Emergency 9: Fantasy advice for Waste Management Phoenix Open
Here are nine tidbits from the third round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open that gamers can use tomorrow, this weekend or down the road. Be looking for the Emergency 9 shortly after the close of play of each round of the tournament. Sitting Pretty Rickie Fowler continues his dominance at the TPC Scottsdale with his 13th-consecutive round in red figures. He birdied his last three holes to take the 54-hole lead all by himself. Tomorrow he will look to add his third consecutive top-four finish with his first victory in Phoenix. Rahm-bunctious Last week I fired him in the One & Done game and paid the price as his weekend at Torrey Pines went up in smoke. He's proving what a stud he is as he bounced back this week with three rounds of 68 or lower, including Saturday's 65. No offense to the others chasing but I wouldn't mind a Fowler-Rahm duel on the back nine on Sunday in a Ryder Cup year! The Scientist Bryson DeChambeau thought his irons were off a bit recently and sure enough, according to him, they were. He was hitting it so well that he wore out the grooves in the center of the clubface. He stuck a new set of irons in the back this week and he sits one out of the lead heading into Sunday. In DeChambeau's only win last summer he fired 65 to win the John Deere Classic so he'll know what it takes to get it done. Club Choices Xander Schauffele ditched Taylor Made for Callaway in the "off season". After winning two events, including The TOUR Championship, gamers were allowed to be puzzled. Each round this week has been one lower and if that trend (68, 67 and 66) continues tomorrow, gamers will have to agree that it's not the sticks, but the guy swinging them. Stay tuned! Moving Day Beau Hossler has been knocking. Last week after 54 holes he sat T5 before a final round 79 knocked him to T35. He's put himself in position again for the second Sunday in a row after he tied the lowest round of the day with 64. His excellent performance jumped him 25 places to T8 and he'll have a chance, quickly, to erase the memories of last week. Uncharted Territory Phil Mickelson is looking to become the first, four-time winner at WMPO in his 30th attempt. He backed up Friday's 65 with a very solid 66 on Sunday and is only two shots back. There's no doubt that the crowd favorite will be in the final round but he hasn't closed the deal since 2013. At 47, he still wouldn't be the oldest winner. That title goes to Kenny Perry (48). Moving Day Wrong Way Here's how tight the field is entering the final day: Vaughn Taylor carded 70 (-1) and dropped 12 spots from T8 to 20th. ... Last year's 54-hole leader Byeong Hun An posted 72 and dropped from T8 to T26. Backdoor Cracked Pro gamers will point out that Matt Kuchar matched his career-best round with 64 on Saturday to move up 23 spots to T14. If there is anyone on TOUR you would bet your lunch money on sneaking into the top 10 in the final round, there's no doubt it's Kuchar. That shouldn't change tomorrow! ... Alex Noren moved up 19 spots to T18 with 65 so his excellent play continues after his playoff loss last week. Roller Coaster For those of you thinking that you need to get your eyes checked, you don't, as Justin Thomas really had THAT round. He opened the day with six consecutive birdies yet played his final 12 holes in six-over par. He's had absolutely zero issues going low before and will need to pop for a special one tomorrow to sneak in the top 10. If you haven't burned him yet, there's no reason doing so for tomorrow. Live to fight another day!
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