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After Further Review: Record crowds in Phoenix

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Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On Phoenix Open record crowds

The Greatest Show on Grass delivered again with record attendance - although if every year is a record, it’s tough to keep track - and a dramatic finish that included arguably the game’s hottest player, Rickie Fowler.

More than 600,000 fans swarmed TPC Scottsdale this week to cheer and jeer with equal zeal, and the masses were treated to a show as Fowler, Harris English and Hideki Matsuyama dueled down the stretch before Matsuyama put Fowler away in OT.

Tournament directors are always looking for ways to improve their events and no one ever seems sure what the answer is. But it seems whatever the folks at the Waste Management Phoenix Open are doing is a good place to start. - Rex Hoggard 


On Fowler's problems with No. 17

In the end, Rickie Fowler proved that it didn't matter what club he hit on the 17th hole Sunday. It was going to wind up in the same place.

Fowler found the water behind the 17th green in regulation when his tee shot - hit with driver - landed on a downslope short of the green, bounded through the putting surface and wound up wet. His bogey cost him his two-shot lead and ultimately sent him to a playoff.

Once again standing on the 17th tee, this time on the fourth playoff hole, Fowler learned his lesson and pulled 3-wood - only to find the water left of the green.

Short of hitting something like 5-iron - which, if you're playing the results, really sounds good now - course management wasn’t the issue. First it was bad luck. Then it was execution. – Nick Menta


On Fowler's loss

Hideki Matsuyama was a deserving winner in Phoenix, but this sure felt more like a tournament that Rickie Fowler lost.

Fowler has received plenty of praise in recent months – and rightfully so – for his ability to not only win events, but close in decisive fashion. Crunch-time birdies and a cool bravado have become part of the Fowler persona ever since his sizzling win nine months ago at TPC Sawgrass.

And for much of the afternoon, it seemed like his stop at TPC Scottsdale would add to that narrative. Fowler chipped in on the back nine, as he did two weeks ago in Abu Dhabi, and strode confidently to the 17th tee with a two-shot lead. Of course, that’s where things fell apart. While he played No. 18 well, both in regulation and in the playoff, it was Fowler’s multiple unforced errors off the tee on the penultimate hole that handed the trophy to Matsuyama.

Could this be a bump in the road en route to his first major title? Sure. But the next time he plays his way into contention, it will be interesting to see if any ghosts still haunt Fowler from the one that got away in the desert. - Will Gray


On Jang's outgoing personality

The curtain opened Saturday on a new stage show in women's golf. Ha Na Jang didn't just win the Coates Golf Championship. She won a new following with her fun-loving and animated stage presence.

She has game, and she has style, too. She loves to play to the crowd, as she showed with her "Samurai Lasso" celebration after her final putt fell at Golden Ocala, as she showed with her albatross celebration at Pure Silk and as she shows with all her stylish fist pumps in every round.

Jang, 23, is fun to watch. And when she masters English, and she's working hard at it, this colorful young South Korean is going to be fun for American audiences to listen to. - Randall Mell