Today Fowler continued that trend when he added a second consecutive round of 66 to share the halfway lead in golf’s most attended event.
Bryson DeChambeau is playing this tournament for the first time but he too showed a liking for the TPC Scottsdale layout by matching Fowler’s opening two rounds the second of those which came late on day two to join the lead.
Fowler’s unforced error when taking bogey at the driveable par 4 17th cost him the outright lead but he is looking a real chance to win his 5th PGA Tour title.
The pair lead by one over Daniel Berger and Chez Reavie with Chesson Hadley, Scott Stallings and Chris Kirk (who had shared the opening round lead with Fowler) and De Chambeau, one shot further back.
Of the more fancied chances Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson and well enough placed at 7 under and just three from the lead while Justin Thomas is another shot further back although perhaps surprisingly Jordan Spieth missed the cut by one.
The winner in each of the last two years, Hideki Matsuyama was forced to withdraw with a shoulder injury.
Cameron Smith continues his good recent form to lead the Australians in 19th position and just four shots from the lead, Aaron Baddeley and Marc Leishman remain alive in 50th position while Geoff Ogilvy and Greg Chalmers will have the weekend off, Chalmers imploding with a second round of 81 after what had been solid start yesterday.
EDDIE PEPPERELL: GO-TO IRON SHOT
Want video tips delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe to iseekgolf.com newsletters.