Fowler moved to tears after wild, watery loss

By Ryan Reiterman February 8, 2016, 2:28 am

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Rickie Fowler had a lot more riding on the Waste Management Phoenix Open than anyone knew.

Even before he took questions from the media, it was clear his playoff loss Sunday to Hideki Matsuyama hurt - a lot.

His voice cracked with each answer as he recalled how he found the water twice on the short par-4 17th - once in regulation and then again on the fourth playoff hole - and how he came so close to winning his fifth title in nine months.

But it wasn’t club selection or missed putts that caused Fowler to break down in tears. When asked how he was going to get over his second-career playoff loss, Fowler could barely get the answer out.

“The hard part is having, you know, all my friends and family and grandpa and my dad who haven't seen me win,” Fowler said. “But I will be able to kinda hang with them tonight. I'll be all right. With how good I'm playing, I know I can win. That's the hard part.”

And that’s when Fowler had to walk out.

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For most of the back nine, it looked like Fowler was heading to a coronation. The rowdy fans in the amphitheater at the par-3 16th were ready to hand him the trophy when Fowler stuck his tee shot to 8 feet, 9 inches.

Chants of “RICK-IE!” “RICK-IE!” “RICK-IE!” rained down as Fowler lined up his putt. Make it, and he leads Matsuyama and Harris English by three with two holes left.

He missed.

Then came the hole that would define this tournament. Fowler first selected 3-wood off the tee at the 317-yard, par-4 17th. But he put it back in the bag for the driver. Fowler smoked his driver down the stretch on the par-4 14th and the par-5 15th. This one was no different.

Except this time his ball hit the downslope in front of the green and rolled all the way through into the water behind the hole.

“I hit it right on line, hit it exactly where I was looking,” Fowler said. “That's kind of the unfortunate part to hit the shots that I did and to pull them off, and then it kind of backfired there. Hit a perfect shot.”

Standing on the tee with Fowler, Matsuyama was just as surprised.

“He hit a perfect drive in regulation at 17,” Matsuyama said through his translator. “I'm surprised it went into the water. It was a great shot.”

It was the opening Matsuyama needed. Seeing what Fowler did, Matsuyama drilled a 3-wood to the front of the green and got up and down for birdie. Fowler bogeyed, and they went to the 18th all square.

That’s when things got real.

After both players boomed their drives more than 325 yards on 18, Matsuyama dropped his approach to 17 feet, and Fowler responded by sticking his to 9 feet.

Again, the fans packed around the 18th green chanted Fowler’s name, thinking this would be it. He’d finally close out Matsuyama, they would go nuts, and everyone would race home in time for the Super Bowl kickoff.

That’s when Matsuyama drained his birdie putt and stunned the pro-Fowler audience. The 23-year-old Japanese star estimated the crowd was “99 percent” behind Fowler in the final round. 

“That gave me the motivation to go out and do it and win,” he said.

When the putt fell in, the normally stoic Matsuyama pumped his fist.

“The putt I made there was probably the best putt I have ever made in my life,” he said.

Fowler got the crowd back on its feet when he matched Matsuyama’s birdie to send it into overtime. They exchanged pars on the first playoff hole, birdies on the second, and pars on the third.

The two young stars played 18 twice, followed by the par-4 10th, and then Fowler and Matsuyama returned to the scene where everything changed in regulation, the drivable 17th.

This time Fowler chose the right club (3-wood) and made a bad swing, about an hour after he had picked the wrong club and made a great swing.

His tee shot found the water left of the green, and Fowler couldn’t get up-and-down for par to put pressure on Matsuyama.

With the win, Matsuyama is expected to move to 12th in the world. He joined Jordan Spieth as the only players under age 25 with multiple PGA Tour wins. Matsuyama won his first title at the 2014 Memorial Tournament, and now that he captured his second, he admitted he will have re-valuate his goals for the year.

“I'm going to go home tonight and rethink the next goal,” he said.

As crushing a defeat as it was for Fowler, he will no doubt try to take away some positives after nearly winning for the second time so early in the season. One positive is he has time to get over this painful loss before he drives down Magnolia Lane to try and win his first major and move into the “Big 4” conversation with Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day.

“We'll be back soon,” he said. “Don't worry.”

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Rose's Saturday 64 matches Carnoustie Open record

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 1:03 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Rose needed to sink a 14-foot putt on the final hole Friday just to make the cut on the number at The Open.

Freewheeling when he came to the course Saturday, Rose tied the lowest score ever recorded in an Open at Carnoustie.

Entering the weekend nine shots off the lead, the world No. 3 carded a bogey-free, 7-under 64 to at least make things interesting. It won’t be known for several hours how many shots Rose will be behind, but his back-nine 30 gives him an opportunity, if the wind blows 25 mph Sunday as forecast, to challenge the leaders.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

After all, Paul Lawrie was 10 shots back entering the final round here in 1999.

“I think the birdie on 18 last night freed me up, and I’m just very happy to be out on this golf course and not down the road somewhere else this morning,” said Rose, who is at 4-under 209. “So that might have been part of the shift in mindset today. I had nothing to lose from that point of view.”

Rose’s 64 matched Steve Stricker and Richard Green’s record score at Carnoustie (2007).

It also was Rose’s career-low round in a major.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 12:45 pm

Tiger Woods, in search of his 15th career major championship title, started the weekend six off the lead at Carnoustie. We're tracking him in Round 3 of The Open.

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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 12:20 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

Saturday, Day 3 (Times ET)

4:30-7AM (Watch): Sunny skies and birdies were on the menu early in Round 3, as Justin Rose made his way around Carnoustie in 64 strokes. Click here or on the image below to watch.

Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

8:20AM-3PM (Watch): As the skies cleared on Friday afternoon, defending champion Jordan Spieth made a run to try and regain the claret jug. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter and Cameron Smith.

Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 8:30 am

You want to watch the 147th Open? Here’s how you can do it.

Golf Channel and NBC Sports will be televising 182 hours of overall programming from the men's third major of the year at Carnoustie

In addition to the traditional coverage, the two networks will showcase three live alternate feeds: marquee groups, featured holes (our new 3-hole channel) and spotlight action. You can also watch replays of full-day coverage, Thursday-Sunday, in the Golf Channel app, NBC Sports apps, and on  

Here’s the weekly TV schedule, with live stream links in parentheses. You can view all the action on the Golf Channel mobile, as well. Alternate coverage is noted in italics:

(All times Eastern; GC=Golf Channel; NBC=NBC Sports; or check the GLE app)

Monday, July 16

GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (

GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (

GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (

Tuesday, July 17

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Wednesday, July 18

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Thursday, July 19

GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (

GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Friday, July 20

GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Saturday, July 21

GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (

Sunday, July 22

GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM ( Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (