Fowler in position for first PGA Tour victory
- By Ryan Ballengee
- May 6, 2012 1:57 PM ET
Rickie Fowler is again in position for his first PGA Tour win, trailing Webb Simpson by three shots entering the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship.
Fowler has found himself in contention in each of the last two weeks because he is hitting more greens and taking fewer strokes once he finds them.
Combining New Orleans and three rounds in Charlotte, Fowler has hit 77.8 percent of greens in regulation - an improvement of 12.5 percent against his average this year.
"I gave myself a lot of opportunities to make some birdies and made it fairly stress free on myself," Fowler said Saturday after shooting a 5-under 67.
The improved putting can be attributed to the combination of less pressure on his short game and the decision to go left-hand low with his stroke. Fowler made the change last week in New Orleans, leading to a season-best 65 in the second round and a T-10 finish. The change is again paying dividends this week as Fowler is T-16 in putts per green in regulation and 20th in strokes gained putting.
"Just right now, it feels like it's putting me in a better position at setup, and I'm able to stroke the ball a little bit easier and not force anything," he said last week in New Orleans.
In his last seven rounds, Fowler has averaged a quarter-stroke less per round with the putter. Despite hitting more greens, he has improved by .08 strokes per green in regulation. On a typical day, that's an improvement of more than one stroke per round.
In a week of easier than expected scoring at Quail Hollow, the combination of having more looks at birdie and converting more often could be what propels Fowler to his maiden Tour win.
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