First at the Frys.com Open last October and again just this weekend at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, it seems desert courses set up well for the 21-year-old Fowler. In fact, the rowdy 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale probably best suited Fowlers game since he hit it closer to the pin than any other Tour player throughout the week.
Rickie Fowler stepped to up to the par-3, 16th hole in Round 4 of the Waste Management Phoenix Open needing to hit it within 18 feet of the hole to win the inaugural “Going for the Green” closest-to-the-pin contest, donating $25,000 to Keep America Beautiful in Fowler’s name. The 21-year-old TOUR rookie’s cumulative score of 45 feet, 3 inches beat out contender, Scott Verplank by 3 feet 6 inches.
In its first year as title sponsor, Waste Management introduced the "Going for the Green" contest offering to donate $25,000 to Keep America Beautiful in the name of the player who is closest to the pin at the par 3, 16th. The player’s distance to the hole each round was added together to reach a cumulative total. Of the proceeds, 50 percent will go to the local Keep Phoenix Beautiful chapter and 50 percent will go to Keep America Beautiful’s national ThinkGreen grant in Fowler’s name.
“The ‘Going for the Green’ contest is only one of the exciting initiatives we will be introducing to the Waste Management Phoenix Open and PGA TOUR over the next several years as title sponsors,” said David Steiner, CEO, Waste Management. “We will continue to implement smart solutions to turn waste into resource at the tournament and showcase Think Green solutions that encourage social responsibility and a renewed commitment to leaving the planet in better condition for generations to come. We proudly congratulate Rickie Fowler as the first “Going for the Green” winner.”
Coming in second for the “Going for the Green” contest was Scott Verplank hitting a cumulative score of 48 feet, 9 inches. Third and fourth place were Ryan Moore 54 feet, 10 inches, and Johnson Wagner 59 feet, 4 inches, followed by Mark Wilson at fifth with a cumulative score of 60 feet, 8 inches.
Hunter Mahan shot 65-65 on the weekend to beat Fowler by one shot to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Fowler’s second place finish is his second runner-up finish of his young career, both in Arizona.