RIO DE JANEIRO – Rickie Fowler had said he was close, that his game was there but not the scores. On Saturday at the Olympic Golf Course he proved it.
Fowler birdied four of his first four holes and holed his approach shot from 73 yards at the ninth to turn in 29, just three strokes off the lead. He wasn’t as sharp on his closing loop but that was the byproduct of a freshening wind from a new direction and the American finished with a 64 to keep his hopes of winning a medal alive.
“That’s how close the game has been,” said Fowler, who finished his day with back-to-back birdies. “The only thing that hadn’t been decent is my scoring.”
Fowler struggled on Day 1 on his way to a 75 and wasn’t much better on Friday (71), but his play on Saturday was more of what was expected from one of this week’s favorites.
Depending on the increasingly difficult conditions, which included a wind change that made the normally easy closing stretch of Nos. 15, 16 and 17 more demanding, Fowler was optimistic he could begin the final round with a chance to win a medal.
“I definitely gave me a chance going into tomorrow to potentially get myself on the podium,” he said.