OSU’s most loved golfer will have a chance to add to his legacy this weekend as Rickie Fowler will compete in the 116th US Open at Oakmont.
The No. 5 golfer in the world is looking to claim his first major victory of his career while bucking off the giant monkey on his back that comes with failing to win one despite being right on the cusp. Fowler finished in the top 5 of all four majors in 2014 and has made over 23 million dollars in his playing career.
“If I put the last two years together, that would equal a major this year, but they don’t come that easy,” Fowler told reporters on Tuesday. “We’ve got some work to do, and I’m looking forward to chasing those guys down.”
Rickie Fowler has two top-10 finishes in his last three U.S. Open starts.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 15, 2016
Top 10 to watch: https://t.co/oDkKN2oIpp
Not only is Fowler looking for his first major championship, but he’ll start the weekend playing in a premiere group with Rory McIlroy and Danny Willett that’s set to tee off at 7:24 a.m. CT. With two of the top players in the world such as McIlroy and Fowler in one group, there will be plenty of people fixated on that trio throughout the day, and hopefully Fowler will get off to a better start than he did back in April at the Masters, where he shot an 80 in the opening round and failed to make the cut.
Fowler has been striking the ball well as of late, and is hitting more than 70 percent of greens in regulation the season, but the problem with the former Cowboy comes with his putting.
“The only reason that I've struggled a little bit here and there is just because I've been a little bit frustrated with the putting, and that can sometimes leak over into driving the ball and then hitting a good shot into the green,” Fowler said.
Putting the ball at Oakmont won’t be an easy task for Fowler or anyone else in the field of 156 golfers. The course has very slick greens similarly to Augusta National, while the big slopes with multiple breaks leave little room for error.
But tough conditions are just some of the things golfers have to deal with when attempting to win a major, while calming the nerves on the back nine of Sunday’s final round is another huge factor.
Will Fowler finally make the leap and claim the major title that has evaded him for so long? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.