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Shane Bacon

Arizona loves Rickie Fowler, and Fowler loves Arizona

Shane Bacon
Devil Ball Golf

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SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. -- It's hard not to like a kid like Rickie Fowler. After putting the finishing touches on a nine-under 62 on Saturday, his lowest round as a professional by two shots, he signed his scorecard, walked out of the tent and immediately slide between two tight buildings to find a bathroom.

After taking the easier walk around the building on his way back to reporters, Fowler said with a smile, "Going that way was way easier!"

Fowler's second round at the Waste Management Open showed exactly why Arizona is quickly becoming Rickie's favorite state. At the Frys.com Open two years ago, just Fowler's second tournament as a professional, the youngster went to a playoff at Grayhawk, just up the street from TPC Scottsdale. Then, a year ago, Fowler finished second again in the Grand Canyon State, at this event.

Now, he's in the hunt that was helped with a back nine of 29, tying the lowest ever score on the back nine at TPC Scottsdale. He's 10-under, but more importantly, he seems to embrace this party-type atmosphere and the fans love it.

On Saturday, in the midst of a second round that could define Fowler as a golfer, he had the presence of mind to pull out 15 or so green Puma hats to toss in the crowd before he calmly strolled to the green and made his sixth birdie of the day.

"I love 16. I love playing in there. It doesn't matter if they're screaming and yelling or if they're dead silent. It's kind of what I live for. I love playing in front of people and love the crowd."

If it was apparent before, it's obviously clear now; the fans love Fowler too, and it'll continue if he can string together two more solid rounds.

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