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Fowler answers critics with gutsy bounce-back at Phoenix Open

After several near misses Fowler finally claims Phoenix Open title (Photo: Getty Images)
Rickie Fowler survived one of the most bizarre final rounds ever experienced by a leader in a PGA Tour event to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open for the first time after being twice runner-up previously and losing after leading through three rounds last year.

The day was a roller coaster that Fowler is unlikely to forget in a hurry. After leading by four heading into the final Fowler bounced back from a double bogey at his 5th hole today to again establish a four-shot lead with eight holes to play only to then suffer the shock of a triple bogey at the 11th and a bogey at the 12th to fall one behind South African Branden Grace.

Under so much scrutiny today due to his perceived inability to convert opportunities to victories, Fowler appeared to have righted that wrong when a birdie at the 10th took him four clear of the field but then would come the most unlikely of triple bogeys.

At the par 4 11th hole (see tweet below) Fowler missed the fairway then the green but a pitch across the green was too strong and found the water. He would then take a drop but as he surveyed what would have been his 5th shot, the ball rolled back into the water.

That he was able to get up and down for his triple bogey would play a key role in his eventual success as he would two-putt the 15th and 17th for birdies and then parred the 18th to win his 5th PGA Tour title.

Fowler won by two over Grace with another shot back to Justin Thomas while Matt Kuchar, Chez Reavie and Bubba Watson tied for 4th. 

Fowler will move back inside the top ten in the world ranking to 8th position.

Cameron Smith's final round of 72 saw him slip from his overnight 8th to finish 15th and was the only Australian to make the cut.

The PGA Tour now moves back west to The Monterey Peninsula for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am.

 

 

 

       

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