Rickie Fowler didn’t match the blazing pace he set over the first 54 holes of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, but he didn’t have to. Fowler shot a final-round 74, eventually winning by two shots while Justin Thomas, Matt Kuchar and, eventually, Branden Grace, handed the tournament to Fowler.
According to the PGA Tour, no player since 1983 has won with a double bogey and a triple bogey in the final round, which is exactly what Fowler did. Not a record you want to own, but a win is a win. Plus there were some clutch shots when he needed them, including his tee shot on the par-4 17th that found the green, leading to a cushion-building birdie.
Fowler’s week in Scottsdale was the second in which he had some new equipment in play. Fowler’s use of TaylorMade’s TP5x ball provided an immediate return on the multiyear investment the company made in him to play its ball. Also last week at the Farmers Insurance Open, Fowler put Cobra’s new King F9 Speedback driver in play. The club has a 10.5-degree head, but Fowler uses the adjustable hosel to have it in the 9-degree setting. Like his previous two gamers, Fowler employs a shorter shaft (43.5 inches) in the driver and has the 14-gram weight (the heaviest of the two weights on the sole) in the front position to produce lower spin and a more penetrating ball flight.
Fowler also carries two 4-irons, including a Cobra F9 Speedback 4-iron built at 3-iron length with a Graphite Design graphite shaft that he used frequently to tee off with.
Of course to win in the desert you usually need to make some putts and Fowler made more than his share, leading the field in strokes gained/putting by picking up more than nine strokes on the field on the greens. The putter Fowler used is a Scotty Cameron by Titleist Newport 2 GSS prototype that Fowler first put in play at the 2014 Northern Trust Open at Riviera. Fowler—who has used Cameron putters exclusively for well over a decade—uses a putter originally produced for Tiger Woods—a Newport 2 style but with a shallower face. The 35-inch putter has “Rickie” stamped on one bumper and “Fowler” on the other.
As it turned out, that club turned out to be the difference at TPC Scottsdale.
What Rickie Fowler had in the bag at the Waste Management Phoenix Open
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Driver: Cobra King F9 Speedback (Graphite Design Tour AD IZ-7x), 10.5 degrees
3-wood: Cobra King F8+, 14.5 degrees
Wedges: Cobra King (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Putter: Scotty Cameron by Titleist Newport 2 GSS prototype