Phoenix Open: Final pairing a familiar one; Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar, Justin Thomas to tee off together

first_imgBut, the match play format then is a lot different than how and what the trio will be playing for Sunday. In the final round, the three will likely go toe-to-toe for a chance to hoist the trophy on “The Greatest Show on Grass.”Fowler is playing to break a dreaded streak. He’s posted an over-par score in the final round following each of his previous six 54-hole leads or co-leads, and has only converted that lead into a win once. Kuchar wants to become the first player to win three times on the PGA Tour this season and Thomas is searching for his 10th tour championship. Related News SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar and Justin Thomas all know each other well.Fowler and Thomas are best friends, neighbors and housemates while playing the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The two also helped the United States to a Presidents Cup win in 2017. They teamed up to give the U.S. a commanding lead over the international team and helped the States claim its seventh consecutive title — Kuchar was right there with them. Thomas started the tournament shooting 7-under 64, but each day since he’s scores have gotten higher and higher — instead of lower and lower. He’ll need to pull out all the stops and resist temptation to playfully sabotage his roommate.When asked if he was going o set Fowler’s alarm for 3:30 a.m. or something like that, Thomas said: “No, if I’m going to beat him, I want to do it the right way.”The final pairing will tee off at 10:45 a.m. local time. Phoenix Open: Rickie Fowler enters final round in charge; Matt Kuchar, Justin Thomas trail But, a win for any will be challenging.Fowler is happy with his play this week, especially after making adjustments to his swing, which is starting to pay off. His four-shot lead at 20 under was just two shy of the 54-hole record since the tournament moved to TPC Scottsdale in 1987.”(I’ve) done a good job of kind of everything this week,” Fowler said. “Nothing’s standing out as super special, just playing solid golf and when I’ve gotten into trouble been able to get the ball up-and-down most of the time, been putting well and hitting a lot of good putts as far as the ones that I miss they’re more just misreads, if anything.”A 7-under 64 on Saturday gave @RickieFowler his seventh career 54-hole lead/co-lead @WMPhoenixOpen.Rickie’s highlights from the third round:— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 3, 2019While Fowler remains modest, his competition has noticed what’s been working well for the four-time tour winner.”He’s playing great golf, certainly he’s going to be the player to beat, especially if he keeps up on the form he’s on,” Kuchar said. “But however I feel like my form’s pretty good as well. And if I can try to make a run, I know that there’s nothing — I can’t control what Rickie’s going to do, I can only control what I can do and try to keep playing the golf I’ve been playing of late.”Kuchar used a bogey-free round to move into second place (16 under). But, he’ll have to hold off Thomas, who won twice in 2018, and defending Phoenix Open champion Gary Woodland and fan-favorite Bubba Watson, who are both tied for sixth (12 under).”It would be amazing to get three wins this early,” Kuchar said. “It had been a number of years since I found the winners circle, to have gotten two in this year has been amazing. My game’s been good, last year was frustrating … but I think the frustrating part was it felt like I was doing a lot of good things and not seeing results … but nice to see things have turned around and get rewarded with a couple wins.”Matt Kuchar is seeking to become the first three-time winner this season.Highlights from his 19th straight round at par or better:— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 3, 2019Thomas’ win, he said, may take something special.”If [Rickie] keeps driving it like this he’s going to be tough to catch,” he added. “There’s a good chance it might take something special for me tomorrow, but I like the fact at least that I got my way in that final group and I’m going to know what he’s doing and hopefully I can get off to a hot start and maybe put a little bit of heat on him.”last_img

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