The Golf Channel are highly critical of Rickie Fowler's lay up at 15th hole in final round of Phoenix Open

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The Golf Channel have been highly critical of Rickie Fowler's lay up at the 15th hole in the final round of the 2010 Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale last weekend.

The Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee called the lay up as, “The most shocking play I have seen in 2010,”

Just to recollect, Fowler made a judgement call when he was tied for the lead with compatriot Hunter Mahan, the eventual champion. Fowler had precisely 231 yards to go and would have needed to hit about a 3 iron from the fairway and carry it 210 yards over the water.

Prior to playing his shot, Fowler's two playing partners from further away went for the green so did the 21-year-old decide to play safe?

Rickie stated,

"I kind of told myself that I didn’t really want to go for it unless I had about a 5-iron in, which I would feel more comfortable hitting it to that pin with the pin being in the front. It’s not very wide. The miss right and the miss left, obviously there’s water, but missing the green right or left, the up-and-down wasn’t very easy. So I felt giving myself that wedge from the middle of the fairway was my best chance at making an easy birdie."

It’s hard to argue with Fowler’s explanation. It sounds as though this talented young man had thought things very carefully through and went for what he confidently thought was the percentage shot. Did he make bogey and did he drop any shots over the closing holes? No.

This golfer was mentally playing to his strengths and how he  carefully thought he was going to best make birdie four. He was not necessarily having a negative thought about dunking it in the water as inferred by THe Golf Channel. If he had been successful, he would have taken the plaudits and been deemed a strategic golfer of the highest order. There has been far too much 'analysis by paralysis' on this ocasion, get over it Brandel!

Fowler is sticking to his guns about the decision and has no need to be defensive about this on Twitter. Whether Tiger or Phil would have laid up is irrelevant.  Butt out Brandel Chamble, on the basis of, "one singer, one song "and "no back seat driving",

Rickie made the decision and he will continue as a rookie professional to make such judgements and learn from these as his golf career develops. What he does not need is someone, who is not of his golf standard, making harsh comments of such judgement calls at such an early stage in his career. Give the guy a break!

The Ed., GolfbloggeUK

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