Fowler falters down the stretch at Bay Hill

March, 25, 2013

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Rickie Fowler appeared to be in perfect position Monday to make the end of the Arnold Palmer Invitational interesting.

He trailed Tiger Woods by two strokes, hit a perfect drive at the par-5 16th, then saw Woods hit his tee shot in a fairway bunker.

Advantage, Rickie.

But soon it was gone. Fowler's 7-iron from 178 yards came up short and in the water. So did a wedge after a drop. A quadruple bogey-8 combined with Woods' birdie and, just like that, it was over.

"I would just like to have that 7-iron back on 16,'' he said. "Just kind of a touch heavy. And I had a perfect club there, so just unfortunate to make that swing at that time. If we had a good shot in there, would have put a little pressure on him coming into the last two holes."

Fowler ended up in a tie for third, five strokes back.

Justin Rose managed a third top-10 on the PGA Tour this season, finishing two strokes back of Tiger. He shot a final-round 70 and was doomed by Saturday's 72 -- when Woods was six strokes better than him. Still, Rose moved to No. 3 in the world, his highest ranking ever.

"I really enjoyed playing the first two rounds with him,'' Rose said of playing with Woods. "I thought it brought the best out of me at times. But frustrated with myself (Saturday) because I wanted to be a part of the last group. You've got to take the challenge on. It doesn't mean it's going to be easy, but you can't shy away from it, too.''

This week's Shell Houston Open offers the last opportunity to move into the top 50 to earn a Masters invitation. Two notable names who did not improve their position this week were Geoff Ogilvy, who missed the cut, and Charles Howell III, who tied for 45th. Ogilvy remains 50th in the world. Howell stayed at 57th.