It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Rickie Fowler at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. But at the end of Sunday’s final round at TPC Scottsdale, he found himself in the same spot on the leaderboard as he did after the first three rounds: at the top.
After an opening round 7-under par 65, Rickie entered the second round tied with Justin Thomas and Harold Varner III. A second round 6-under par 65 put him in sole possession of the lead heading into the weekend. Another 7-under par round on moving day gave Rickie a four-shot cushion heading into the final round, and that’s where things got interesting.
His lead jumped to five at one point during Sunday’s final round before a double bogey at No. 5 and an unlucky triple bogey on No. 11 gave life to Branden Grace. Rickie’s chip shot on the par-4 ran through the green and ended up in the water. That wasn’t even the worst part, though. After taking his penalty drop, his ball rolled back into the water as he was planning his next shot. After another bogey on his next hole, Rickie’s five-shot lead had evaporated.
Grace took a one-stroke lead after back-to-back birdies on the back nine before running into some misfortune of his own. His tee shot on the drivable par-4 17th ended up in the water and he wasn’t able to get up-and-down for par.
Rickie birdied No. 15 and No. 17 to regain the lead. His tee shot on the final hole ended in the thick rough, but he managed to punch out and get up-and-down for a par. He finished with a closing round of 3-over-par 74 and became the first player since 1983 to win with a double bogey and triple bogey in the final round of a PGA TOUR® event.
What a way to start off the year for Rickie. Is it a coincidence that he won the same week we launched our new logo? Just something to think about. Be sure to stay tuned to what else he has in store for us in 2019!
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