Fowler comes a long way in a short time
Rickie Fowler knows what it’s like for an American golfer to win
a cup on European soil.
Never mind that he’s only 21, and the first U.S. tour rookie to
make the Ryder Cup team. And that experience came in amateur
matches, the Walker Cup three years ago at Royal County Down where
Fowler was the youngest player on the team and went 3-1.
”I played well in Ireland, and it was a similar stage,” he
said Wednesday. ”But this is multiplied by 10, 20 or 30.”
Fowler and rest of the Ryder Cup players headed out for a wet
day of practice with the start of the matches two days away. It
rained overnight and continued into the morning, leaving Celtic
Manor wet and sloppy.
Fowler was to play in the same group as Tiger Woods, which was
enough to get his attention. They did a commercial shoot earlier
this year for a video game – with a Ryder Cup theme, no less – but
Fowler has never played with the world’s No. 1 player.
In the final tournament before U.S. captain Corey Pavin made his
picks, Woods hinted that Fowler would get plenty of consideration.
But when asked about his game, Woods said, ”I’ve never seen him
He gets that chance on Wednesday, although Woods again is with
Steve Stricker, with Jim Furyk rounding out their group.
Fowler took up the game at age 3 and began playing tournaments
before he began his schooling. He says he didn’t have any one hero
in golf, although Woods winning the 1997 Masters by a record 12
shots was his first memory.
Fowler was only 8 years old at the time.
He has come a long way in such a short time. Fowler only turned
pro a year ago, and even when he earned his PGA Tour card last
December, his goal for the year was simply to earn his card.
He received an invitation to play the Arnold Palmer Invitational
at Bay Hill, and he wound up being drawn with Colin Montgomerie –
not knowing that he would be playing against Montgomerie’s team at
”Earlier this year, I wasn’t really thinking too much about the
Ryder Cup,” Fowler said.
Now he’s being counted on to help the American team win on
European soil for the first time since 1993 at The Belfry.