Fowler takes positives from second-place finish


PINEHURST, N.C. – Rickie Fowler knew early in the final round of the U.S. Open that he was playing for second place. Despite a stumble on the front nine, that’s just what he got.

Playing in the final pairing at a major for the first time, Fowler overcame an early double bogey to tie for second at Pinehurst No. 2 with Erik Compton, eight shots behind Martin Kaymer.

“I’m really happy about it,” said Fowler after his best result in 18 major starts. “The more experience you can get in the final groups, and especially in majors and in contention at majors, it definitely helps out for down the road.”

This marks Fowler’s second straight top-10 finish at the U.S. Open, and he is the only player with top-five finishes at both 2014 majors. He tied for fifth at the Masters in April.

“Goals going into the year was get ready for Augusta and contend at majors,” Fowler said. “Definitely pleased about that and looking forward to the next two.”

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Fowler was six shots behind Kaymer when he skulled a bunker shot over the fourth green, leading to a double bogey that ended his title aspirations. Despite the setback, he played the next 14 holes in even par to finish as one of only three players in red figures for the week.

“With the way I kind of handled myself and kept going through the process on each shot, there was only a handful of shots this week that I wasn’t really prepared to hit,” Fowler said. “Definitely take a lot away from this week, and the pairing today as well.”

At 25, Fowler plans to build on the momentum from this week with an eye toward the future, still in search of his second PGA Tour victory after claiming the Wells Fargo Championship in 2012.

“Obviously there’s been some great finishes, but I want to win and I want to win more,” he said. “They talk about the prime being early 30’s. I got a little ways to go. So I can gain some experience and maybe I can pick off a couple wins in majors and some Tour events before then.”

As for the faction of people who feel he still hasn’t lived up to his potential?

“It doesn’t matter what I do, I’m always going to have critics,” Fowler said. “The amount of people that don’t like what I do, I’m not really worried about them.”