Entertaiment

Fowler takes one-shot lead at Phoenix Open

Fowler takes one-shot lead at Phoenix Open

Then he survived the one hole playoff with Chez Reavie.

It had been almost 10 years since Reavie's first and only win to date on the PGA Tour when successful at the 2008 Canadian Open but when he birdied his final two holes including one from 25 feet at the last he had joined Woodland at 18 under par and the door was open for win number two.

2 A solid short game is crucial everywhere.

At that time, Captain Jim Furyk will have his first eight players - automatic qualifiers.

Nonetheless, a conversion rate of two out of seven tournaments is sure to be something of a concern for Fowler who, perhaps surprisingly, still only has four PGA Tour titles to his name. "He's got the ball-striking capabilities to win a Major this year".

The 36-year-old world number 93, seeking his second PGA Tour win, holed a curling 12-foot putt at the last for another to take the tournament to a sudden-death conclusion.

The win couldn't have come at a better time for Woodland, who previous year endured trying times off the course when he and his wife announced that one of their expected twins died before birth.

"My wife kind of surprised me with him", Woodland said. "I think the environment here has really helped me get out of that technical element".

"Just wanted her to know I still love her", Woodland said of the tribute.

He began the final round at TPC Scottsdale in the chasing pack but came through with a glorious 64 to beat Chez Reavie by a single shot. He birdied the second, third, fifth, eighth and ninth holes but also produced a couple of miraculous par saves to keep his round going.

Mickelson almost got into a playoff with Chez Reavie and Gary Woodland on Sunday. A succession of pars followed until he picked up another birdie at the 13th. Instead of giving up, he finished his round with three birdies in his last four holes to force the playoff. Matt Kuchar, who hung around to congratulate Woodland after the victory, said he played nine holes with Woodland on Tuesday before the start of the WMPO and was wowed.

A record crowd of 700,000 people attended the event.

Phil Mickelson, needing an eagle on 18 to tie Woodland, drove left into the church pew bunker and made double bogey.

3 Justin Thomas looks like a future victor in Phoenix.

The 42-time TOUR victor was trying to win for the first time with his brother, Tim, on the bag, and it didn't look out of the realm of possibility when Mickelson birdied holes 15, 16 and 17. It was disappointing to see Thomas lose his cool but hopefully he will learn some valuable lessons from it. Then it's on to the Genesis Open at Riviera, where he went back-to-back in 2008 and 2009. The duo finished three shots clear of fellow Americans Ollie Schniederjans (65) and Brendan Steele (67).

Asia has a new star. He is still searching for his first victory since the 2013 Open Championship. He's hitting just 45.86 percent of the fairways on the season (213th on TOUR) and is -.560 in strokes gained: off-the-tee (179th). "I kept pushing the whole day. I made a nice charge there at the last nine holes and bogey-free on Sunday is very, very good". Other than that, I just couldn't buy a putt. To be honest, I wasn't thinking about the leaderboard.

"On the 13th I knew I was somewhere near the leaders but on 16 I knew I had a two-shot lead". Strokes gained (statistic) has been really good this year, but I feel like I can make a lot of putts and I haven't felt that way in a long time.

Said Brennan Little, Woodland's caddie: "His demeanor has been better". I've been a member on the Asian Tour for a while and I will continue to be a member on the Asian Tour.