KAPALUA, Hawaii – Spieth, Day, McIlroy. Jordan, Jason, Rory.
Those three – the Big Three – dominated a huge portion of the headlines in 2015 for obvious reasons. McIlroy was the top dog at the beginning of the year, but his injuries made way for Spieth and Day to jump to the top of the world rankings. McIlroy closed the year by winning the European Tour finale and the Race to Dubai title to show that he shouldn’t be viewed as an afterthought.
There was even talk that Rickie Fowler deserved to be mentioned alongside those names to turn the trio into a quartet. Fowler won The Players, the Scottish Open and a FedEx Cup playoff event and jumped as high as fifth in the world.
Fowler doesn’t feel like he’s worthy. Yet.
“I feel like to be in the same conversation I need to get a major and get that on the resume to at least have some sort of credentials to be there,” Fowler said Tuesday at Kapalua. “I’m just looking forward to working on being the best that I can be. The ultimate goal is to be the best player in the world. I obviously have some pretty tough competition out there.”
In 2014, Fowler recorded top-five finishes in all four majors but failed to win one. Last year, he didn’t play as well in the majors but produced the three victories when he was starting to get labeled as overrated because of a lack of wins.
“I think a combination of the two years, going with how I was able to hang around and get some top finishes in the majors in ’14 and the last year to go out and get the wins,” Fowler said. “You put those two together, and we win a major this year.”
If that happens, the discussion can begin again.