Monday, January 25

Rickie Fowler: 'I Want to Be Part of the Crew'

ABOVE: Shots of the week from Abu Dhabi.

RICKIE FOWLER CAPTURED HIS FOURTH VICTORY in the last nine months by besting an elite field at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in the United Emirates on Sunday. Fowler closed with a 69 to edge Belgian Thomas Pieters (67) by a shot.

The win in a European Tour field that included the No. 1, 3 and 5 players in the world raised Rickie's stock and world ranking. Fowler jumped from sixth to fourth in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), as he seeks to crash the party at the top of the mountain.

''I want to be part of the crew," Fowler said about the current "Big Three" of Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy.

"It would be a pretty good foursome. I think I mentioned through the summer at some point, I said I was a sneaky fourth. We've got to take care of a major and then maybe I can join the crew.''

The 54-hole leader at Abu Dhabi, Fowler has shown he can finish, although it took two greenside hole-outs during his final round to eek out his second European Tour win.

''It was not how it was planned," he said, "but [I] came out on top.''

A "tired" Spieth finished in a tie for fifth after a final-round 68. The 22-year-old Texan confessed to being "beat up, mentally and physically" after a globetrotting schedule that has taken him to the United Emirates, Australia, Hawaii, China and the Bahamas in the last few months.

"I'm not 100 percent right," Spieth said.

Meanwhile, McIlroy finished third, calling his performance "a good finish and a lot of good golf there."

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