Hunter finds his quarry at Scottsdale

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Hunter Mahan won the Waste Management Phoenix Open by just one stroke over up-and-coming Rickie Fowler at Scottsdale yesterday.

Mahan shot bogey-free rounds of 65 on both Saturday and Sunday, with a fourth-round tally of four birdies and an eagle on the 13th enough to see the American come home 16-under. And the 27-year-old, who hasn't won in the last two years, was understandably ebullient to have taken victory.

"It's just finding a way to win. I just haven't been able to do it," Mahan commented. "So obviously it feels great to get off the year on my fifth tournament to win. It gives me a lot of confidence in myself that I'm doing the right things in my game, and it feels great, it really does."

With three birdies and no bogeys Fowler made no real mistakes on Sunday, but a birdie putt miss on the final hole meant he lost out on a playoff with Mahan. That might leave the 21-year-old rookie disappointed, but Fowler can take heart in a second place finish on just his sixth PGA Tour event.

Last year's PGA Championship winner, South Korea's YE Yang was in third place on 14-under, with Australia's Robert Allenby tying for eighth place on 11-under. Brandt Snedeker had led going into the final round, but he crumbled in spectacular fashion on Sunday, four bogeys and then a pair of double bogeys on the 17th and 18th hole compounding the American's utter misery. He finished seven-over-par on the day, seven-under in total, tying for 42nd place.

The best European performance came from Spain's Alvaro Quiroz, who finished tied for 14th, ten-under after recovering from a woeful start on Sunday, carding a pair of double-bogeys on the opening two holes. Quiroz went on to score seven birdies - and a pair of bogeys, finishing the round one-under.

Last week's Accenture Match Play Champion, England's Ian Poulter, finished tied for 24th place, nine-under. World No. 3 Phil Mickelson finished on the same score, and never looked like a real contender at the Arizona competition. The Californian has had a slow start to the season and many were tipping him to catch-fire here, but the 39-year-old was adequate without ever dazzling on Sunday after a poor round on Saturday, when he racked up four bogeys and three birdies.



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