Rickie continues his knack of showing up in the toughest golf tournaments. Great playing by Fowler down the stretch and a great response to being voted the most overrated player on tour by his peers. The guy destroyed the 17th hole on Sunday. As intimidating as the hole can be, Fowler had to play the hole 3 times. Once in regulation and twice in the aggregate playoff. The guy didn’t hit a shot outside 10 feet and made the putt each time. Clutch. To make it to the playoff he went -6 over his last 6 holes, including an eagle-birdie-birdie finish on a very difficult stretch.
But winning a tournament certainly takes a significant amount of luck to win. In regulation on 16, Fowler pushed his approach shot into the 16 green. The ball only cleared the water by a foot or so, then takes the nice bounce right to give him inside 3 feet for eagle. To make things even better, on 18 his ball settled just inside where Fathauer was. It was a putt that almost everybody was missing on the right hand side (including Sergio in regulation and Kisner in regulation) and Fowler got a free preview. After watching Fathauer’s putt break more than expected, Rickie rolled in the 17 foot putt that eventually got him into a playoff. See some of his stats here.
Garcia didn’t fold this time, but he still came up short at the players. Despite the clutch birdie on 17, Garcia couldn’t quite get it done when he needed to again. He makes himself an easy target, but he certainly doesn’t deserve the flak he takes from American fans. If he can keep putting himself in good situations, eventually he’ll win a big one. His ball striking is just too good, even if his putter is a little balky.
Tiger struggled throughout the week. Some good and some bad. His game seemed almost bipolar. Striped drives, followed by hooked 3 woods into the trees. The last two days his short game was pitiful. He tried a few flop shots on #9 on Saturday that had me baffled. Overall, there were bright spots for as little golf as he played and TPC Sawgrass is about as penal as they come when your game is a little off. Good just to see him finish a tournament and I hate that I have to say that. His irons were the biggest concern as what is typically a strong suit for him was not very sharp. I still think he wins a major this year. Gimme St. Andrews.