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Howell, Uihlein and Fowler Highlight Big Golf Weekend for Former Pokes



There was a flurry of exciting golf on Sunday as the French Open and Quicken Loans National bookended a thrilling four-tournament global traipse across multiple tours and continents.

The first order of business came at Le Golf National, an aptly-named course in Paris that hosts the French Open (and next year’s Ryder Cup). After holding the 54-hole lead, Peter Uihlein jousted with Englishman Tommy Fleetwood (and his lavish lettuce) before eventually falling by one stroke.

Uihlein shot a 31 on the back nine on Sunday and needed to hole out a bunker shot on the final hole to get into a playoff with Fleetwood, but he ran it past, and Fleetwood held the trophy. Still, Uihlein made the long comeback for par to touch off maybe his best week of golf on the European Tour.

Uihlein, who finished at 11-under 273, also qualified for The Open Championship with his second-place finish.

“It’s a good event to finish runner-up, and yeah, it gets me into The Open and it moves me up The Race to Dubai rankings a little bit,” said Uihlein who is now ranked No. 91 in the world. “Any time you finish second in a golf tournament, it’s always a good week.”

Stateside, Rickie Fowler was way out contention at the Quicken Loans National to start the final round, but he went on a tear early and made a personal best nine birdies on the day to shoot a 65. He somehow doubled the easiest hole on the course, though, or it could have been something really special. He finished T3, two shots behind another Oklahoma Stater (more on that in a second), but it’s not going to dampen his holiday plans.

That other Oklahoma State guy is Charles Howell III who shot 67-66 on the weekend but eventually lost in a playoff at the Quicken Loans to Kyle Stanley. Howell was playing his first tournament in over two months and looking for his first win in nearly 10 years. He had it in the bag, it seemed, on the final hole of regulation when this putt SOMEHOW DIDN’T FALL!

Regardless, Howell added to his absurd career money total of $33+ million and nabbed a spot in The Open as well despite the rib injury that had laid him up for nine weeks.

“I was going nuts because I couldn’t do anything,” Howell said of the injury. “I could putt and I could ride a bike and that was it. It was a long nine weeks, but I’m glad to be back and hopefully can stay healthy. A little bit I’m shocked I was here because yeah, I started hitting balls maybe eight days ago, eight, nine days ago. I was able to putt but I couldn’t hit balls. Yeah, I mean, I came in here quite rusty. Maybe I need to learn from it, I need to come to tournaments more rested, I guess. A bit of a shock.

“I realized real quick that our health is probably our most important asset, and I realized how much I enjoyed playing golf and playing golf out here. All the guys out here, they’re my friends and it’s a life that we’ve known forever. Yeah, I really missed being out here. I watched a lot of golf on TV, watched a lot of Golf Channel as well, but I really missed it.”

It was a terrific week of golf for these Pokes, and the good news it that we’ll be seeing all three of them together in two weeks’ time as the third major of the year unfolds at Royal Birkdale.

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