Rickie Fowler ‘keeps building’ despite last lap skid

LOS ANGELES — This time last year, Rickie Fowler was outside watching the US Open.

Fowler was the first alternate at the 2022 US Open, waiting all day at the Country Club driving range in Brookline, Mass., just in case a spot became available. But we never did. And with that, his 10-year streak of playing the US Open was over.

“It was a long Thursday last year,” he recalls. “I did a good job.”

But this year, Fowler was a quick caller to the golf world after starting his run at the Los Angeles Country Club with a 62, setting the lowest score in major history.

Despite getting off to a hot start and leading the pack in round three, he fell short on Sunday, finishing T5 at the US Open.

“I just didn’t have it today,” Fowler said after his final run. “The iron game was way below average and didn’t pay off. This is important in the majors, especially on Sundays.

Fowler shot 5-over on Sunday, posting seven bogeys. The former Oklahoma State Cowboy shone earlier in the weekend, staying ahead through round three after going 2-under on Friday and even Saturday.

“I think I did a lot better with my process leading up to shots and understanding that there are negative thoughts or there are issues for missed shots, and just accepting that I may not hit it maybe- be not perfectly, but that’s where I’m going to try to hit it and that’s what I’m focusing on,” he said of his state of mind after Saturday.

Fowler’s career hasn’t been exactly the same since finishing in the top five of four majors in 2014.

After finishing T2 at the US Open in 2014, Fowler has just one more top five in the major. Once the struggles began, Fowler fell all the way to 185th in the Official World Golf Rankings last September.

But he has run a bit this season, finishing in the top 15 in seven of his last eight tournaments. His T5 showing this weekend is his best result in a major since 2021, when he finished T8 at the PGA Championship.

He has now returned to the top 50 in the world.

“You go through the ups and downs of your career, and as long as you keep working hard and keeping the confidence in yourself, which Rickie has, he’s been climbing all the way back and he’s been playing really solid golf this year. . said Scottie Scheffler of Fowler’s recent success.

Rickie Fowler at the US Open

Rickie Fowler, after leading three laps, stumbled hard on Sunday at the Los Angeles Country Club (AP/George Walker IV)

Fowler won’t have much time to dwell on how his weekend in Los Angeles is going, as he heads to Connecticut on Monday morning to prepare for next weekend’s Travelers Championship.

And even if T5 wasn’t the finish he had in mind, it’s enough to show he’s not just hanging around. His play this weekend shows he can still be the same talented player who took the golfing world by storm nearly a decade ago.

“Even though it sucks not being in the position I wanted to be after today, we just keep building and moving forward,” he said on Sunday. “It’s not the finish I wanted, but there are a lot of really good things to take away from this week, and we keep moving forward.”

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