HOYLAKE, England – No one has knocked on the door more often in this year’s major season than Rickie Fowler.
With a 5-under 67 Sunday, the 25-year-old gave Rory McIlroy a bit of a scare during the final round of the Open Championship but ultimately finished in a tie for second, two shots shy.
“I’m definitely pleased with it,” Fowler said. “There’ll be plenty more to come. I’ll take 15 under in a lot of majors and sit there and wait in the clubhouse. It was just kind of fun to throw a few shots at him coming in. To see him win was pretty cool.”
Fowler, who revamped his swing late last year under the guidance of coach Butch Harmon, has finished fifth at Augusta, T-2 at Pinehurst and now T-2 at Hoylake. He is the first player since Tiger Woods in 2005 to post a top-5 finish in the first three majors of the year. Of course, Woods won the Masters and the British that year.
Fowler can take solace in the fact that he was far more competitive Sunday than he was last month at the U.S. Open. Playing in the final group, he trailed Martin Kaymer by five shots heading into the final day, only to close with 2-over 72 and finish eight shots behind.
This time, he closed to within three shots of the lead with a birdie on the par-3 15th, then added a pair of birdies on 16 and 18 to share second place with Garcia (66).
With the high finish, Fowler has virtually assured himself of a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. He made his debut in 2010, when the Americans lost a taut match at Celtic Manor.
“The long-distance goal was to be on that Ryder Cup team,” he said.