After late comeback, Fowler fumbles in extra holes

Rickie Fowler is headed home after a 19-hole loss to Carl Pettersson in the first round.

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MARANA, Ariz. – Rickie Fowler’s rally at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship was interrupted by darkness, then halted by a hole that gave him fits in the first round.

Fowler was 1 down with one hole remaining to Carl Pettersson when their match was suspended Thursday evening. They returned Friday morning to tee off at No. 18. Both players found the fairway. Pettersson hit his approach first, knocking it into a greenside bunker. Fowler hit his shot to 2 feet for a conceded birdie. The match was extended to extra holes when Pettersson’s bunker shot barely missed the hole.

Extra-hole matches usually continue at Dove Mountain’s first hole. Their match went to the 10th because front-nine hole locations already had been changed for the second round, which began Friday morning.

Fowler blocked his tee shot into the desert, took a penalty drop and chunked his next shot. He conceded the hole when Pettersson rolled his 40-foot birdie putt to 3 feet and Fowler failed to chip in for bogey.

“I knew it was going to be a tough match,” Pettersson said.

Fowler double-bogeyed the 10th hole both times he played it in their match, sending two tee shots with his driver into the desert right of the fairway. He lost the hole with double bogey both times. “I hit the same tee shot both times,” Fowler said. “Just a couple bad swings at the wrong time.”

Pettersson was 3 up with six holes left in their match. Fowler won the next hole with par, then went 1 down with a birdie at 15. Pettersson birdied the par-3 16th to return to 2 up, but Fowler birdied the final two holes to force overtime.

This was the second time Pettersson advanced past the first round in four Match Play appearances. Fowler has lost in the first round two consecutive years after advancing to the Round of 16 in his Match Play debut.

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