FOWLER JUMPS TO WORLD NO.8
PGA Tour - Waste Management Phoenix Open
American Rickie Fowler lost a four-shot lead in bizarre fashion at the Waste Management Phoenix Open but recovered to win the event.
Leading by four at the start the day, Rickie was up five shots stepping onto the tee on No. 11. The lead was one after a bizarre sequence of events at the long par 4.
With rain picking up, Fowler hit his approach shot right of the green and his chip skipped past the flag into the water, incurring a two-shot penalty. He dropped next to a bunker and, as he stood on the green surveying his next shot, his ball rolled back into the water without being touched.
PGA TOUR rules official Slugger White determined Fowler's ball was in play after the drop, so he was assessed a one-shot penalty. Fowler got up-and-down from there, knocking in a 17-foot putt for triple-bogey 7 -- his seventh double bogey or worse when playing with a 54-hole lead.
"That was a big kind of turnaround," Fowler said. "At worst I make bogey with a semi-decent chip and I'm still very much in control of the tournament. But with everything that happened there, that was a (four-) shot swing pretty quickly. It sucks, but it's just kind of put that behind me."
Grace made a 50-foot birdie putt just ahead on the par-3 12th and they were tied at 15 under when Fowler couldn't get up-and-down from the bunker on the same hole. Grace went up one with a 3-foot birdie putt on No. 13.
Fowler refused to cave.
He reached the par-5 15th in two from 239 yards out and his two-putt birdie pulled him into a tie for the lead. Grace then pulled his tee shot into the water at the short par-4 17th, hit his third shot into the bunker after a penalty and took a bogey, giving Fowler a one-shot lead.
Fowler drove the green on the 336-yard 17th and two-putted for birdie to stretch his lead to two shots.
The drama didn't end there.
Grace got up-and-down for par from short right of the 18th green, finishing at 15 under after a 2-under 69.
Fowler pulled his tee shot on 18 left, landing in the tall grass between the church pew bunkers. He hacked the ball out short of the green and got up-and-down for the long-awaited victory.
"I think he's going to get more out of something like that, showing resilience and coming back like that, as opposed to going out there and winning by four or five," said Justin Thomas, who finished third, three behind Fowler after a 72.
Maybe in the future. Right after the round, Fowler was wiped out after the emotional roller coaster.
European Tour - Saudi International powered by SBIA
Dustin Johnson came out on top in a captivating final-round battle with playing partner Li Haotong on day four, mixing five birdies with two bogeys in his closing 67 to finish the week on 19 under par.
China's Li finished alone in second after nervously holing his five-foot birdie putt at the 18th to get to 17 under.
Englishman Tom Lewis was another stroke back after carding seven birdies and two bogeys in his final-round 65, one ahead of Min Woo Lee in fourth.
American Johnson drew first blood in his fourth-round showdown with Li, holing from six feet to pick up a shot at the second for the fourth day in a row.
Li hit back, knocking in from close range at the long fourth before taking the lead when he holed his approach from high above the ninth hole to secure an unlikely birdie.
Sunshine Tour - Eye of Africa PGA Championship
Louis de Jager won his fifth Sunshine Tour title on Sunday when he took the Eye of Africa PGA Championship on the first hole of a sudden-death play-off to take his career play-off record to three out of three.
After finishing regulation play in a share of the lead on 12-under-par with Trevor Fisher Jr, the pair had to wait out a storm for nearly two hours before they could play their second shots on the play-off hole. In the end, De Jager was able to win with a simple par on the par-four 18th, while Fisher made a bogey.
“I’m glad to keep my play-off record up, and I’m proud of that,” said De Jager. “During the delay, I knew what I had to do, so even though there was a lot of pressure, I was able to hit it really close to the hole and I could just tap it in.”
The victory is easily the biggest in his career, coming as it did in the 96-year-old championship which has had some of the greatest names in South African golf win it. “It’s a big trophy to have your name on. I’m really honoured. It’s been one of my goals and it feels great to have achieved it,” he said.
The final round proved to be a difficult one for all the main protagonists, and Daniel Greene, who at one stage at the 13th held a three-stroke lead, fell out of contention with three bogeys in the final four holes to finish third.
Fisher bogeyed the par-three 16th, but pulled back that shot with a birdie on the par-five 17th before making par on 18 and losing out in the play-off.
In response, De Jager had dragged himself into contention with successive birdies on 13 and 14, but bogeyed the 17th before forcing the play-off. “I was watching the leaderboard throughout the round,” he said. “At one stage I was three behind. I thought I was two behind Daniel, and I made two birdies so I thought I was tied, but I was still one behind. That helped me keep my focus and concentrate on the final few holes.
“Today was a tricky day. Final days are always a bit tricky mentally. But I stayed steady and stuck to my processes, and even on the 17th hole where I made two bad swings and it nearly cost me, but I stayed patient and at the end of the day it was just enough.
“I had a good chance with the putt on the final hole in regulation to win. I wasn’t going to leave it short, but I hit it probably a foot too hard and it just didn’t take the break.
Web.com - Country Club de Bogota Championship
Mark Anderson captured his first Web.com Tour title in nearly six years, winning the Country Club de Bogotá Championship on Sunday with a bogey-free 67. Anderson ran away from the field at 17-under par, one shot shy of the tournament scoring record relative to par. The four-stroke victory is the second of Anderson’s career, with his first title coming at the 2013 BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation.
“I’m just very happy right now. It couldn’t have been a better week and I’ve always loved coming here,” Anderson said. “The golf course is one of my favorites out here and to get off to a great start in the year really helps.”
Anderson completed his third round Sunday morning with a 5-under 66 and held a two-stroke lead entering the final round. The former University of South Carolina golfer and PGA TOUR member played 27 holes on Sunday as the third round was postponed due to weather.
“The delay was tough. I got off to a really good start this morning which helped get the day going,” Anderson said. “I played nine holes and had a couple hours to relax and tried to keep that same momentum going that I had earlier in the day. I played really solid golf and hit a lot of greens and didn’t make any mistakes which was key.”
He began his fourth round with three straight pars before making birdies on Nos. 4, 5 and 8 to post a front-nine 32. A birdie on No. 10 got Anderson to 17-under, and he never looked back, closing with eight consecutive pars. Despite being in command in the final round, Anderson decided to do something he’s never done during a round.
“For the first time in my life, I decided to not look at a leaderboard,” said Anderson. “I had an idea of where I was because of the crowds, but I didn’t know I was four shots clear until I stepped onto the 18th green.”
Anderson has made over 60 starts on the PGA TOUR but owns just two top-10 finishes – a T9 at the 2012 Children’s Miracle Network Classic and a T10 at the 2017 Puerto Rico Open. Anderson referenced the desire to get back to the TOUR that kept him grinding since his last victory.