida. Picture: Getty Images
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Former Scottish Open champion Rickie Fowler is back into the world top 10 after landing his first victory in more than a year.

The 28-year-old landed the Honda Classic by four shots at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens in Florida to jump five spots to ninth.

It was Fowler’s fourth PGA Tour triumph but first since the 2015 Deutsche Bank Championship and his first victory since landing the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship last January.

“It was tough out there, I fought as hard as I could,” said the Ryder Cup star after a closing 71 for a 12-under-par 268 total.

“A few of those putts that I made, if I don’t make them I’ve got a pretty tight race.

“Moving forward, this is something I needed going into Augusta and I like where I’m at at the moment.”

Morgan Hoffmann’s closing 68 was enough to secure a share of second alongside Gary Woodland.

England’s Tyrrell Hatton struggled alongside Fowler in the final group, dropping three shots in the opening seven holes.

But a battling Hatton came home in 34 to finish joint-fourth alongside Martin Kaymer and fourth others.

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Russell Knox has remained at No 19 in the world rankings despite suffering his second missed cut in succession.

The Scottish No 1 made an early exit in the Honda Classic following rounds of 72 and 73, having also bowed out of the Phoenix Open at the halfway stage.

Martin Laird, who skipped the Honda Classic, remains in 110th spot, followed by Paul Lawrie (249th), Marc Warren (253rd), Richie Ramsay (285th), Stephen Gallacher (311th) and David Drysdale (315th).

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World No 2 Jason Day has withdrawn from the WGC-Mexico Championship, which starts on Thursday, due to illness.

In a statement released by the PGA Tour, the Australian said: “I’m truly disappointed to announce that I won’t be able to play in next week’s World Golf Championship-Mexico Championship.

“I have a double ear infection and the flu, which precludes me from preparing for and playing in the tournament.

“I have heard great things about the Mexico Championship and the golf course. I want to thank the Salinas family for their support of the event [which is sponsored by Grupo Salinas]. I look forward to 
teeing it up there next year.”

Day, who has been plagued by various injury problems throughout his career, was replaced as world No 1 by 
Dustin Johnson last week after the US Open champion won the Genesis Open.

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Darren Fichardt of South Africa, Paul Waring of England and Stuart Manley of Wales have secured their places in The Open after qualifying at the rain-affected Joburg Open.

The event at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington was reduced to 54 holes due to heavy rain, with Fichardt clinching the title in fine fashion with a birdie on the final hole to post a round of 68 (-4) and win by one shot.

The 41-year-old will be making his sixth appearance in The Open and his first since he played at St Andrews in 2010.

Waring and Manley will also take their places at Royal Birkdale after finishing tied for second place on 14-under-par.

Waring, who hails from Merseyside, will become a local favourite when he returns to The Open for the first time since it was last staged at the Southport links in 2008.

Manley will make his debut in The Open after carding a 67 (-5) to qualify for his first major championship.

The 11th staging of the Joburg Open was the third event in this year’s The Open Qualifying Series, with the next event being the Mizuno Open in Japan from 25-28 May.

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Amy Yang rarely wavered with a big lead during the final round of the Thailand LPGA tournament, shooting a four-under 68 to win by five strokes.

Due to rain delays, Yang was forced to play her final five holes of the third round on Sunday morning, and she led by five strokes after 54 holes.

Later in the day, the 2015 champion saw her lead reduced to three shots on several occasions, but the Korean held on to post a record 22-under on the Siam Country Club’s Pattaya Old Course.

So Yeon Ryu, the 2011 US Women’s Open champion, matched Yang with a 68 to finish second. Lexi Thompson had the best round of the day, a 67, to finish tied for fourth, nine strokes behind.

Catriona Matthew finished joint-45th in the 70-player field, a splendid effort given that she’d been six shots adrift after an opening 84.

The Scottish No 1 bounced back brilliantly from that nightmare 12-over-par start with rounds of 66-67-71 to finish on level-par.

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Falkirk man Ryan Campbell is lying fifth, five shots off the lead, after an opening level-par 72 in the latest Evolve Pro Tour event at Hacienda Riquelme in Spain.