By JP Raineri
Sports Editor 

Murrieta's Rickie Fowler wins Waste Management Phoenix PGA Open

 

Last updated 2/8/2019 at 3:34am

David Canales photo

Murrieta's Rickie Fowler, pictured here at Torrey Pines, overcame a strange triple-bogey to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open Sunday, Feb. 3.

Rickie Fowler, a long time Murrieta resident and current professional golfer, held a four-shot lead after 54 holes of the Waste Management Phoenix Open going into the final round this past Sunday, Feb. 3, at TPC Scottsdale. It's a situation Fowler has been in before as he has experienced his share of heartbreak at the Phoenix Open, plus this year it was cold, rainy and full of surprises. Last year Rickie had the 54-hole lead going into the final round but shot a 2-over 73 to finish six shots behind Gary Woodland. In 2016 Fowler again had the lead with two holes to go, but he lost in a playoff to Hideki Matsuyama.

Fowler led by four to begin the final round and had no threats from his playing partners Matt Kuchar and Justin Thomas. As the players hit the 11th hole, Fowler led by five, but that's when everything changed. Fowler hit one ball into the water and was penalized another shot for a rare rules infraction, resulting in a triple bogey. Fowler, perhaps still rattled, bogeyed the 12th and, after two straight birdies from Braden Grace, trailed the South African by one. Thinking back on his past experiences, Fowler birdied the par-5 15th to tie Grace and took the lead when Grace hit his tee shot into the water on the drivable par-4 17th and made bogey.


"I never want to go through anything like that again," Fowler told the media in a news conference afterward. "That was not fun."

The young pro from Murrieta improved his lead to two strokes with a birdie on the 17th hole and finished with a 17-under 267 to beat Grace. The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am is next up for PGA Tour golfers, starting Thursday, Feb. 7. Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed and Kuchar highlight the field. Fowler will take this tournament off, as will Tiger Woods, and Lake Elsinore's Aaron Wise. Local golfer John Chin of Temecula Valley is slated to participate in this week's Pro Am and looks to do better than his last finish where he placed tied for 72nd place at the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open two weeks ago in San Diego. The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am will take place Feb. 7-10, followed by the Genesis Open Feb. 14-17 at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.

JP Raineri can be reached by email at [email protected]

David Canales photo

Rickie Fowler finished with a 17-under 267 to beat Braden Grace at the Waste Management Phoenix Open last weekend.

 

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