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Tour Rundown: Fowler in Phoenix, DJ surges in Saudi Arabia

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With the big NFL game on tap, professional golf was hard-pressed to offer anything dramatic enough to capture the viewing public’s attention. Well, they did so, in spades. Haotong Li and Dustin Johnson did battle in Saudi Arabia, while Rickie Fowler matched wits with rain, the rule book, bad decisions, and Branden Grace in Scottsdale. Oh, and the Web.Com tour let it fly high in the Andes.

For a quick rundown of all things tour, read on, friends!

PGA Tour: Phoenix Open goes to Orange Crush

Rickie Fowler continues to find interesting ways to get himself in contention at the Phoenix Open. In 2019, Fowler shot the low daily round on Thursday and Saturday, and was one stroke removed from that honor on Friday. That magnificence afforded him a four-stroke cushion over Matt Kuchar after 54 holes. The question on everyone’s minds was, could BDR (the acronym for his special, 16th-hole nickname, bestowed by special fans) finally lockdown a win, on a course he owns, against a strong field? If the header for this section wasn’t enough of a spoiler, well…

Blame it on the weather. Blame it on the rules. Blame it on … oh, wait, Rickie won! After two runner-up finishes in Scottsdale, the mod Californian avoided an unthinkable collapse with birdies on two of his final four holes. Despite the double bogey at the 5th, in spite of the inexplicable triple bogey at the 11th, and the bogey at 12, Fowler dug deep and benefited from a Branden Grace collapse. What’s that? Well, as Fowler foundered, Grace stood three under on the day an 16-under for the tournament. Unable to take advantage of the two closing birdie holes (15 and 17), Grace finished solo second at 15 under. Fowler’s 17-under total allowed him to finally taste victory in the desert. Will it lead to his first, career major title? This writer says aye.

European Tour: Inaugural Saudi International to world’s number-three player, Dustin Johnson

There was a story a minute this week in the middle east. From Sergio Garcia’s disqualification, to Li Haotong’s four-eagle performance in round three, pundits found plenty of material to fill columns and posts. Although Garcia’s week ended early, Li hung around until the 72nd hole. He began the day tied with Dustin Johnson for the lead, but was unable to separate by more than one stroke as the pair approached the turn. A bogey-birdie exchange sent the lead to Johnson, and he ran with it. The 2016 US Open champion offset two back-nine bogeys with a quartet of birdies.

Li, meanwhile, bogeyed three of his first five holes on the inward half, and could only narrow the gap to two strokes by day’s end. Haotong finds himself in the enviable/unenviable position of being able to win against lesser competition, but unable to stand tall against the world’s best. If he hopes to challenge at major events, he’ll need to overcome that mental block. England’s Tom Lewis began the day with the hottest of hand, making birdie on his opening five holes. He cooled off to even-par the rest of the way, finishing third alone at 16 under, one behind Li and three behind the champion.

Web.Com Tour: CCB Championship and Mark Anderson survive Saturday lightning delay

The Country Club de Bogota championship ran straight into a round-ending lightning delay on Saturday, necessitating 27 holes for the leaders on Sunday. The organizers and the competitors were up to the task, and the event reached 72 holes on schedule. Not struck by lightning, but the owner of lightning in a bottle, was Maryland’s Mark Anderson. The South Carolina alum opened the week with an eight-birdie 62 and kept the pedal floored.

A Friday 71 was the week’s only hiccough, but the 32-year old closed with 3 birdies over the final four holes to preserve the top spot. Came the weekend, and Anderson went to work. Scores of 66-67 were exceeded by only Drew Weaver (by one stroke.) Weaver ultimately took the second spot on the podium, but the tournament belonged to Anderson. His 17-under effort on the week gave him a four-shot cushion. The win moved Anderson into second place on The 25, the season-long chase for PGA Tour cards.

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Ronald Montesano writes for GolfWRX.com from western New York. He dabbles in coaching golf and teaching Spanish, in addition to scribbling columns on all aspects of golf, from apparel to architecture, from equipment to travel. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @buffalogolfer.

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  1. john

    Feb 6, 2019 at 5:30 am

    Justin Rose wins his first tournament using new clubs and now Rickie wins his first tournament after switching from the Pro V1 to the TP5. Not sure what this means but Trump is probably to blame. ;0)

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Tour Photo Galleries

10 interesting photos from Tuesday & Wednesday at the U.S. Open

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links!

We have plenty of general galleries packed with a bundle of great photos in our forums, as well as specialized and WITB galleries for you to enjoy. Here are ten interesting photos from Tuesday and Wednesday to get you fired up ahead of today’s opening round!

Bernd Wiesberger testing the new Aldila Rip X proto shaft.

Checking out Paul Casey’s custom Mizuno irons.

New Mitsubishi iron shaft.

Tiger Woods’ famed and trusty Scotty.

Justin Rose rocking Nike’s Roshe G Tour shoes from their “No Denim Allowed” pack at Pebble this week.

Amateur Matt Parziale gaming the “old school” ProForce V2 shaft in his 3W.

Up-close and personal with Kodai Ichihara’s wedges.

Rickie Fowler showing off the Cobra x CRU’s Headcover from Puma’s U.S. Open Patriot Pack.

Brett Drewitt getting into the spirit of things this week with appropriate wedge stampings at Pebble Beach.

Austin Eckroat’s Ping Redwood flat-stick has been impressing our members in our forums.

Check out all of Tuesday’s photos in our forums.

Check out all of Wednesday’s photos in our forums.

 

 

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Tour Photo Galleries

Wednesday’s photos from the 2019 U.S. Open

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GolfWRX is live from famed Pebble Beach for the 2019 U.S. Open.

From Wednesday’s pre-tournament action on the Monterey Peninsula, we have four general galleries, a Renato Paratore WITB, and a very cool look at Paul Casey’s Mizuno irons.

Check out links to all our photos from Wednesday, below.

General galleries

Special galleries

See Monday’s photos here

See Tuesday’s photos here

See what GolfWRXers are saying about the shots from Pebble in the discussion thread.

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Tour Photo Galleries

Tuesday’s photos from the 2019 U.S. Open

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GolfWRX is live from famed Pebble Beach for the 2019 U.S. Open.

From Tuesday’s pre-tournament action on the Monterey Peninsula, we have four general galleries, a few WITBs (including Tiger Woods), additional looks at Titleist’s new 620 and T100 irons, and an intriguing new shaft from Mitsubishi.

Check out links to all our photos from Tuesday, below.

General galleries

Special galleries

See Monday’s photos here

See what GolfWRXers are saying about the shots from Pebble in the discussion thread.

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