Rickie Fowler was in the hunt for a win at the 2022 Zozo Championship. Holding the trophy would’ve held extra significance given his heritage.
“Japan plays a unique part in my own personal family history, so being able to go back there and playing in front of those fans will be something very special to me and my family,” Fowler was quoted by the PGA Tour in 2021. “I would especially love to win this one for my grandpa, Tanaka, who introduced me to the game of golf.”
Last year at the Zozo Championship, Fowler carded 67-63-66-70 to come up one shot off Keegan Bradley’s winning pace.
He posted 70-71-71-71 in 2021 for T-44th.
Fowler is looking to bounce back after a disappointing Ryder Cup for himself and Team USA. He was rumored to be sick and played in just two sessions, going 0-2-0.
It was too bad for a player who hasn’t been able to bring his best golf to that event.
Fortunately for him, he’s been awfully good in recent years playing individual events.
Fowler broke through for his first win in four years this summer at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
He owns six top-10s in 2023 and has missed just one cut.
The 34-year-old Californian ranked 11th in Strokes Gained: Total (1.426). He was a positive in every Strokes Gained category, including seventh in Approach-the-Green (.74).
Fowler is a good course fit in that he’s not very long but has the proper ball control and overall game to play well at Narashino.