It’s a known fact that 25 year-old Rickie Fowler is one of the more popular players on the PGA Tour, but what is wrong with his golf game? Fowler turned in another mediocre performance at The Memorial on Thursday, and is in danger of missing yet another cut during the 2014 season.
Like many other fans, I thought Rickie had made the turn at The Accenture Match Play Championship where he just missed the final pairing, and finished in third place behind Jason Day, and Frenchman, Victor Dubuisson. The third at Dove Mountain, along with a solo sixth at Houston, and a T 5 at Augusta are the only bright spots in what has been a miserable season.
With three missed cuts on the books for the entirety of the 2013 season, Fowler has doubled that total already in 2014, and with the cut likely projected to be 1 over par at Muirfield Village, Rickie is in danger of adding to that total this week.
Rickie is currently ranked 37th in the Official World Golf Rankings(OWGR), but more importantly, is 52nd in FedEx Cup points, and if he can’t get some good finishes on the books, could be on the outside, looking in when the playoffs begin in August.
The press was abuzz during the Accenture Match Play with news that Rickie was working to add some distance to his tee shots. He is currently ranked 36th on the PGA Tour at 296 yards, which is up from 286.4 in 2013 when he was ranked 103rd.
In 2012, the year he had his only PGA Tour victory at The Wells Fargo Championship, he was ranked 60th,at 293.2 yards.
Looking at his numbers tells the big story. Rickie Fowler doesn’t have a short game, and he can’t putt. That is two factors that unless he makes some changes, will keep him out of the winners circle for the large portion of his career.
In 2014, he is -0.446 Strokes Gained Putting, which is good for 175th. That’s not going to win many tournaments on the tour today. This number shows us the problem, but it’s not necessarily the complete story.
Fowler is 142nd at Greens in Regulation at 63.48%, and his bounce back number is 16.15% and is ranked 164th. He scrambles well, but can’t convert.
With the tough part of the major season coming soon, I don’t see Rickie Fowler being a factor at the US Open, or Open Championship. To be competitive at these tournaments, one needs a rock-solid short game, and needs to make putts, assets that Rickie doesn’t have at this point in his career.