MARANA, Ariz. (AP) - Rickie Fowler has a simple approach at the Match Play Championship.
“You have got to beat whoever you play in match play or else you’re going home,” Fowler said Thursday after sending another top player packing.
After Fowler drove left into the desert and lost the short, par-4 15th, he squared the match with a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-3 16th. He won the par-4 17th with a par and finished off Walker with an 8-foot par putt on the par-4 18th.
“It’s just a couple of bounces here and there - either way, both guys,” Walker said.
“That’s just kind of the stuff that happens,” Walker said. “He got to watch mine go down there and he ended up making it.”
Fowler knew he had some margin for error.
“I’ve seen that kick before and I knew I had room over there,” Fowler said. “I was playing a club that was landing maybe front edge and I did miss it a little right of my line, but I knew I had somewhat of a bank there.”
He took advantage of the break by making the putt.
“I told my caddie, ‘I’m going to make this one.’ I knew I needed to,” Fowler said.
He took the lead on No. 17, getting up-and-down for par from the back fringe. Walker drove into the right rough and his approach went left down a steep slope.
“I wanted it to cut a little more,” Walker said. “I think it landed right distance-wise, but it was left and took a hard kick to the left.”