Fowler survives calamity and shows test of character after Tour win
Rickie Fowler endured a roller-coaster back nine before stumbling over the line and marginally pip Branden Grace to the Waste Management Phoenix Open title, a final-round of ups and down for the American Golfer.
Fowler, 30, finished on 17-under par after shooting three-over-par final round of 74; while Grace finished on 16-under after scoring 69, two-under on the last day.
Fowler said “It was a bit of a roller-coaster”.
“Other than two holes, it was a decent round”.
The American golfer was cruising to his first win for almost two years as he held a five-shot advantage, despite being one over for the day after 10 holes.
But the tournament turned on its head in the space of two holes at the 11th and 12th. Fowler approached the green with a wedge, but his stroke went into the water which resulted in the American taking a drop shot.
Remarkably his drop shot rolled back into the hazard to force him to take another drop, resulting in Fowler carding a triple-bogey at the 11th.
He also dropped a shot on the 12th where fellow competitor Grace made back-to-back birdies to place his name top of the leader board with 6 to play.
Mistakes proved to be motivational boost
Fowler had gone into the dramatic 11th hole at a rainy Scottsdale with his four-shot overnight lead still intact.
Mistakes at 11th and 12th holes proved to be costly as Grace replaced the 30-year old top of the leader board.
But it appeared to not affect his focus and inspired to be a motivational boost as he birdied the 15th as the pair were on 16 under par, both top of the leader board, heading down the final straight.
Witnessing Grace hit his drive into the water on 17, leading to a bogey. The American birdied the same hole, before stroking his par putt on 18th, giving him victory.
“I hope I never have to go through that again” Fowler said after the drama unfolded, as he secured his fifth tour win.