SAN DIEGO – After struggling through an opening-round 77 on the South Course at Torrey Pines Thursday, no one could have faulted Rickie Fowler for revising his plans for the weekend.
Lost amid the shuffle of his playing partner Tiger Woods vaulting to the top of the leaderboard, though, was Fowler's impressive turnaround Friday at the Farmers Insurance Open. He matched Woods' 65 on the North Course, carding seven birdies without dropping a shot, and as a result will play the weekend here after starting today's round tied for 154th.
'I felt a lot better out there today,' Fowler said. 'I just was able to get into a little bit of a better rhythm and made some putts, so it was a lot more fun.'
Fowler's improvements Friday were seen in a variety of categories, but notably he took four fewer putts Friday despite hitting five more greens in regulation (14) than he did Thursday on the more difficult South Course. Overall, he needed just 26 putts to complete his second round, matching the lowest score on either course thus far this week.
Fowler's group was cumulatively one of the best of the day, as in addition to the 65s carded by him and Woods, Nick Watney also shot a 4-under 68. In total, the threesome was 18 under par on the North Course on Friday, an element that Fowler said was beneficial.
'Playing alongside guys that are making birdies definitely helps,' he added. 'We had a good time out there.'
While still trailing Woods by nine shots entering Saturday, Fowler can take heart knowing that his comeback was unrivaled through two rounds at Torrey Pines. Of the players that shot 75 or higher on either course during Thursday's opening round, he was the only one to rally and make the 36-hole cut.