Fowler makes giant strides

Fowler makes giant strides | Golf Updates

San Jose, California: The last 12 months have been a whirlwind for PGA Tour rookie Rickie Fowler who can hardly believe he is one of the drawcards at this week’s Open in San Martin.

Fowler makes giant strides | Golf Updates

Fowler makes giant strides

A year ago, the long-haired American lost out in a playoff for the title when the event was held in Scottsdale, Arizona, and he was competing for only the second time on the US circuit as a professional.

“It’s pretty cool, and for it to happen this fast is amazing,” the 21-year-old Fowler told reporters after Wednesday’s pro-am competition at CordeValle Golf Club.

“I wanted to be in this position at some point … but it’s just small steps at a time, even though I’ve taken quite a big step in the past year.”

Having turned professional late last year, Fowler made a significant impact in his first PGA Tour event in the paid ranks by tying for seventh at the Las Vegas Open where he birdied the 72nd hole.

That strong finish earned him a spot in the field for the Open the following week where he came from four strokes behind going into the final round to reach a playoff with fellow Americans Troy Matteson and Jamie Lovemark.

Awesome return

Matteson ultimately triumphed with a birdie at the second extra hole.

“It’s awesome to be able to get back to play this event,” Fowler said of the Tour’s Fall Series event. “I am ranked higher now and I’m just excited to be here playing again.

“I just want to put myself in contention to have a chance to win on Sunday. Obviously, the Fall Series (last year) was a big part of me getting started on the PGA Tour.”

Just nine days ago, Fowler was part of a brilliant United States fightback in the closing singles at the Ryder Cup in Wales where torrential rain and muddy conditions forced the biennial team competition into an unprecedented Monday finish.

Although uplifted by the whole Cup experience, the young Californian was delighted to be back on home soil at CordeValle where the par-71 layout was running fast and firm.

“It’s a good driving course … and it was nice to see the ball actually take a hop,” Fowler, ranked 33rd in the world, said.

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