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'Tiger ruined golf for the fans'

‘Tiger ruined golf for the fans’

He may have been saying it in a light-hearted manner, but there is method to Rickie Fowler’s madness

 

Rickie Fowler will be the first person to tell you that he hasn’t won as many titles as he would have liked.

There were high hopes for the colourful Californian upstart when he came onto the scene in 2010, controversially taking the Rookie of the Year award over Rory McIlroy. But after a handful of runner-up spots he had to wait more than two years to get his first win, edging out McIlroy and DA Points in a play-off at Quail Hollow. “That one was huge,” he reflected when we sat down near his home in Miami.

Another two years on and Fowler was on the cusp of superstardom. An astonishing run of results saw him become just the third player – after Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, of course – to finish in the top five in all four majors in the same season. Fowler ended the 2014 campaign with an 8th-place finish at the Tour Championship to move into the top 10 in the world rankings for the first time.

But while we all predicted multiple major championships and dozens of tour wins for Fowler, something wasn’t quite clicking. Then, in 2015, he finally got over the line for number two.

And what a place to do it. Fowler saw off Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner, himself looking for his first PGA Tour victory at the time, in a play-0ff at TPC Sawgrass to win the won they all want that doesn’t hold major status.

“It was definitely a frustrating few years,” Fowler tells NCG. “But the other way to look at is it just also shows you how hard it is to win on tour.

“I feel like early on, before I was out there, Tiger ruined it for fans by making it look a lot easier than it was. Having a roughly 30 per cent win percentage is basically unheard of. So it doesn’t happen often.

“I wish I would have been able to win more earlier in my career but we can see what we can make up for it.”

Since his Players victory, Fowler has added three more PGA Tour and two European Tour wins. But he is still in the hunt for that elusive major…

Watch the full interview with Rickie Fowler here:

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