Rickie Fowler looking to rejoin elite players in golf world

Rickie Fowler needs again in.

Fowler, 32, has spent most of his 10-plus years on the PGA Tour operating with the cool crowd, however, of late, he’s been on the surface looking in.

Dating again to 2010 by April’s Masters, Fowler performed in 37 consecutive main championships, 12 occasions ending in the highest 10, together with eight top-five outcomes.

When Fowler tees it up in Thursday’s opening spherical of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn., he’ll be doing so after failing to qualify for last week’s U.S. Open. That got here after not being eligible to play the Masters, which ended his majors-played streak.

Fowler, who’s struggled together with his swing for the final 18 months and hasn’t received in greater than two years, modified swing coaches and is trying to find the suitable formulation. He is in determined want of some constructive reinforcement.

Fowler believes he’s on the right path again primarily based on the outcomes of his previous two tournaments — a tie for eleventh on the Memorial three weeks in the past and a tie for eighth in the PGA Championship final month at Kiawah Island.

His efficiency this week on the Travelers, the place the sector is stacked with the likes of defending champion Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson, will function a big litmus check.

Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler

“It’s been a very long time coming, however good to lastly begin to see some outcomes,’’ Fowler mentioned Wednesday.

But are we actually positive Fowler is again?

He’s performed effectively in his previous two tournaments. But should you look past these, what you see is missed cuts on the Byron Nelson and Wells Fargo, a tie for seventeenth on the Valero Texas Open, a tie for sixty fifth on the Honda Classic, a missed minimize on the Players Championship and a 72nd on the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Fowler mentioned the work he’s completed on his swing is “undoubtedly [about] an even bigger image’’ view of issues. He’s referenced “not enjoying golf swing however simply enjoying golf and hitting pictures.’’

“It’s been enjoyable to be again in a place the place I can simply go play golf,’’ he mentioned. “We put the work in on the swing, so time to cease worrying about that and go play golf.’’

Fowler, who was granted a particular exemption into the PGA Championship by the PGA of America as a result of he wasn’t in any other case certified, is in subsequent month’s British Open primarily based on his tie for sixth on the final Open (in 2019 as a result of final 12 months’s was canceled due to COVID-19).

So, he doesn’t have to reply questions on lacking out on a 3rd main this 12 months. But, together with his world rating having plummeted to 91st, he has work to do if he’s going to get again into the majors in 2022.

Fowler has been a member on 4 of the previous 5 U.S. Ryder Cup groups. He has nearly no likelihood to get onto this 12 months’s aspect for the September matches. He, too, has performed on the previous three U.S. Presidents Cup groups. He’ll want a flurry of constructive outcomes in the subsequent 12 months to have an opportunity to make it onto a fourth in a row.

“It’s such a positive line out right here,’’ Fowler mentioned. “Everyone out right here on Tour understands that the distinction of being on groups or being at majors and sitting at residence watching is small. Same factor with enjoying the weekend and lacking cuts, making cuts. It’s a putt or a shot right here or there that may change sort of the end result of the week.’’

Results be damned, Fowler has causes to be cheerful off the course proper now. His spouse, Allison Stokke, is pregnant with their first baby. “Everyone tells me it’s life-changing,’’ Fowler mentioned.

First a swing change, then fatherhood. Fowler has rather a lot on his plate. There’s work to be completed. Perhaps this week shall be telling about what’s to come for him on the golf course in the approaching months.

He needs again in.

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