Fowler back fresh from China


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Rickie Fowler looked spry considering he was in China 48 hours prior.

In all, Fowler has traveled 29,621 miles since he met his Ryder Cup teammates in Atlanta before flying to Wales for the Ryder Cup. Since Wales, he's been to Las Vegas, Malaysia, China and now here at Disney outside Orlando.

Still, Fowler found his way to the practice range Wednesday at the Children's Miracle Network Classic in his white, lime green duds after taking photos with the gallery and signing numerous autographs. He was about to hit his first shot since he left the HSBC Champions event Sunday, where he shot 68 and tied for 25th place. Fowler figured it was more beneficial to rest than it was to see golf courses that he saw last year at this time.

To say the past couple months have been a whirlwind for Fowler would be an understatement. He was a captain's pick for the Ryder Cup in early October and played well, especially in his singles match. But he played so well consistently all year that it meant he had a chance to chase more glory here at the end of the year.

Fowler qualified for the HSBC last week and could not pass up the opportunity to play in a World Golf Championship event. He hadn't planned on playing here at Disney but he is within a shot of Troy Merritt in the $1 million Kodak Challenge, played on the 17th hole of the Magnolia Course.

'It's been a long stretch at the end of the year that we didn't plan on having,' Fowler said.

Although it's not something Fowler says he's thinking about, he has a legitimate shot at winning the Tour's Rookie of the Year prize. He and Rory McIlroy are the leaders and a vote among Tour members will be compiled after the season. Fowler thinks McIlroy may be the favorite to win the award since he won earlier this year at Quail Hollow. But Fowler has one more shot to close the gap.

'If I went out and won this week, it'd certainly help,' Fowler said.