Winning isn’t easy, just ask Rickie Fowler.
The 30-year-old battled rain, bad luck, and a rare ruling during Sunday’s final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open to hang on for a two-shot victory at TPC Scottsdale.
Fowler entered the day with a four-shot edge and faltered slightly with a double-bogey on No. 6. However, it wasn’t until the par-4 11th when things really began to unravel.
Standing in the fairway with a five-shot advantage, Fowler pitched his ball over the green and into the water. Then in a bizarre series of events, his dropped ball rolled into the water again after being declared in play, forcing another one-shot penalty. In the end, Fowler carded a triple-bogey to see his commanding lead vanish.
While Fowler struggled on No. 11, Branden Grace made a birdie to close the gap to one stroke.
After another Fowler bogey and a second Grace birdie, the two-time Phoenix Open runner-up was no longer in the lead.
But Fowler would eventually steady the ship, pulling off a gutsy shot on the par-5 15th by going for the green in two from 252 yards to set up a birdie. Another birdie on No. 17 pulled Fowler out of the hole he put himself in earlier in the round.
He ended up shooting a 3-over 74 and finished the event at 17-under to seal his fifth career PGA Tour victory and first since the 2017 Honda Classic.
Grace – who nearly overcame a seven-shot deficit – finished alone in second.
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