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As if the Rules of Golf hadn’t been enough of a talking point over the past couple of weeks, they were again in the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Five shots clear of the chasing pack after ten holes at TPC Scottsdale, Rickie Fowler saw his lead cut to one after a bizarre triple-bogey seven on the par-4 11th.
After missing the green to the right, Fowler played a pitch that wouldn’t check on the wet putting surface and fell down into the water.
He dropped his ball on the bank and walked away from his ball, which then — after having been at rest — rolled back into the water.
Because he had to once again remove the ball from the penalty area, he was assessed an additional one-stroke penalty.
Here’s what happened in full:
Rickie Fowler has made a triple bogey 7.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 3, 2019
The lead is down to 1. pic.twitter.com/1gZxTfJvVJ
From there, he flopped onto the green and made a 17-footer to save his seven.
That triple bogey, combined with a birdie from Branden Grace, saw Fowler’s lead cut from five to one.
He then lost the outright lead altogether with a follow-up bogey on the 12th, leaving him tied with Grace at 15-under-par.
However, he held his nerve for the remainder of the round, playing his final six holes in two-under-par to win by two strokes – despite finishing with a three-over-par 74.
“I hope I never have to go through that again,” said Fowler afterwards. “You get tested all the time and there’s plenty of times where you end up in difficult situations and you’re going to have bad breaks and make a bad score and move the wrong way.
“I think it’s rare to end up on the good side of it at the end of the day. So to have a few things go wrong out there today, like I said, some of that was set up from playing well the first three days and giving myself some wiggle room.
“But like I said earlier, it wasn’t fun, I don’t want to have to win like that again.”
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