Fowler says it's 'just a matter of time' before he wins in Phoenix
American star Rickie Fowler is confident it is only a matter of time before he wins the Phoenix Open.
Fowler – a four-time PGA Tour champion – lost a play-off to Hideki Matsuyama at TPC Scottsdale in 2016.
The 29-year-old jumped out of the gates on Thursday, carding a five-under-par 67 to be close to the top of the leaderboard.
"After the first couple years here, I just figured it was a matter of time before I was the last one standing on Sunday," Fowler said after his first round.
"We have given ourselves some pretty good chances. Losing to Hideki two years ago in the playoff. It's just a matter of time, I know I can win here and sometimes you just got to be in the right place at the right time or not get a bad kick on 17, but we're going to get one."
Having started round one on the back nine, Fowler kick-started his day with an eagle on the par-five 15th hole.
He then bogeyed the 16th, but finished his opening nine with birdies on 17 and 18.
"Just solid day," Fowler said. "I think some good and bad all around. Managed the mistakes properly, made some good putts, so just nice to get off to a good start here.
"Looking forward to getting kind of back in the mix after not being around for the weekend last week and off to a good start. Obviously, you can't win it the first couple days, but you can obviously take yourself out of it."
Playing in the morning, Fowler did not have to endure the full effect of the par-three 16th raucous crowd. But Fowler still said he felt their impact and expects it to continue ramping up throughout the week.
"I think tomorrow [Friday] may drown, the more sound may drown some people out," Fowler said. "There was actually some rowdy fans this morning on 16. And I may be somewhat of a fan favourite, but they weren't holding back.
"I was a little disappointed in some of the stuff that was said and I don't want much negativity — the normal boos for missing a green, that's fine, but leave the heckling to a minimum and make it fun, support the guys out playing and, no, it will be good.
"Like I said, tomorrow's definitely going to be louder, Saturday afternoon's a beauty, but yeah, just hit better shots there, you'll have more fun."