Rickie Fowler is the only player teeing it up at Valhalla who has three top-5 finishes at the majors this year. However, Fowler had a rough start to the season with three straight missed cuts before gaining confidence in his swing changes at the WGC-Match Play in February.
At the pre-tournament press conference, Fowler said, “Butch and I started working full‑time in December, and it’s been a bit of a process. You know, missing cuts early was definitely tough. I felt like I was hitting a lot of good golf shots and wasn’t really producing anything. Short game was off and wasn’t making crucial, momentum putts. Got a few things going in the Match Play and go on from there.”
He added, “The main focus was to be ready to play the majors, and it was nice to take care of business at The Masters and kind of go from there.”
Rickie finished T5 at The Masters, and was in the final group and finished T2 at both the U.S. Open and The Open Championship.
Fowler’s final round 67 at The Open shows he is getting very close to winning his first major. He said, “Everything kind of combined, the patience, feeling comfortable, being confident in what you’re working on, your swing, your mental approach. I was just able to go out there and feel like I belonged in that final group on Sunday at The Open, and I was able to kind of fight off some struggles early. And to put up a bogey‑free 67 on Sunday, that usually does well if you’re in the final group.”
Rory McIlroy put on a phenomenal performance of his own at Hoylake, and captured his third major championship. Next time, Rickie will show Rory how it’s done.
–Bernie D’Amato (@bdamato711)