A missed cut at the Farmers Insurance Open should not be cause for alarm.
At one under, the Offaly man clipped his shot to four feet on the 153 yard hole and birdied to move to two-under having started on the 10th, before finishing on one under. "I've been struggling", he said after making five birdies, an eagle, and no bogeys at sun-drenched TPC Scottsdale.
Fowler hit a 66 and sits alongside Billy Horschel, Bryson DeChambeau, Chesson Hadley and Chris Kirk. It was also really nice to see Tiger Woods make the weekend and finish in the Top 25. "One of those days where I could have easily three-putted that if it had run by, but it went in and saved two shots there, basically". This year, however, the party seems to have started a bit early. "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.
This year, Matsuyama faces some familiar competition when he tees off on the 10th hole on Thursday with Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson.
Fowler is now the +550 favorite just ahead of Rahm at +700 (Rahm is three back of Haas). He finished in a tie for 16th previous year, but his game has improved since then.
The only blemish came at the Coliseum-like par-3 16th as Fowler found the front-right greenside bunker and then failed to get up and down from a semi-plugged lie. Mickelson is without a tour win in almost four years, but what a venue to end this drought as he seeks to become the first player to win the tournament four times (50/1).
World number two Jon Rahm of Spain joined two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, Brian Gay, Vaughn Taylor and Gary Woodland on 67.
"I was a little disappointed in some of the stuff that was said", Fowler said about the stadium setting.
Scotland's Martin Laird is four shots behind Haas on three under.