ORLANDO, Fla. – Add Rickie Fowler to the list of players skipping next week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
Fowler confirmed his plans to sit out the no-cut event following an even-par 72 in the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He becomes the fifth player to bow out before the brackets are set, joining Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott, Justin Rose and Adam Hadwin.
Instead of a trip to Austin, Fowler will make his final start before the Masters at the Shell Houston Open the following week, an event where he finished sixth in 2014 and T-10 last year.
“For me, Houston’s been a great preparation going into Augusta,” Fowler said. “I feel like they do a great job with how they kind of condition the greens and around the greens, as far as chipping and pitching. So I feel like I get a lot that week, going into Augusta.”
Fowler will be replaced in the WGC field by world No. 69 Si Woo Kim, while Tony Finau and Bay Hill leader Charley Hoffman become first and second alternates, respectively.
Fowler made playing this week at Bay Hill a priority when crafting his schedule, and he said the Match Play’s spot on the calendar simply prevented him from adding it to his itinerary.
“For me, four (events) in a row is just something I don’t do. I’ve tested it out, I played five before during my rookie year, and it was an absolute no,” he said. “It’s just the mental side of it, trying to stay mentally sharp. Especially with a major being the fourth one, that’s when you need to be the freshest.”