Published: Wed, February 06, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Rickie Fowler overcomes freakish bad luck to win Phoenix Open

Rickie Fowler overcomes freakish bad luck to win Phoenix Open

Before Rickie Fowler shook off a shocking triple bogey on his 11th hole and won his first Waste Management Phoenix Open title Sunday, he received a special text the night before.

Rickie Fowler had to endure a unusual and frustrating day in Scottsdale on Sunday, but in the end, he still managed to walk away as the victor of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

But things went awry at the par-four 11 hole, even though the American took what seemed to be the safe option of laying up with his approach after his tee shot found the rough. In 2016, Fowler blew a two-shot lead with two holes to go before losing in a playoff to Hideki Matsuyama, twice hitting it into the water on the drivable par-4 17th.

Fowler looked set to squander a five-shot lead with just eight holes to play when he chipped into the water on the 11th and then, after taking a penalty drop and walking away to survey his next shot, saw his ball roll back into the hazard. He dropped next to a bunker and, as he stood on the green surveying his next shot, his ball rolled back into the water without being touched.

Fowler finished with a 7 - a triple bogey - on the hole.

Grace came within a whisker of holing a chip for birdie and settled for a tap-in for par and a round of 69, but Fowler still managed to make his task hard when a pulled drive ended up in the thick rough that separated the bunkers down the left.

World No. 3 Johnson recorded five birdies in his final round, including the last two holes.

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"It has been long time to get a win here".

But Grace was unable to go at the 15th green in two after pushing his drive into trouble, and Fowler followed up a good drive with a solid second to the heart of the putting surface to set up a priceless two-putt birdie which lifted him back into a share of the lead on 16 under.

"That was a big kind of turnaround", Fowler said.

The driveable, risk/reward par-four 17th proved a critical moment for both players. "It sucks, but it's just kind of put that behind me".

Fowler's face was etched with a mix of joy and relief upon clinching his fifth PGA Tour victory. His pitch shot from a few yards off the green appeared to land and skip off of a puddle on the green, instead of checking up.

"I think he's going to get more out of something like that, showing resilience and coming back like that, as opposed to going out there and winning by four or five", said Justin Thomas, who finished third, three behind Fowler after a 72.

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