- Associated Press - Sunday, June 3, 2012

DUBLIN, OHIO (AP) - On the first hole of Sunday’s final round of the Memorial, Rickie Fowler poured in a 14-foot birdie putt.

The gallery _ a sizable portion of which was clad in neon-bright orange just like Fowler _ went crazy. The fans screamed his name and applauded madly as they stomped off to the second tee.

Marshals had to quiet the crowd down: It seemed that Fowler’s playing partner in the next-to-last group still had a par tap-in left.

That was the only time Tiger Woods was an afterthought all day.

Woods came storming back to shoot a 67 to win his fifth Memorial by two strokes over Andres Romero and Rory Sabbatini.

Fowler, with at least as many fans as Woods in the massive mob that followed every shot of the duo, sagged to a dismal 84.

Despite the pleadings of his resplendent fans, Fowler just couldn’t get anything going.

“It was one of those days. I made a birdie on the first hole. I pulled (a shot) on 2 and just kind of got behind the 8 ball,” he said. “If you’re not hitting your numbers, especially coming down (the stretch) on Sunday, it’s going to separate the men from the boys. Today I was just a little off.”

Here’s how bad it was for the 23-year-old Oklahoma State product, proudly dressed from head to toe in the school’s bright orange: He had eight bogeys, three doubles, five pars and just two birdies.

The 84 _ his worst round on the PGA Tour by five shots _ dropped him from sole possession of third at the start of the day to a tie for 52nd at the end. Two shots off the lead after that birdie on the first hole, he ended up 16 shots back of Woods.

He wasn’t shaken by the four-hour death march of a round. Far from it.

“I’m going to have a lot of Sundays from now on,” he said. I’ve had some bad ones, I’ve had some good ones and it’s not going to be the last bad one.”

Then he turned to a nearby barrier where kids were lined up three and four deep, many dressed like him in Puma hats and shirts with loud colors. He proceeded to sign autographs for almost 30 minutes after one of the most disappointing days of his young life.


TIMES HAVE CHANGED: Woods‘ victory was his 73rd on the PGA Tour, tying him with Memorial founder Jack Nicklaus for second place behind Sam Snead’s 82.

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