Bizarre penalty: Two balls in the water on 11 and Rickie Fowler's lead vanishes

Michael Chow/USA TODAY Network

Bizarre penalty: Two balls in the water on 11 and Rickie Fowler's lead vanishes

PGA Tour

Bizarre penalty: Two balls in the water on 11 and Rickie Fowler's lead vanishes

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Rickie Fowler, who started the day with a four-shot lead over Matt Kuchar, maintained that lead through 10 holes during the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale.

He then extended it to five shots after a birdie on 10.

But then a bizarre sequence struck on the 11th hole.

After finding the right rough with his tee shot, Fowler’s second shot missed short and right of the green. He third shot, a pitch, rolled across the green and into a lake left and behind the green. He opted to drop from behind the green, near where the ball crossed into the penalty area.

After dropping twice and having the ball roll back into the water, Fowler placed the ball on the short grass and prepared to play what would be his fifth shot. But after Fowler walked up to the green to survey his shot, his new ball rolled back several feet and into the water.

After consulting with PGA Tour rules official Slugger White, it was deemed that Fowler’s ball had been at rest after he placed it, meaning he had to take another penalty shot, same as if he had hit it into the water. Fowler had to drop again twice, then place the ball again. From there he was hitting his sixth shot.

Fowler chipped on and made a 17-foot putt for a triple-bogey seven. He went from his third swing to his sixth with nothing but penalties and drops between them.

That, coupled with a birdie on 12 by Branden Grace, erased Fowler’s lead.

Earlier in the day, Fowler saved par after needing to hit a shot off the cart path on No. 3. But on the fifth hole, he took double bogey after his ball ended up behind a bush. That dropped him to 18-under but at that time still three ahead of Kuchar, who bogeyed that same hole.

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