Rickie Fowler overcomes unusual triple bogey to win Phoenix Open

Getty Images

Getty Images

It was clearly going to be a matter of survival and exercising some past demons for Fowler, who had the 54-hole lead at last year's Waste Management Phoenix Open and wound up finishing 11th.

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.

Fowler had two-putt birdies on Nos.

A Fowler chip on the 11th went into the water and he took a drop shot, which also rolled back into the hazard to force him to take another drop.

The oddity happened following Fowler's drop of the ball.

It slid back down into the water when he was surveying the green, a mistake a PGA rules official said would cost him another stroke.

Fowler chipped on and made a 17-foot putt for a triple-bogey seven.

He bogeyed the next hole and by the time he reached the 13th hole, was trailing Branden Grace by one stroke for the lead.

Fowler shook off a freakish triple bogey on No. 11 with clutch shots down the stretch, finally winning the tournament Sunday that had twice eluded him. He hacked the ball out short of the green and got up-and-down for the long-awaited victory.

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After dropping twice and having the ball roll back into the water, Fowler placed the ball on the short grass and prepared to play what would be his fifth shot. In 2017 he finished fourth.

"That is a colossally bad break", was the call from the commentary team.

"No. 11 could have turned this tournament the complete opposite way, and, finally we got it done", said Fowler.

Grace was determined to pile on the pressure at the driveable par-four 17th, but he tugged his tee-shot into the drink and then thinned a pitch into the rear bunker before getting up-and-down for bogey.

There was a two-shot swing in Fowler's favour when Grace hit his drive into the water on 17, which led to a bogey five, while the American birdied the same hole, before a par on the 18th gave him victory. He eventually tapped in for bogey.

"He really dug down and pulled it off", said Grace of Fowler. The 35-inch putter has "Rickie" stamped on one bumper and "Fowler" on the other.

Fowler, 30, finished on 17 under after a three-over-par final round of 74, while Grace finished on 15 under after a two-under 69 on the last day.

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.

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