SANDWICH, England – Oklahoma State product Rickie Fowler and University of Oklahoma product Anthony Kim finished tied for fifth place after the final round of The Open Championship Sunday.
Fowler started the day at 2-under par – three behind the overall leader – after tying for the best performance of the third round Saturday. But he struggled in the final round, particularly with his putter.
He missed multiple birdie opportunities, but did have 13 consecutive pars to start the day. He then hit bogeys on both 14 and 16, which essentially dropped him out of contention.
Meanwhile, Kim slowly crept up the leaderboard after a slow. He started the tournament with a 2-over 72 that placed him seven shots back, but stayed consistent for the rest of the tournament while everyone around him faltered.
He shot a 2-under 68 in the second round to get back to even par, and then kept that score steady with 70s in each of his final two rounds. He was one of only two players to not hit over par in the either of the final two rounds. The other was winner Darren Clarke.
The 42-year-old Clarke led by one stroke heading into the final round, and briefly was tied with Phil Mickelson on the front nine Sunday. But Clarke hit an eagle on 7 to retake the lead, and Mickelson faded down the stretch to give Clarke a fairly easy victory.
Clarke held a five-shot lead late in the round, when he began playing conservatively to avoid mistakes. That led to bogeys on the final two holes, but he finished with an even-par 70 in the final round and secured a win by three strokes over Mickelson and fellow American Dustin Johnson.
The victory marked Clarke's first in a major tournament and extended the United States' major drought to six, the longest in the modern Grand Slam era.
The finish was Fowler's best of his career in a major, beating his 14th place finish that also occurred in The Open Championship. It also marked the best finish of Kim's career in The Open Championship, but his best showing in a major remains his third-place finish at The Masters in 2010.