Rickie crosses over, goes low
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Rickie finds a spark

Rickie Fowler switched up his putting grip, switching to left-hand low — or cross-handed — which appears to have sparked momentum for him on the greens. He shot a seven-under 65, his lowest score of the year, at TPC Louisiana in the second round of the Zurich Classic to post eight-under at the halfway mark.


Fowler, who missed the cut in his last start at the RBC Heritage, came out hot on Friday, throwing darts at pins, but more important, rolling in putts. The grip change isn’t something completely foreign to him. In high school and college he did it quite a bit, but he hasn’t used it on tour — aside from perhaps one day when he was having a bad round and it couldn’t get any worse.

“It’s something that I’ve done before and I’ve done it in practice quite a bit, just right now feels like it’s putting me in a better position to set-up and I’m able to stroke the ball a bit easier and not force anything,” said Fowler, who teed off in the morning wave, after his round. “I felt more comfortable with my setup and I guess it was more proper where it should have been.

“I felt like I was having to kind of force the issue with the traditional grip, so it just felt more comfortable and put me in a good position to strike the ball where I want to and basically simplified a bit.”

Fowler dropped down the first page of the leaderboard since scores were lower than expected in the afternoon. The wind stayed relatively calm for the guys with late starting times compared to Thursday. Still, he’s right where he wants to be heading into the weekend at T11, four shots back of 36-hole leader Jason Dufner.

“Good to see my name somehwere on the first page or two and to climb back up there and put myself in a good position for this weekend,” said Rickie. “The game feels good and hope I’ll get it going for Saturday and Sunday.”

Fowler’s best finish in 2012 was T7 at the Honda Classic in March. While one of the most visible and recognizable players, he’s yet to capture his first win on the PGA Tour.

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)