Published: Mon, February 05, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Rickie Fowler finishes fast to retain Phoenix Open lead

Rickie Fowler finishes fast to retain Phoenix Open lead

Rickie Fowler birdied the last three holes to take the lead in the PGA Tour's Phoenix Open, overcoming a sluggish start in front of the largest crowd in golf history.

DeChambeau, a physics major who applies his understanding of the science to his swing, rifled his approach shot to inside a foot to birdie the last and join Fowler at the top of the leaderboard.

Fowler cites the last six holes as the key here, what with so many birdie opportunities.

Hideki Matsuyama withdrew from the Waste Management Phoenix Open before his second-round tee time Friday because of a left wrist injury, ending his bid to match Arnold Palmer's record of three straight victories in the event. He was tied with reigning Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele (66) and Daniel Berger (68).

Fowler said: "It was a grind".

"Just a little off in certain areas, (I) just tried to kind of piece things together", Fowler said.

13-15, then made a messy double bogey on 16 and bogeyed the par-4 17th after chipping into the water.

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Ian Poulter is also six under, the world number 57 beginning his round from the 10th with three birdies in four holes and returning a 68.

"Every hole, all these fans and I'm guessing tomorrow afternoon there's going to be a lot more people especially in my group playing with Phil again".

He said he'd try to shut out thoughts of the number one ranking, which he admitted got to him in a disappointing finish at Torrey Pines last week.

"The first 62 I shot was in Manila two years back on the Asian Tour, " he said.

Feeling the energy Mickelson, who also played college golf in Arizona and is a three-time Phoenix Open victor, is another fan favorite at the always raucous tournament.

Rahm, starting on the back nine, didn't really reach his stride until the front nine when he eagled the par-5 third hole and then birdied holes 5 and 9.

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