Rickie Fowler was on the verge of coasting to a win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open until he got into trouble on the 11th hole at TPC Scottsdale.
After coming up short with his second shot to the par 4, Fowler’s 50-yard second shot hit the green, rolled off the green, down a hill, around a bunker and into the water hazard behind the green. Fowler then had to take a penalty stroke to take relief from the penalty area — the new name for a water hazard — to hit his fourth shot. Fowler took a drop and then walked up the hill to assess his fourth shot.
Then Fowler got a tremendously bad break.
Rickie Fowler has made a triple bogey 7.
The lead is down to 1. pic.twitter.com/1gZxTfJvVJ
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 3, 2019
As Fowler was standing up near the green, Fowler’s ball, while at rest, rolled back down the grass and into the hazard. After calling in Slugger White from the PGA Tour to go through the situation, White explained Fowler’s ball was in play after the drop because it was at rest. The end result was Fowler would have to take another one-stroke penalty and re-drop his ball where the second ball went in the water.
It’s a colossally bad break for Fowler, who was up five shots at the time. He went from hitting 3 shy of the green to suddenly hitting 6. Even though he didn’t hit a fourth shot after the initial drop, under the Rules of Golf, Fowler is considered to have needed to hit his ball out of the hazard and take a penalty stroke, which was his fifth stroke. So, Fowler hit 6 after his second drop, then made 7 for a triple bogey.