Sunday, February 04, 2018

Rickie Fowler leads Phoenix Open by one

Scottsdale, Arizona                     Feb. 1-4, 2018              Purse: $6,900,000 ($1,242,000 winner)
TPC Scottsdale     Par/Yards: 35-36—71/7,266 yards     500 FedExCup points to winner

Third-Round Notes – Saturday, February 3, 2018

Weather: Sunny, with a high of 80 degrees. Wind SW 5-10 mph.

Third-Round Leaderboard
Rickie Fowler
66-66-67—199 (-14)
Jon Rahm
67-68-65—200 (-13)

Chez Reavie
68-65-67—200 (-13)

Bryson DeChambeau
66-66-68—200 (-13)
Xander Schauffele
68-67-66—201 (-12)

Phil Mickelson
70-65-66—201 (-12)

Daniel Berger
68-65-68—201 (-12)

Other Scores 

203 Martin Laird (Scotland) 68 67 68 (T14)
207 Ian Poulter (England) 70 69 68 (T26)
215 Shane Lowry (Ireland) 70 71 74
Byeonghun An             68-67-72 – 207 (-6)
C.T. Pan                        71-68-70 – 209 (-4)
Siwoo Kim                     74-67-70 – 211 (-2)

+Jordan Spieth (72-70) and Russell Knox (74-68) missed the cut with 142 tallies

Rickie Fowler
Second-round co-leader Rickie Fowler followed matching rounds of 66 with a third-round 4-under 67 (including birdies on his final three holes) to move into sole possession of the lead at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.  At 14-under 199, he will carry a one-stroke lead into the final round over Bryson DeChambeau and fellow Arizona State University products Jon Rahm and Chez Reavie.

Fowler now owns 12 consecutive under-par rounds at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

R3 at a glance: 11 of 14 fairways, 14 of 18 greens, 3 of 4 sand saves, 3 of 4 scrambling, 30 putts.

Fowler is making his 10th start in the Waste Management Phoenix Open this week, where he has collected three top-10 finishes (2nd/2010, 2nd/2016 (playoff), T4/2017).

In his first four starts of the 2017-18 Season (official and unofficial), Fowler finished 2nd (OHL Classic at Mayakoba); Won (Hero World Challenge); T4 (Sentry Tournament of Champions); CUT (Farmers Insurance Open).

Fowler, in search of his fifth win in his 200th start on the PGA TOUR, will be 29 years, one month and 22 days old on Sunday. Here’s a look at his four wins: 2012 Wells Fargo Championship, 2015 THE PLAYERS Championship, 2015 Dell Technologies Championship, 2017 The Honda Classic.

Currently No. 19 in the FedExCup standings, a win on Sunday is projected to move Fowler to No. 3 on the list. He is coming off of a seventh-place finish in the FedExCup last season, the third time he has finished inside the top 10 (2015-4th, 2014-9th).

In five previous tries, Fowler has converted the 54-hole lead/co-lead into victory once, in his last attempt at The Honda Classic in 2017.

Third-Round Lead Notes
Since 2000, third-round leaders/co-leaders of the Waste Management Phoenix Open have held on for the win seven times: Phil Mickelson (2005, 2013), Kenny Perry (2009), J.B. Holmes (2006, 2008), Jonathan Kaye (2004) and Mark Calcavecchia (2001).

Last year, Byeong Hun An (16-under 197) held a one-stroke lead over Martin Laird following round three. Eventual champion Hideki Matsuyama was four strokes behind.

Through 12 events in the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season, six players have managed to convert a 54-hole lead/co-lead into victory, most recently Dustin Johnson at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. 

Chez Reavie
Former Arizona State University standout and Scottsdale resident Chez Reavie posted a third-round, 4-under 67 to move to T2 and just one stroke behind Rickie Fowler. Coupled with opening rounds of 68-65, this week marks the first time Reavie has posted three consecutive rounds in the 60s at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Once a standard bearer at this event as a kid, Reavie was the only player to play the first 36 holes without a bogey this week. His bogey-free streak ended Saturday on the par-4 second hole.

R3 at a glance: 8 of 14 fairways, 9 of 18 greens, 6 of 9 scrambling, 24 putts.

Reavie, making his 237th PGA TOUR start, is in search of his second victory (2008 RBC Canadian Open).

Reavie is making his 10th start at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, with a T41 in 2011 his best finish. He entered this week with missed cuts in his previous three starts at TPC Scottsdale.

Currently No. 27 in the FedExCup standings, Reavie is looking for his best finish in the season-long competition since a 10th place effort in 2011. Most recently, he finished 39th in the FedExCup last season.

Jon Rahm
Arizona State University grad and Phoenix resident John Rahm notched his third consecutive round in the 60s (67-68-65) to move to 13-under 200, just one stroke behind Rickie Fowler.

R3 at a glance: 8 of 14 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 1 of 1 sand save, 4 of 5 scrambling, 26 putts.

Making his 40th PGA TOUR start this week, Rahm is in search of his third victory (2017 Farmers Insurance Open, 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge).

Rahm, currently No. 2 in the FedExCup standings, finished fifth in the FedExCup during his first year as a member of the PGA TOUR (2016-17 season).

Rahm is making his third start at the Waste Management Phoenix Open (T5-2015, T16-2017, TBD-2018).

Even with a victory this week, Rahm cannot move to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Bryson DeChambeau 
Bryson DeChambeau, who shared the second-round lead with Rickie Fowler following matching rounds of 5-under 66, turned in a third-round 3-under 68 to fall to T2 (one stroke behind Fowler).

R3 at a glance: 8 of 14 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 4 of 5 scrambling, 2 of 2 sand saves, 28 putts.

DeChambeau, who collected his first PGA TOUR victory at the 2017 John Deere Classic, missed the cut at last week’s Farmers Insurance Open. Prior to that, he had not finished worse than 26th in his first four starts of the 2017-18 season.

DeChambeau is currently No. 53 in the FedExCup standings, having finished 49th last season.

Making his 52nd start on TOUR, this week is DeChambeau’s first start at TPC Scottsdale.

Byeonghun An
South Korea’s Byeonghun An shot a third round 1-over 72 to slip back to T26 position. He opened with a four-foot birdie on three but dropped a bogey on seven to turn in level par. An made a double bogey seven on the par five 13th hole and followed up with birdies on 15 and 16, from four feet and 10 feet respectively, before dropping a bogey on 17 for a three-day total of 207.

In 2017, the 26-year-old An finished sixth in his debut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, one of three top-10s he recorded last season. He held the joint halfway lead and the sole third round lead following rounds of 66, 66 and 65 and then closed with a final round 73. An finished the season in 102nd position on the final FedExCup standings.

An played in four tournaments during fall, finishing T11 at the CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES on home soil and T32 at the Shriners Hospital for Children Open. He missed the cut in the two other events in his 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season thus far.

Justin Thomas
Reigning FedExCup champion and seven-time PGA TOUR winner Justin Thomas opened his third round with six consecutive birdies but later endured a bogey-triple bogey-double bogey stretch on Nos. 14-16 en route to an even-par 71. After beginning the day T12 and moving into a two-stroke lead at one point, Thomas currently stands T26 and eight strokes behind Rickie Fowler.

Prior to Thomas, the last player to make six consecutive birdies to open a round on the PGA TOUR was Brendon Todd at the 2012 Puerto Rico Open (third round).

Thomas’ six consecutive birdies marks a new career best for him in 99 US PGA Tour starts:

Since 1987, Justin Thomas (2018, third round) and Mark Lye (1991, second round) are the only two players to birdie the first six holes at TPC Scottsdale.

Thomas’ worst finish in five starts this season is T22 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. 

Justin Thomas, James Hahn, Martin Laird and Gary Woodland led the field with 17 birdies.

Additional Player Notes
Three-time Waste Management Phoenix Open winner Phil Mickelson (1996, 2005, 2013) carded a third-round 5-under 66 to move to T5 (two strokes behind tournament leader Rickie Fowler). This week marks Mickelson’s 29th start in this event, a record he shares with Gene Littler, Jim Ferrier and Jerry Barber.

Daniel Berger (T5) posted a 3-under 68, his 10th consecutive under-par round this season. The two-time winner on TOUR (2016 and 2017 FedEx St. Jude Classic) will enter the final round trailing Rickie Fowler by two strokes. Making his third start at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Berger finished T7 last year for his best finish at this event.

Making his inaugural start at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, reigning PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year and 2017 TOUR Championship winner Xander Schauffele enters the final round T5 following a 5-under 66.

With six birdies, an eagle (par-5 13th hole) and one bogey (par-4 11th hole), Beau Hossler (T8) equaled his career-best round on the PGA TOUR (first round at the 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge) with a 7-under 64. The first-year TOUR member is making his ninth start of the season, with a T7 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and T10 at the Sanderson Farms Championship his best outings.

Following three consecutive bogeys on Nos. 8-10, 2011 FedExCup champion Bill Haas (T8) closed with five birdies in his final eight holes for a 5-under 66. In nine prior starts at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Haas owns two top-10 finishes (T6 in 2013 and T9 in 2008).

Matt Kuchar equaled his best score in 31 rounds at TPC Scottsdale with a 7-under 64, moving from T37 to T14. He also posted 64 in the first round a year ago at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Kuchar, who is making his first start on TOUR since the 2017 RSM Classic (T29), finished T6 in 2009 and T9 in 2017 for his best results in nine starts at this event.

Bogey-free rounds at TPC Scottsdale:
R1: Bill Haas (64), Bryson DeChambeau (66), Billy Horschel (66), Chez Reavie (68), Ben Martin (69).
R2: Daniel Berger (65), Adam Hadwin (65), C.T. Pan (68), Chez Reavie (65), Steve Stricker (67), Justin Thomas (66), Nick Watney (68), Bubba Watson (69).
R3: Alex Noren (65), Phil Mickelson (66), Brandt Snedeker (71).



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