After an impressive showing at the majors last year, Rickie Fowler was on the verge of breaking through and winning something big. Well, it finally happened as Fowler won The PLAYERS Championship in impressive fashion coming through in big time clutch situations.
More from Golf News
- Golf Rumors: LIV set to sign Masters Champion in stunning deal
- Brutal return leaves Will Zalatoris looking towards 2024
- Stars You Know at World Champions Cup Starts Thursday at Concession
- 2023 Hero World Challenge Predictions: The Return Of Tiger Woods?
- RSM Classic Brings the controversial 2023 PGA Tour Season to a close
Fowler did something no one else in PGA Tour history has done. Fowler went 5-under on the final four holes to put himself in a position to win or force a playoff. That ended up being good enough to force a playoff and Fowler didn’t blink again.
Fowler continued to hit perfect shot after perfect shot. That kind of showing proves that Fowler isn’t overrated and when you reel off the best golfers in the world, Fowler’s name as to be near the top of the list.
In fact, the Official World Golf Rankings came out and they have Fowler moving all the way up to the seventh position. Coming off a season of finishing in the top five at all four majors and winning The PLAYERS will end up propelling yourself up the rankings.
The U.S. Open is just a month away and last year Martin Kaymer was able to parlay his PLAYERS Championship into a U.S. Open title as well.
The question is: Will Rickie Fowler do the same this year? Will Rickie Fowler win a major this year? Let’s break it down and see if we can handicap the chances of that happening for Fowler this year.
Jun 15, 2014; Pinehurst, NC, USA; Martin Kaymer (left) is congratulated by Rickie Fowler (right) after Kaymer putted out on the 18th green during the final round of the 2014 U.S. Open golf tournament at Pinehurst Resort Country Club – #2 Course. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports
The U.S. Open this year is a mystery as there is no course history to go on. All we know about Chambers Bay is that it’s very long, it’s a links style golf course, and the early reviews haven’t been favorable.
It’s tough to say who this course will favor, but if it does play a bit like a British Open course where you have to use your imagination to get around, that does bode well for Fowler.
In five tries at The Open Championship, Fowler has finished in the top five twice. Also, last year the U.S. Open was held at Pinehurst No. 2 and that was a different twist as that wasn’t your typical U.S. Open as well considering there wasn’t any rough nor were there that many trees. And, of course, Fowler did pretty well there finishing T-2.
It’s also worth noting that both Chambers Bay and Pinehurst No. 2 are around the same length, so maybe looking back to last year could give us some idea of what to expect.
When you factor all that in, I would say Fowler has to be one of the favorites and it wouldn’t a surprise at all to see him win. Fowler has a real legitimate shot at winning the U.S. Open.
Considering that the U.S. Open is held at a links style golf course we’ve already talked about Fowler’s success at The Open Championship. Fowler has the style of golf suited for an Open Championship.
So, Fowler has a realistic chance of winning The Open Championship this year, as well.
However, I would say that Fowler will probably need a little bit of help from the weather. The worse the weather is, the better it is for Fowler.
In 2010, The Open Championship was held at St. Andrews and the first round featured some pretty nice weather. Conditions were just about perfect and just about everybody took advantage as 45 players shot 69 or better.
The longer hitters were able to overpower the Old Course including Rory McIlroy who shot a 63 to lead the way. Fowler wasn’t able to take advantage though as he shot one of the worst rounds of the day shooting a 79.
Fowler showed his resilience, though as he came back with a 69 in less than ideal conditions for round two. The Old Course showed its teeth with the wind howling as only nine players shot a 69 or better and McIlroy shot an 80.
Fowler ended up finishing T-14 which was quite the turnaround after round one as he was the only player who shot a 75 or worse to actually make the cut, let alone finish inside the top 14.
So, when you put it all together, Fowler has a very realistic shot at winning The Open Championship as well. The more I think about it, the more I’m really liking his chances at the Open’s this year.
Chambers Bay takes place up in the Pacific Northwest, so you would have to think there will be some rain. That will definitely benefit Fowler, and of course, St. Andrews will feature a lot of wind and probably some rain. I would say Fowler has to be on the shortlist of favorites at both championships this year.
The PGA Championship this year definitely doesn’t suit Fowler’s game. Fowler only has one top ten in five tries at the PGA Championship. In 2010, when the PGA Championship took place at Whistling Straits, Fowler finished T-58.
Last year, things worked out for Fowler as it rained and conditions were very wet. Fowler loves playing in the slop as we talked about already. This year, things may not work out and I wouldn’t expect Fowler to be in contention at the PGA Championship. Plus, if Fowler does win one (or both) of the Open’s this year you would have to expect some sort of let down.
All in all, I don’t think he’s one to watch at the PGA Championship. But, hey, I’m writing this months out in advance. Things may change once we get closer to the PGA Championship.