Furious finish fires Fowler to front in Phoenix
LOS ANGELES, Feb 4 — Rickie Fowler's storming finish vaulted him to the top of the Waste Management Phoenix Open leaderboard yesterday after the American signed for four-under 67 and a one-shot lead heading into the final round.
Fowler, who began the day tied for the lead, made a slow start and was one-over through seven holes but roared back into contention with five birdies thereafter, including three straight from the 16th at TPC Scottsdale in Arizona.
His 14-under-par 199 total leaves him one clear of in-form Spaniard Jon Rahm, Chez Reavie and Bryson DeChambeau. Five-times major champion Phil Mickelson is in a group of three players a further shot adrift on a packed leaderboard.
World number two Rahm, a fan favourite who played college golf in Arizona, shook off a disappointing finish to his second round with a six-under 65 that included five birdies from the 11th.
The 23-year-old Rahm already has a win and a second this season as he continues his quest to usurp world number one Dustin Johnson at the top of the rankings.
World number four Justin Thomas made a fantastic start to his round when he vaulted into contention by starting with six consecutive birdies to reach 12-under, but a back-nine collapse saw the American tumble back down the standings at six-under.
For Fowler, today's final round will represent a shot at redemption after he blew an opportunity to win in Phoenix two years ago when he put his tee shot into a water hazard and lost to Japan's Hideki Matsuyama in a sudden-death playoff. — Reuters