MARANA, Ariz. -- Carl Pettersson and Rickie Fowler returned to play the 18th hole on Friday with the Swede leading 1 up. Fowler, who had birdied the 17th hole just before darkness set in Thursday to even give himself a chance, made another birdie at No. 18 to square the match and send it to sudden death.
That momentum was short-lived, though. Fowler followed with a bogey on the first extra hole and Pettersson was off to the second round for the second time in four appearances. Pettersson is playing in the Accenture Match Play Championship for the first time since 2007.
Pettersson, who shot 1 under, never trailed in the match. He won the first hole with a birdie, Fowler squared the match with a par at No. 3 and then Pettersson won Nos. 5, 7 and 10 with two pars and a bogey to take a 3-up advantage.
The two opponents only halved on hole on the back nine. Fowler won five -- four with birdies -- and Pettersson three to set the stage for extra holes. Fowler was 2 under through 18 holes.
MARANA, Ariz. -- Two of the 32 first-round matches of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship were halted by darkness on Thursday and will be finished on Friday morning at Dove Mountain.
Carl Pettersson is 1 up on Rickie Fowler through 17 holes. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Francesco Molinari are all square through 15 holes. Both matches will resume at 9:30 a.m. local time (11:30 a.m. ET).
The winner of the Pettersson-Fowler match will play Shane Lowry in the second round of the Jones bracket. Lowry knocked off top overall seed Rory McIlroy 1 up.
The Fernandez-Castano-Molinari winner will face Charles Howell III in the second round of the Player bracket. Howell upset Tiger Woods, the No. 2 overall seed, 2 and 1.
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Insider
Last week, my one-and-done selection for the Farmers Insurance Open, Bubba Watson, withdrew shortly before his opening round. I don't include an alternate in this weekly feature, but I went with Nick Watney, who hadn't yet teed off.
If your one-and-done format doesn't demand that you submit an alternate, then strongly suggest to the commissioner that it does. It doesn't seem like a big deal -- until you're the one taking the zero. Watney tied for fourth at Torrey Pines, proving that the alternate is valuable.
Watney also deserves a long look at this week's Waste Management Phoenix Open. Not only has he been playing great golf since the Fall Series, but he's he's 6-for-7 with top 25s in each of his last three appearances at TPC Scottsdale. His best finish was his most recent, a tie for fifth during a torrid stretch to begin the 2011 season.
If you've already exhausted him, then consider Jason Dufner or Rickie Fowler. Dufner lost in a playoff at TPC Scottsdale in 2011 and chased it with a tie for eighth last year. He also arrives this week on form off a pair of ninth-place ties on the European Tour's Desert Swing, but he's been on form for as long as anyone can recall.
Fowler has enjoyed similar success at TPC Scottsdale, surviving the cut in all four starts highlighted by a solo second in 2010 and a tie for 13th in 2011. More recently, after a tie for fourth at the World Challenge in December, he finished in a tie for sixth at Kapalua and Torrey Pines, the latter coming after an opening 77.
Both guys could be burned later, but I'm going to holster Dufner for a larger purse, perhaps a major. His consistency will come in handy down the road. Therefore, I'm going to ride Fowler this week, fulfilling the cliché of striking while the iron is hot.
Others that serve as possible accompaniments in two-man formats include Brian Gay and Brandt Snedeker. However, my advice is to save Snedeker for a larger purse.
Last week: Nick Watney; T4; $268,400.00
Overall Record: 4-for-4
Top 5s: 2
Top 10s: 3
Top 25s: 4
Missed Cuts: 0
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- They are all SoCal guys. But as wildly popular as Rickie Fowler is, even he knows the bulk of the people following his group during the first two rounds of the Farmers Insurance Open will be there for one reason: Tiger Woods.
Fowler and Nick Watney complete the grouping that leaves the first tee on the South Course at Torrey Pines Thursday at 1:30 p.m. ET (10:30 PT). The thresome will tee off the 10th hole on the North Course at 12:20 p.m. ET (9:20 PT) on Thursday.
"So between Nick and I, we'll make for about five percent of the crowd out there -- Tiger will take up the rest," Fowler said with a smile.
The 24-year-old Fowler has played with Woods three times previously in PGA TOUR events, all last season. Fowler came out on top in the first round of THE PLAYERS (72-74) while Woods shot 68 in the second to nip the Oklahoma State product by one.
But it's the third time Fowler recalls most vividly. He started the final round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide in third place, one stroke ahead of Woods, and the two played in the penultimate group.
Woods shot 67 and came from four strokes behind to win for the fifth time at Muirfield Village. Fowler, on the other hand, stumbled to an 84.
"I just was on the sidelines watching," Fowler said with a wry smile. "I was kind of hitting a few extra shots."
Fowler said he and Woods are more apt to practice next to each other, as they did last week, at The Medalist back home in Hobe Sound, Fla., than play together. He says the former world No. 1 acts, and is treated, like one of the guys.
"He'll give it to you in the games, and he expects it right back," Fowler said. "So we have some fun. It's been fun to be around a guy like him who has had as much success as he has, and to try to pick up on a few things and learn a little bit from him."
Woods sets the standard for success at Torrey Pines, of course, with six victories at the Farmers Insurance Open and another at the 2008 U.S. Open on the South Course. But Fowler has found a comfort zone here, as well, with three top-20 finishes, including a tie for fifth in his 2010 debut.
"For me, I list it as one of my favorite courses, the South Course, for sure, and being able to play the North Course is definitely a great complement for the two to be here and be part of one event," said Fowler, who now wears the Farmers logo on the right side of his cap in a sponsorship deal announced Wednesday.
"... It's got the length. I like the small greens. I grew up on Poa annua greens, and some guys don't like Poa annua. I do. Obviously, there are some decent views. Some of the better views in golf, usually, you get great weather. ... But it's just a great piece of property, being close to home, lot of friends and family, so it's a special place for me."
Rickie Fowler battled breezy conditions to card a 3-under 70 Monday morning. (Petersen/Getty Images)
By Ann Miller for PGATOUR.COM
KAPALUA, Maui — Even by Hawaiian time, it took a while for the 2013 PGA TOUR season to get going.
Monday, more than 72 hours after it was originally scheduled to start at Kapalua’s Plantation Course, Rickie Fowler finally finished the first round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. The 2012 Wells Fargo Championship winner had a share of the lead when he fired a 3-under-par 70.
Fowler three-putted the final hole (663-yard par-5), hitting an 8-iron in to reach the huge green in two shots. But he left himself 75 feet to the pin and his first putt, on greens intentionally slowed because of the wind, was more than 20 feet short.
“It was nice to finally get a round in,” Fowler said. “Hit some good shots, a few rough ones, but crazy things can happen when it’s going like this. Nice to get one in. Looking forward to getting back out this afternoon.”
Fowler finished eight holes in Friday’s weather-abbreviated start, taking double-bogey on the last to fall to 3 over. That was erased, along with his even-par score through five holes Sunday, when brutal wind gusts forced TOUR officials to halt, then erase, the rounds. Saturday’s schedule was scrapped before it began when gusts of 50 mph-plus blew.
Monday, with winds at a sustained 20-30 mph, the first 18 holes started on time and Fowler finished inside four hours. He and playing competitor Jason Dufner had about an hour before they were scheduled to go back on the Plantation for the second round.
The final round is scheduled for Tuesday, with the tournament cut to 54 holes. It is the first time since the Tournament of Champions moved to Maui in 1999 that weather has cut it short.
Fowler was last seen Sunday sitting on his golf bag in the fairway, playing the bottom like a bongo drum. When play was suspended, he characterized the weather as “almost exactly the same as Friday minus the H2O flying through the air.”
He insisted he was having fun, but Monday was much more enjoyable with conditions fairly normal for Kapalua.
Fowler shot 1-under 35 on the front nine. After a bogey on the 11th, he dropped birdie putts of five, eight and 23 feet at the 12th, 15th and 16th.
“It was nice, felt pretty calm out there actually from the winds that we’ve seen,” Fowler said. “Nice to get out. The greens are a little slow just to make it playable and keep the ball on the green. Had a few come up short but it was fun.”
Three times since Friday, Rickie Fowler has stood on the first tee box at Kapalua's Plantation Course and hit what he thought was the first official tee shot of the 2013 PGA TOUR season.
Hopefully, Monday's tee shot at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions will be the last time he needs to do it.
With scores wiped out on Friday and Sunday due to unfair wind conditions, Fowler's tee shots did not count. So there he was again on Monday morning in Maul, launching another drive down the first fairway.
Here's a look at each of his shots (all photos by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR).
MONDAY'S TEE SHOT AT NO. 1 (counts ... for now)
SUNDAY'S TEE SHOT AT NO. 1 (doesn't count)
FRIDAY'S TEE SHOT AT NO. 1 (doesn't count)
Rickie Fowler had the honor of hitting the opening tee shot of the 2013 PGA TOUR season, as he launched a drive that landed safely in the fairway at the first hole in Friday's opening round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions (see photo above).
Playing partner Jason Dufner followed with a drive down the left side of the par-4 hole.
As the two walked down the fairway, the winds picked up and rainy conditions became worse. Winds were at more than 25 mph, with the rain blowing sideway. Both players quickly put on their rain gear.
To preview the 2013 PGA TOUR season, PGATOUR.COM is counting down the Top 100 Players to Watch in 2013. For an archive page with the top 100 players and for an explanation on how the list was compiled, click here.
2013 PREVIEW: Much has been expected of Rickie Fowler since he turned pro after his sophomore year at Oklahoma State. After four runner-up finishes over the last four years, he finally broke through -- but let's not put too much pressure on Fowler in 2013. For one thing, he'll be looking to improve in strokes gained-putting after a drop from 31st to 139th.
2012 DEFINING MOMENT: In his 72nd PGA TOUR start, Fowler survived three-way playoff with world No. 1 Rory McIlroy and D.A. Points to win the Wells Fargo Championship. He nearly made it two-in-a-row the following week at THE PLAYERS but ended up in a tie for second. Fowler went on to finish a career-best 28th in the FedExCup, reaching the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola for the first time. –- Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ALBERS’ QUICK TAKE: Rickie should carry momentum into 2013 after winning his first tournament in 2012. I know he was frustrated not winning again and missing the Ryder Cup. Rickie nursed a sore back though much of the offseason and I hope it doesn't carry over into next year. -- Fred Albers, SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio
BOLTON’S FANTASY OUTLOOK: Still a little too much hype for many of you, but I remain patient in the long-term. He banked about two-thirds of his 2012 earnings in three starts in May, the first of which resulted in his first (and, thus far, only) PGA TOUR win, which helped quiet his critics, but he'll have just snuffed the candles on his 24th birthday cake when he begin the new season. Besides, fantasy value is always relative, so it's on you if you invest early. Consider that he's averaged six top 10s per season in his first three years on TOUR, and he's ranked no lower than 36th in earnings (2011). Perfect leadoff for the third round, but until he fine-tunes his putting, he's unworthy in salary games at $3.066 million. -- Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy expert
2012 QUICK REVIEW
Regular Season ranking
Final Playoffs ranking
|Best finishes||1st||Wells Fargo Championship|
|By the Numbers
Cuts made: 20
Rounds played: 83
Top-10 finishes: 5
Money List rank: 21st
Driving distance: 60th
Driving accuracy: 48th
Greens in regulation: 98th
Strokes gained-putting: 139th
Scoring average: 62nd
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
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