Fowler motivated for Phoenix win

03 February 2018 21:15:47 GMTPlus11

Rickie Fowler was in a confident mood after posting his second five-under-par 66 of the week to claim a share of the halfway lead in the WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale.

The 29-year-old and his fellow American Bryson DeChambeau head into the weekend with no fewer than 16 player within three shots of their 10-under 132 lead, but Fowler's focus was on his own game and its compatibility with this week's challenge.

"I just feel very comfortable on this golf course," he said of a venue where he has twice been runner-up and was fourth last year. "This is a place that, from the first couple times I played it, I knew it was a matter of time. I just know I can win here."

Fowler has dedicated his performance to Griffin Connell, a local boy with a rare health disorder, who he had befriended over the last five years.

"Griffin passed away last week," Fowler explained. "I claimed him as my number one fan because of how into it he was and the support that he gave us. He was pretty special.

"His family are out here and able to spend some time watching the golf, at the tournament where Griffin had some great times and great memories. We're going to miss him. Griffin definitely touched a lot of our lives."

Fowler's most recent win came in the Hero World Challenge before Christmas. It's an unofficial event, but one with an elite field which Fowler defeated by four strokes thanks to a blistering final round of 61. It is another memory he is utilising this week.

"Once we started making birdies there, the whole game plan was keep going," he added. "Just keep the pedal down."

Fowler is 1001.00 to win the tournament outright and 2.20 to triumph in his third round three-ball against Daniel Berger and Bryson DeChambeau.

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