ORLANDO, Fla. – After back-to-back rounds of 5-under 67, Rickie Fowler has played his way into the final pairing Sunday at Bay Hill. Now, he hopes the weather forecasts calling for 20-30 mile per hour winds will come to fruition.
'Hopefully it does blow tomorrow,' said Fowler, who will begin the final round tied for second despite opening with a 1-over 73 in chilly conditions Thursday morning. 'It makes it tough for everyone, but I feel like that's one of my favorite conditions to play in is the wind.'
Known as one of the better wind players on Tour, Fowler noted that his two years at Oklahoma State helped to prepare him for blustery conditions, the likes of which he will likely face Sunday in Orlando.
'I feel like I can use the wind as my friend, whether it's cross winds or not,' he continued. 'Even if you have to work it with the wind, get a little extra out of it or hold it up into it, just makes it more fun. Like having a backboard on certain sides.'
Despite the rocky start Thursday, Fowler now finds himself just two shots off the pace, having made just a single bogey across his last 36 holes at Bay Hill.
'Just had to stay patient,' he said of his opening round. 'Came out yesterday and kept swinging well, and got some momentum going and carried it into today.'
After playing his way into contention at each of his last two starts, Fowler hopes to avoid a Sunday swoon – the likes of which he experienced at both PGA National and Doral. After beginning the final round tied for fifth at the Honda Classic, Fowler fell back into a tie for 13th following a 4-over 74, while a Sunday 78 dropped him from 16th to 35th at the WGC-Cadillac Championship two weeks ago.
'My swing is feeling way better now than it has been in the last two months,' he explained. 'It was disappointing to play the way I did those two Sundays, but I felt really good with where I was at, putting myself in position to go win a golf tournament or have a good finish.
'So I'm looking forward to tomorrow and seeing if we can go do that,' he added.