Rickie Fowler in contention again: "We'll just keep knocking at the door"

Rickie Fowler shot up the leaderboard on Friday with a 65.

Lara Kuipers's picture
Sat, 1 Jul 2023
Rickie Fowler in contention again: "We'll just keep knocking at the door"

Is this the week that Rickie Fowler finally returns to the winner's circle?

The 34-year-old was one of the best players in the world for years before hitting a rough patch following the 2018-19 season.

During that time, he dropped all the way out of the World's top 100 and began to miss major championships.

Just six months ago, Fowler ended 2022 ranked No. 103 in the world.

But something has changed this season, and it appears the fan-favourite is officially back.

Through 19 events in the 2022-23 PGA Tour campaign, Fowler has already notched 14 top-25s, including 7 top-10s.

After missing the cut at the PGA Championship in mid-May, his 'worst' finish since was a still-impressive tie for 13th at the Travelers Championship.

The designated event in Connecticut included Fowler's career-low round with a 60 on the Saturday. He had a solid chance at 59, but his birdie chip from the fringe came just narrowly missed.

At the US Open in mid-June, Fowler shot a new low 18-hole score at the major with a 62 on the Thursday. A tough 75 on Sunday for the final round dropped him into a tie for fifth, despite being in the running all weekend.

Now, Fowler is ranked No. 35 in the world, and after a 7-under 65 on Friday at Detroit Golf Club, is once again in a solid chance to win his first PGA Tour event in over four years.

"Yeah. I mean, the biggest thing, we can't try and press too hard. I definitely know we can win," Fowler told reporters after the second round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic Friday.

"This is -- how I've played is some of the best if not the best I've felt about my game and on the course really ever. We've won a few times, I know we're capable of doing that. Like I said, just can't press on that too much, just continue to execute and play some solid golf."

He added:

"Last week I was a little too far back. U.S. Open, didn't play very well on Sunday. Yeah, you can look back and there's a reasoning on just about any of them. Continuing to put ourselves in good positions and playing some good golf, we'll just keep knocking at the door."

Fowler's 65 on Friday was one of the lower rounds of the day after Taylor Pendrith shot 64 and Andrew Landry shot 63. 

His round included a monster, 49-foot putt for birdie at the par-4 12th, and a chip-in eagle at the par-5 17th.

His 65 also propelled him into a tie for third at 12-under par, just one stroke back of leaders Pendrith and Taylor Moore.

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