‘Overrated’ Rickie Fowler Strikes Back At His Critics


Remember when Rickie Fowler was supposed to have a break out year and be the next challenger to Rory McIlroy?  Coming off 2014 where he finished in the top five in all four majors, the orange crusader was poised to break through on the potential that we’ve been talking about for years.  The outside world may be expecting big things, but when it comes to his peers, he’s “overrated.”

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In an anonymous survey conducted by Golf.com & Sports Illustrated pros voted Fowler and Ian Poulter as the most overrated players out there.  Poulter’s position makes sense considering the guy is pretty much a ghost other than three days in the fall every two years.  His lone win in a PGA Tour event was the 2010 Match Play, but he’s not the same player in stroke play events.

Fowler’s position in this survey is the one that really causes a debate.  Prior to last year his popularity was puzzling at times considering he had won just once, yet to seriously contend in a major, and didn’t even have a good Ryder Cup record to fall back on.  When thinking of Fowler the only thing that really stood out was his outlandish wardrobe, that has made orange a staple on golf courses everywhere.  Then last year it was his golf that finally did the talking, but apparently plenty of pros have yet to fully buy in.

On Thursday at THE PLAYERS while Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods struggled, Ricky looked more like the guy we thought we’d see this year.  His 3-under par 69 was good enough to match McIlroy and put him two shots behind the leaders.  This good start could go a long way in helping him get the biggest win of his young career, but after the round all the talk was about the poll.

"“It’s fine by me” Ricky said. “I’m going to try and play as well as I can this week and I’m going to take care of my business.  “I guess top fives in four majors isn’t that good?  So one of three isn’t that good?  Like I said, I’ll take care of my business and I’ll be just fine.” (Credit Golf Channel)"

Take care of business is exactly what he needs to do.  Whether he wins this week or not, the tide needs to start to turn Fowler.  The talk of him being somewhat of a mysterious superstar has been swirling in golf circles for years, and now the players have done nothing to stop the conversation.  When you take a step back and look at the grand scheme of things there are a number of players with much better credentials than him.  Take Webb Simpson and his four wins including the 2012 U.S. Open, is he talked about nearly as much as Fowler?  If he is I must be getting a different Golf Channel feed on my television than the rest of the world.

Jordan Spieth’s record tying victory at Augusta has changed the whole Fowler discussion for the time being.  It was Ricky who was supposed to be the young American star to challenge McIlroy.  At twenty-one years old Spieth has more wins this season than Fowler does for his whole career.  If there is a true rival to McIlroy it’s Spieth, and Fowler has moved away from that discussion.  Now he’s back in the news and it has nothing to do with winning golf tournaments, which in lies the whole reason why he may be “overrated.”

Next: Spieth & Woods Struggle At THE PLAYERS

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