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Fowler 'close to 100 percent' after oblique injury

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NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. – Rested and recovered after missing the first two playoff events because of a right oblique injury, Rickie Fowler said that he’s swinging without pain as he prepares to play the BMW Championship.

Fowler said Tuesday at Aronimink that he’s dealt with the injury for the past several weeks. He felt a twinge of pain when he played the third round of last month’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and needed to “fight our way” through the PGA Championship, where he tied for 12th.

With his Ryder Cup spot already secure, Fowler withdrew from The Northern Trust and considered returning last week in Boston but decided against it. He received a text from U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk, who passed along some timely advice from Davis Love III.

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“He said, ‘No one has ever said they come back from injury too late,’” Fowler said. “So that helped make the decision. Let’s make sure we’re good to go for these final two playoff events and especially the Ryder Cup.”

Fowler has slipped from 17th to 26th in FedExCup points, meaning that there’s still work to do at the no-cut BMW to ensure that he qualifies for the season-ending Tour Championship. Asked whether he thought about shutting it down completely until the Ryder Cup, Fowler said that he didn’t want to go five consecutive weeks without competition before one of the biggest pressure-cookers of the year.

Though he doesn’t believe he’s at risk of a setback, Fowler said that he won’t swing full bore with his driver this week as he eases back into action.

“I haven’t gotten a second MRI to see how well it has healed,” he said, “but I’m close to 100 percent.”