Rickie Fowler learned the unspoken thing about getting red hot on the golf course and climbing into the Top 5 of the world rankings – everyone comes gunning for you.
Such was the case on Sunday in Arizona as Hikdeki Matsuyama rallied from behind and Fowler coughed up the lead late, with the Japanese player winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open on the fourth hole of a playoff.
It is Matsuyama’s second win on the PGA Tour and gives him two championships in two playoffs.
Fowler had a two-stroke lead headed to the 17th, but put two balls in the water to bogey the hole while Matsuyama birdied it. Matsuyama went first and birdied 18, but Fowler did likewise.
Both men parred the first three holes of the playoff before Fowler slipped up with a birdie on No. 17 to come up short. Each shot a 65, a 70, a 68, and a 70 over the four days.
Harris English was a birdie on 18 and a par on 16 away from making it a three-man playoff. He finished at 12-under, closing with a 66.
Bubba Watson, who had to backpedal on an earlier quote that he only played the tournament because of his sponsors, shot a closing-round 66 to finish tied for 14th.
Perennial fan favorite Phil Mickelson tied for 11th.