LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Turns out Rickie Fowler’s victory at the Kolon Korea Open earlier this month was more than simply a professional breakthrough. The triumph pushed the young phenom from 36th to 24th in the world golf ranking and into next month’s WGC-HSBC Champions event.
Despite missing the cut at last week’s McGladrey Classic, Fowler moved to 23rd in the ranking to maintain his spot in the top 25 and qualify for the lucrative event which will be played Nov. 3-6 in China.
Graeme McDowell, 15th in the ranking, also secured a spot in the field. The commitment deadline for the event is Thursday and there are currently 86 players qualified. If the field doesn’t exceed 78 players after the deadline, the alternate list will include last week’s winner Ben Crane.
Crane is already scheduled to play the week before the WGC at the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, where he is the defending champion, and his manager told GTC on Tuesday that Crane would consider adding the HSBC to his schedule if he gets in.
“We’re trying to get his visa ready just in case, but he’s not sure,” said Tommy Limbaugh with 4 U Management, noting that it will depend on how things go with Crane’s newborn daughter, Saylor Mackenzie, who was delivered on Monday.