PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Rickie Fowler doesn’t have to reach far if he needs any extra motivation to try to win The Players Championship this weekend.
He said that new Sports Illustrated survey in which his peers ranked him and Ian Poulter as the most overrated players on the PGA Tour is there for him to draw upon.
“If there’s a time where I need something to kind of give me a kick in the butt, then I can think of that and it will put me in the right frame of mind to go out there and take care of business,” Fowler said.
Fowler, 26, is one of the PGA Tour’s most popular and successfully marketed players. He’s No. 13 in the Official World Golf Ranking, but his lone PGA Tour title in six seasons came at the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship. He would like nothing better than to beat one of the strongest fields in golf at The Players this weekend.
With a 3-under-par 69, Fowler moved into a tie for third through 36 holes, two shots behind Kevin Na and Jerry Kelly.
“Haven’t gotten quite as much as I wanted to out of the round the first two days, but in a great position,” Fowler said. “Gameplan feels really good.”
Fowler took an adventurous route Friday through the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course’s final three finishing holes. He made bogey at the 16th after rinsing his second shot in the water right of the green; he came right back and stuck his approach at the 17th island hole to 7 feet, making birdie; and after a terrific drive at the 18th, he stuffed his second shot to 3 feet but missed his birdie putt, lipping it out.
“I was fooled,” Fowler said. “I had the grain going right, and I thought it was going to drift a little right.”
Fowler’s ball striking has been sharp this week. He’s T-5 in greens in regulation through two rounds and T-12 hitting fairways.