Things get silly for Fowler


PALM BEACH, Fla. – Serious to silly in less than 24 hours.

That's how quickly Rickie Fowler's season changed.

A day after losing out in a nerve-racking $1 million Kodak Challenge playoff at Disney World, Fowler found himself laughing it up Monday at the ADT Skills Challenge at The Breakers.

Fowler knew his season had dramatically changed Monday morning when Fred Couples took a wedge out of Wayne Gretzy's hands and stuck a hockey stick in them after Gretzky failed to get a shot close in his three tries in the chipping skills test. Gretzky flipped a gentle wrist shot off a dicey downhill slope to about 12 feet, as close as he hit any shot with a wedge.

Gretzky is teaming with Ricky Barnes as the lone celebrity participant in the two-man team event. The ADT Skills Challenge is scheduled to air Jan. 1-2 on NBC. Gretzky fits with the first-day telecast following NBC's airing of the NHL's Winter Classic at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh with the Penguins playing Washington.

The ADT Skills Challenge also features the teams of Fowler-Scott Verplank, Couples-Dustin Johnson and Mark O'Meara-Nick Price. They're playing for a not-so silly $800,000 in prize money.