Rickie Fowler put on full blast over gesture in Ryder Cup match

Rickie Fowler was put on full blast by some golf fans after he conceded a putt to Tommy Fleetwood on the final day of the Ryder Cup in Rome.

Ben Smith's picture
Mon, 2 Oct 2023
Rickie Fowler put on full blast over gesture in Ryder Cup match

Rickie Fowler didn't have a great week at the Ryder Cup

In fact, he never has. After Team USA's defeat at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, Fowler's record stands at 3-9-5. 

He played twice here and didn't register a single point for Team USA. 

Though huge criticism towards Fowler would be perhaps a tad unfair, given he was reportedly one of the players hardest hit by a bug reportedly circulating around the team dressing room. 

"Thank goodness we have a team doctor," said captain Zach Johnson, who made a stunning admission in the wake of defeat in Rome. 

"We're just fighting things, I mean, internally," Johnson said after his side were down by five points after day one. "It's kind of passed around a little bit, players, caddies." 

Fowler's Ryder Cup began on Friday morning when he and Collin Morikawa played against Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka in the foursomes. 

After the 2&1 loss, Fowler didn't play until the Sunday singles where he was pitted alongside England's Tommy Fleetwood in the penultimate match. 

Buoyed by Patrick Cantlay, there was a brief moment on Saturday afternoon where Team USA allowed themselves to believe. 

Could they mount an improbable comeback? 

Points came in quick succession from Max Homa, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele

"Myself and Tommy and Bob were in the locker room before we went out and we joked about hoping that it wasn't going to come down to our matches," said Shane Lowry in Europe's hilarious victory press conference before the real party got going. 

Lowry was right. 

Fleetwood's match with Fowler ebbed and flowed. 

They were tied through eight holes but Fleetwood moved ahead by two after 14. Then Fowler cut the lead to one by the time they arrived at the downhill, par-4 16th that provided the fireworks - predominantly from Jon Rahm - all week. 

Fowler's crack started right and stayed there. Wet. 

Fleetwood told reporters there was 'no point' in playing conservatively. Just hit the chief, he said, and wait for the crowds reaction given the glare of the sun. 

Fowler put his third to six feet and likely would have made par. 

Fleetwood's eagle approach was good but lacking juice and it left him two feet and eight inches. 

Fowler then conceded it, prompting the Englishman to go bananas. 

Clearly, Fowler's gesture was honourable. But as some fans pointed out, you've got to earn it. 

Even Brad Faxon, calling the action for NBC, was shocked. "This will not be conceded. No chance."

The moment has sparked a lively debate online. 

"If Rickie makes it and Tommy misses it, the match carries on to the 17th, and the Ryder Cup still isn't over," one person wrote. 

"Love Rickie, but make Tommy putt," another added. "He let the team down."

Another user said: "It was not a tap in and it was for the entire match. It's not unsportsmanlike in the least to have him putt out."

Others weren't so sure, with many commenting the Cup was already lost. 

Read more: