Tearful Fowler rues dramatic play-off loss
A dejected Rickie Fowler was overcome with emotion after watching his hopes fade as he lost to Hideki Matsuyama following four play-off holes at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Last year’s runner-up Matsuyama reigned supreme on Sunday, but world number four Fowler was left to rue two shots that found the water in Scottsdale.
Fowler led by two strokes with two holes to play in regulation before his ball ran into the water, allowing Matsuyama the opportunity to eventually force a play-off.
“Usually don’t expect it to hit on the downslope and then go 360,” said the 23-year-old, who finished level at 14 under alongside the Japanese star after 72 holes. “So that was a bit unfortunate. I hit it right on line, hit it exactly where I was looking.
“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.”
The same thing happened to Fowler at the fourth additional hole, albeit with a three-wood.
Fowler ended up bogeying the hole as Matsuyama scored par for his second PGA Tour title.
And Fowler, who suffered his second play-off defeat after losing out to Troy Matteson at the 2009 Frys.com Open, could not hide his emotion afterwards.
“It’s gonna hurt,” said Fowler. “Because I felt like I had it, especially with the way I was swinging.”
Before walking out of his news conference, Fowler added: “The hard part is having, you know, all my friends and family and grandpa and my dad who haven’t seen me win.
“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.”