Fowler chasing McIlroy in second straight major


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Rickie Fowler’s streak of top-5 finishes in a major looks destined to reach four straight.

He put himself into position Friday to put an exclamation point on his year with a PGA win after a second-round 66 at Valhalla that leaves him just two shots off Rory McIlroy’s pace at 7 under heading into the weekend.

Fowler, who finished T-2 at the British and U.S. Opens and T-5 at the Masters, has been knocking on the door to his first major all year.

“I'd say each major I've felt more and more comfortable. It doesn't feel like a big stage,” he said. “ I feel like I'm out there having fun. Like I said, I like where my game is at. It will be a battle this weekend.”

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Fowler was all over the place on the front side, carding just one par to five birdies and three bogeys, turning at 2-under 33. He settled down on the back nine, birdieing 10 and 11 before parring the next six holes, and capping off his round with a final birdie on the par-5 18th to get to 5 under on the day.

The 25-year-old has only one PGA Tour win to his name and knows it will be a tough test to chase down McIlroy. Fowler witnessed it first hand in the final round at the Open Championship in July, but he didn’t back down when asked about getting another shot at golf’s hottest player.

“We'll see. Rory is obviously on top of his game right now," he said. "He's been driving the ball very well. When he does that, it kind of alleviates any stress from anywhere else, and he's able to go full throttle and not really let up. The Open definitely wasn't the last final grouping of a major that him and I will be a part of. Maybe we'll get another one for Sunday.”