Can Rickie Fowler rekindle 2023 magic at 88th Masters Tournament?

Rickie Fowler - The Masters
Rickie Fowler - The Masters / Warren Little/GettyImages

We are more than 8 months removed from when Rickie Fowler broke the drought and won the Rocket Mortgage Classic last July to capture his first win on the PGA Tour since 2019. But the last 8 months haven't gone as most expected for Fowler.

After playing tremendous golf throughout the entire season, many thought that once Rickie got one win, they could potentially come in bunches. At his best, Fowler is one of the best golfers in the world, but we've also seen him go through some treacherous lows, such as dropping all the way to 185th in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) in 2022.

Fortunately, Rickie Fowler is nowhere near that ranking anymore.

He is currently ranked 37th, and this week, he will be making his first appearance at the Masters since 2020. But since that win last July, Fowler has began to struggle a little bit again. He hasn't recorded a Top 15 finish in a tournament since the win, and he's currently 128th in this year's FedEx Cup Standings. This season, Fowler's highest finish on the PGA Tour is a T35 at the Genesis Invitational. Not exactly the form you want to be in when you are coming into the biggest event on the golfing calendar.

However, Augusta National is a course that can bring out the best in a player like Rickie. Fowler has always been a creative player around the greens, and that's exactly what Augusta calls for. The greens are known to be very quick and undulating. There are contours and slopes that call for imagination on certain pitch shots around this course, and that can very much benefit a 'feel-player' like Fowler.

He seems to be at his best when he's not thinking technically on the course, but instead just feeling out what type of shot is required. The results speak for themselves with Fowler's history at the Masters. He has made the cut 9 out of his 10 appearances, has four top 15s, and three top 10s. This also includes a solo 2nd in 2018 where his comeback effort fell one shot short of the winner, Patrick Reed.

So there are definitely reasons to be optimistic as a Fowler fan heading into this week. For one, it's just great to see him back at the Masters after not qualifying the last few years. But a player of his caliber is here to compete.

Fowler's won 6 times on the PGA Tour, including that famous win at The Players in 2015. But his career will not be complete without winning a major championship, and he knows that.

He's knocked on the door so many times. If you remember 2014 when Fowler finished Top 5 in all four majors. Back then, almost any golf fan would've guessed that Rickie would win at least one over the next 10 years, but it hasn't happened. In his career, he has three runner-up finishes in majors and twelve top 10s.

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So will this be the week that Fowler regains his form and captures that elusive 1st major championship? We'll have to wait and find out.