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Fowler starts hot but fades to T-5 finish

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – For a man who tied for fifth at this 78th Masters, Rickie Fowler sure wasn’t much of a factor on Sunday at Augusta National.

Strange, but true.

A birdie on the first hole quickly pulled Fowler within a shot of the lead, but he three-putted from 12 feet on the second hole and slowly faded away.

Fowler, 25, didn’t play poorly, he shot 73 under final-round pressure, but he hit only four fairways and had to grind to save par way too often. Still, the fifth-place tie matched his best in a major. He also tied for fifth at the 2011 British Open.

“Just drove it poorly today, so that kind of kept me from being able to attack the golf course,” Fowler said. “It’s a big step forward for me, especially after all these missed cuts. I’ve had to kind of grind it out and get on top of my game here. Not to have my best and to kind of find a way around and salvage a good tournament.”