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Windy PGA National bucks Cowboy alums Rickie Fowler, Viktor Hovland

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PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – A couple former Cowboys found themselves struggling unexpectedly along the same rough trail Thursday at the Honda Classic.

Rickie Fowler won the Honda Classic three years ago.

Viktor Hovland won in Puerto Rico just a week ago.

Their paring as former Oklahoma State stars didn’t go as planned with a cold wind whipping across PGA National’s Champion Course in the morning round. Fowler struggled to a 6-over 76 and Hovland to a 77.

“It’s golf,” Fowler said. “You look at our group, guys playing well, Hovy coming off a win, we just got it going the wrong way. We’ll see if we can flip that around tomorrow and get the mojo going the right way.”

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Fowler, 31, and Hovland, 22, didn’t get off to the best starts after starting in 50-degree temperatures that felt even colder in a brisk wind out of the northwest. They combined to make 15 bogeys, a double bogey and four birdies.

Hovland, a PGA Tour rookie, endured a rude introduction to the Bear Trap. He hit his tee shot in the water at the 15th, the start of that difficult three-hole stretch.

“I almost think that wind direction is easier than what we usually see, but the difference was the temperatures,” Fowler said. “The temperature made it a little harder.”