Rickie Fowler birdied the final four holes to post a 6-under-par 65 in Friday’s second round and take the lead in the Waste Management Phoenix Open at the Tournament Players Club of Scottsdale, Ariz.
Fowler sits at 13-under 129 for the tournament, a stroke ahead of fellow first-round co-leader Justin Thomas, who posted 66.
This might be the ideal setting for Fowler with the weekend competition about to heat up.
“I definitely developed my own game plan over the first, say, five years or so here, but I enjoy it, I’m looking forward to a rowdy crowd,” Fowler said.
Fowler had the place buzzing by the time he came down the stretch Friday. He rolled in an 11-foot putt on No. 16, sunk a 14-footer at No. 17 and drained one from about nine feet on the 18th hole. The final birdie capped a 5-under-par 31 on the back nine.
Thomas is in good shape as well, even though he didn’t convert late in Friday’s round.
“It’s nice to finally get off to a good start at this event,” Thomas said. “But there’s a lot of golf left, and I just need to continue to do what I’m doing and stay positive and patient and just see if we can keep doing it.”
Fowler and Thomas are sharing a house during the tournament.
South Africa’s Branden Grace (64) and Trey Mullinax (64) tied for the best round of the day and moved into a tie for third place at 11 under.