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Haas leads the way in Phoenix as Spieth struggles early

02 February 2018

For the second consecutive week, it took extra holes and an additional day to decide the outcome of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in La Jolla.

The 25-year-old was able to right his round late, though, landing a 157-yard approach on the fifth hole within four feet and converting the birdie.

Haas birdied holes 12 and 13, made a 20-footer for eagle on the par-five 15th and drove to a metre away to set up another birdie on the par-three 16th, the stadium hole that tripped up Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas. Fowler bogeyed it in a 66 that left him tied with Billy Horschel, Bryson DeChambeau, Chris Kirk and Chesson Hadley.

Fowler first met Griffin and his family at the 2013 Phoenix Open when Fowler was informed Griffin had been diagnosed at birth with a rare airway disorder. See you soon! It was Griffin's last tweet.

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One player who will be roared on is the popular three-time champion Phil Mickelson, who went to Arizona State University, as he makes his 29th appearance at the event (a joint record).

This year Matsuyama will have his work cut out as the field is impressive. "Yeah, I had kind of a rough December, I had mono and that wasn't good, but I was fine, I got to Hawaii and wanted to get out there and get some good on-course reps", Spieth said. Palmer accomplished the feat from 1961-63. This event debuted in 1932 as the Arizona Open, and it has been decided by a playoff in each of the last two years.

"I'm going to do my best this year to three-peat and if I was fortunate enough to do that, I think I would join the "King", Arnold Palmer, as the only three-peat victor". In 2015, he finished T10, followed that up with a T12, and then four under-par rounds past year gave landed him at T12th.

A final round 78 was obviously disappointing but scores of 69-71-73 will be a source of encouragement heading to TPC Scottsdale, a course which historically gives up much lower scoring.

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World number two and Spaniard Jon Rahm is a stroke further back at four under following his opening-round 67.

"He was just a huge fan of the game", Fowler said. They finished Monday morning with the Aussie Day, the former world No. 1, winning on the sixth extra hole for his first victory since 2016.

Scotland's Martin Laird is four shots behind Haas on three under.

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Haas leads the way in Phoenix as Spieth struggles early