Practice partners Rickie, Phil playing for bigger stakes


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – It was during the traditional Tuesday game earlier this year at Augusta National when things began to click for Rickie Fowler.

The 25-year-old had been working with new swing coach Butch Harmon for just four months when he teamed with Phil Mickelson against Jason Dufner and Dustin Johnson. When the match was complete, a reported 2-and-1 triumph for Fowler and Mickelson, the guy in the flat-bill hat had posted nine birdies and an eagle.

It was, according to Fowler’s caddie Joe Skovron, an epiphany for one of the game’s most popular players and sent him down the road to his most consistent season on the PGA Tour.

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On Sunday at the PGA Championship, Fowler and Mickelson will unite again, this time in the day’s penultimate pairing at Valhalla Golf Club.

Fowler carded a 6-under 65 on Saturday to move to within two strokes of front-runner Rory McIlroy and within 18 holes of his fourth consecutive top-5 finish in a major championship.

That he will be vying for his first major championship alongside his regular Tuesday practice round partner will only make the opportunity that much more enjoyable.

“We’re going to have some fun and hopefully (he) and I are going to get things rolling like we do on Tuesdays against the boys,” Fowler said. “We’ll have a good time, that’s for sure.”