Rickie Fowler made history at the 2023 U.S. Open on Thursday; one year after falling short in a Qualifier.
One year after missing out on playing in the U.S. Open by a single shot, Rickie Fowler is back and stronger than ever.
What a difference a year can make, Rickie Fowler is walking proof of this, the 34-year-old Californian has had a resurgent year in 2023 following numerous trials and tribulations over the last handful of years.
Now Rickie shares the lead at the 123rd U.S. Open in his home state, just one year on from missing out in a qualifier for the major by a single shot.
Even with his struggles in recent years, Rickie has still had an illustrious career to date. A career that’s included winning the 2015 Players Championship, finishing runner-up in multiple majors, and nine career wins, the most recent of which came in 2019 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
In fact, up until 2021, Rickie Fowler had made 41 consecutive appearances in major championships. After missing the last two U.S. Opens and falling outside of the top 100 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time since 2009, Fowler is well and truly back in 2023.
Rickie Fowler makes U.S. Open history in return after two-year absence.
The lack of wins doesn’t do justice to just how well Fowler has played to date this year. Since the American Express in January, he has played in twelve events and finished outside of the top 20 on just two occasions, he has missed just one cut over that span. The lone missed cut of 2023 for Fowler came at last month’s PGA Championship.
The five-time PGA Tour winner has risen to 45th in OWGR; a 58-place difference in the world rankings since the end of 2022.
Playing in his first U.S. Open since Winged Foot, Fowler made quite the impression during his opening round at LACC as Rickie looks to punctuate his return to prominence by accomplishing something which has eluded him for so long.
Rickie Fowler will look to win his very first major in his home state of California this week and he is off to an incredible start. His opening round of 62 at Los Angeles Country Club on Thursday included an incredible 10 birdies or better, tieing him with Justin Thomas (2017) for the most in a single round at the U.S. Open in the last 30 years.
His astonishing opening round also sees Fowler become the first player in U.S. Open history with multiple rounds of 7-under or better in his career as Justin Ray alluded to on Twitter.
Xander Schauffele would go on to join Rickie at the top of the leaderboard after the San Diego native also fired an opening-62 Thursday. Like Fowler, Xander is also looking for his first major win this week.
It remains to be seen if the two will have more company at the top come the end of play on Thursday, but regardless, both players are off to dream starts. A lot is sure to play out over the next three days in LA, but the one question on everyone’s mind will be, is this finally Rickie’s time?
If Thursday is any indication, it very well could be, with Rickie Fowler well and truly on his way back to the top.