Rickie Fowler makes encouraging ZOZO start but "misses" Joe Skovron

Rickie Fowler is buoyed by his return to Butch Harmon but admitted he misses his former caddie Joe Skovron after the first round of the ZOZO Championship.

Rickie Fowler makes encouraging ZOZO start but "misses" Joe Skovron
Rickie Fowler makes encouraging ZOZO start but "misses" Joe Skovron

Rickie Fowler admitted he "misses" his former caddie Joe Skovron but he is buoyed rekindling his working relationship with Butch Harmon after finding himself only two shots off the pace after the first round of the Zozo Championship on the PGA Tour

Fowler, 33, carded an opening round of 3-under 67 at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club, where home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is looking to defend his title in Japan. 

Related: Jack Nicklaus admits concern over PGA Tour direction

Matsuyama, who spent the earlier part of the week re-affirming his commitment to the PGA Tour in the wake of speculation linking him with a move to LIV Golf, struggled in the opening round and carded a 1-over 71. 

As for Fowler, he started on the back nine and got off to a dreadful start with a double bogey at No. 11, but he made birdie at 13, 16 and 18 to turn in level par before recording four birdies coming in, his only blemish coming at the par-3 fifth hole. 

After the first round, Brendan Steele is the early leader at 6-under par with a one-stroke advantage over Adam Schenk. Matthew NeSmith, Sam Ryder and Keegan Bradley are tied on 4-under. Elsewhere, Xander Schauffele is also in the top 10 after shooting the same opening number as Fowler. 

Fowler was asked by the media about the changes he has mind. He has admitted before that he was strongly considering a move to LIV Golf but it appeared that he was struggling with the decision. He previously asked: "Are we independent contractors or not?" 

Now he's back with Harmon after parting ways with John Tillery as coach. He also made the tough decision to end his working relationship with Skovron, who now loops for the bright young star Tom Kim, who claimed his second victory last week at the Shriners Children's Open at TPC Summerlin. 

Related: Tom Kim and Sungjae Im use mechanical putter at ZOZO

Said Fowler: "Yeah, [there has been] a lot of good stuff. Being back working with Butch and having Rick on the bag, someone that I've known a long time.

"[I] obviously miss Joe, but he's doing a good job. They got the win last week, so really cool to see for him and Tom.

"No, I'm very happy with where we're at. Obviously didn't have the week we wanted last week, drove it poorly, but with some of the changes we've made and to have the finish that we did at Napa and kind of seeing a lot of good things, I'm definitely happy about it and excited to be here and off to a good start." 

The ZOZO Championship is being played on the same weekend as LIV Golf Jeddah and the Andalucia Masters on the DP World Tour

Watch our latest YouTube video:


Sponsored Posts