The last time Fowler was paired with Tiger Woods in the final round of a PGA Tour event was at last year’s Memorial. Woods won, Fowler shot the aforementioned score and was never a factor.
But Monday at Bay Hill, Fowler plodded along nicely well into the final nine holes and pulled to within two shots at one point. A key unforced error came when Fowler made bogey on the par-4 15th hole with a chance to pull within a shot. Instead, Fowler and Woods matched bogeys on the hole and Woods stayed up by two.
Fowler’s Waterloo came on the par-5 16th hole from the middle of the fairway. With Woods in a fairway bunker, Fowler’s approach found the water. Woods then found the middle of the green with his approach. After taking a drop, Fowler chunked his next shot into the middle of the water again. He then hit onto the green and two putted for triple-bogey 8.
“I was swinging it well, I made a few putts and trying to put a little pressure on him, let him know I was there,” Fowler said. “Just would like to have that 7-iron back on 16. Just kind of a touch heavy. So unfortunate to make that swing at the time.”
“I felt really comfortable out there,” Fowler said. “That’s the best I felt in the final group.”