PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL – Rickie Fowler, who cruised to a four-shot victory in a dominant performance at the 2017 Honda Classic, has committed to defend his title at the 2018 edition of the event, which will be held February 19-25 at PGA National Resort & Spa.
Fowler, presently ranked No. 7 in the Official World Golf Ranking, will take on a world class field that includes Justin Thomas (No. 4), 2012 Honda champion Rory McIlroy (No. 8), reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia (No 11), Tommy Fleetwood (No. 12), Tyrell Hatton (No. 15), Alex Noren (No. 16), and Brian Harman (No. 20).
Other notables who have entered the field include 2016 Honda Classic champion Adam Scott, Daniel Berger, Louis Oosthuizen, Thomas Pieters, Webb Simpson, Jhonnattan Vegas, 2014 Honda champ Russell Henley, Jimmy Walker, Jason Dufner, 2015 Honda champion Padraig Harrington, Martin Kaymer, 2011 Honda champion Rory Sabbatini, 2013 Honda champion Michael Thompson, 2006 Honda champion Luke Donald, Retief Goosen, 1999 Honda champion Vijay Singh, Ian Poulter, Stewart Cink and 2010 Honda champion Camilo Villegas.
Fowler had a four-stroke lead slip to one in Sunday's final round of the 2017 Honda before responding with two huge birdie putts to reclaim command over Gary Woodland, the only player who seriously challenged him on the way home. Fowler nailed a 40-foot birdie putt on No. 12 and then a 25-footer for birdie on the 13th as his lead reached five shots at one point.
"I didn't play great," Fowler said. "It wasn't a pretty round. But we got the job done. A win is a win." The Honda victory was Fowler's fourth on the PGA TOUR and sixth overall.
"To do it on that golf course and in those conditions, being windy that day; yeah, I made a couple mistakes but was able to keep fighting through the round," Fowler said. "It's one of the toughest golf courses we play, especially in those conditions.
"To hit the shots I needed to at the right time and give myself a cushion to play the last couple holes, it was special. To get the win, basically at home, a place where I've lived for almost seven years now and to be able to celebrate with my friends on Sunday night, it was great."
Fowler went on to have one of the most consistent seasons of his career, finishing in the top 10 in 10 of 21 tournaments and in the top 25 in 16 events. He finished second twice -- at the Memorial and at the BMW Championship.
Through his experience, Fowler has found that belief in himself is a major key to his game and that is putting him in contention on a regular basis. He already has two top 10 finishes in four events this year and also led the Waste Management Phoenix Open after three rounds before struggling on Sunday and finishing 11th.
"The biggest thing for me is making sure I'm committed on every shot," he said. "And if I do feel uncomfortable, if I have a kind of second guess, make sure that I back off and just go through it.
"The more committed I can be over a shot and just trusting and understanding what I'm trying to do, even if it's the wrong club selection or whatnot, I'm going to make a lot better swing than if I have any doubt in my mind. So that's the biggest thing."
Grounds tickets, Bear Trap tickets and other hospitality tickets and packages for the 2018 Honda Classic are on sale at thehondaclassic.com or by calling 1-844-8Honda8 (844-846-6328).
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