Another Golden Opportunity Wasted By Fowler
It’s no question that Rickie Fowler has made a name for himself on the PGA Tour. After a terrific first three rounds at Erin Hills, Fowler looked to be in a position to fight for his first Major Championship, until he fell apart Sunday. The 9th ranked golfer started off strong with a birdie on one, but quickly lost his status on the leaderboard, finishing 5th.
Erin Hills looked built for Fowler. He’s a great wind player so the long course gave him an opportunity to hit his driver off of every tee-box, and the soft greens looked to help him drop in putts from every angle.
So the question remains, does Rickie Fowler need a Major win to solidify him amongst the current elite golfers?
When Fowler arrived on the PGA tour, the game was in need of a fresh start. Tiger was faltering from his back injuries and marriage problems, and the Lefty was simply getting older. Fans were looking for a new superstar. Flashy, bright orange wearing Rickie Fowler had just won the PGA Tour Rookie of the year over Rory McIlroy–he looked like he could be that guy.
Fowler’s PGA career has been an impressive one, but with only four wins on tour his lack of a Major leaves golf fans wondering if the Oklahoma State alum has what it takes to leap into stardom. He does have a Players Championship in his trophy case, but with all the young golf talent, it remains to be seen if Fowler can get the job done on Sundays when it matters most.
No one questions his talent; it’s his performance or lack thereof. In 2014, he finished top 5 in all majors, including two second place finishes. Since then his performance in the Majors has been below average, especially for Fowler. He missed the cut in the 2015 and 2016 U.S. Open as well as the 2016 Masters. After Sunday, Fowler now has 6 top-5 finishes in Majors.
Fowler is one of best, if not the best player in golf to have never won a Major Championship. The list of elite golfers without majors is a massive one from Lee Westwood and Hideki Matsuyama to Fowler’s U. S. Open roommate, Justin Thomas, who played a lackluster Sunday as well.
To answer my original question: Fowler needs a Major, but he still has time to get it done. Fowler’s focus to the game looks to be locked in, and I expect his time in the Sun to be arriving very soon.