Rickie Fowler is becoming one of the more popular players out on tour. Unfortunately, so far the recognition is for his bright clothing than for his wins.
Granted, he is in just his second season on the PGA Tour, but coming out of Oklahoma State University he was expected to maybe have notched a win or two by now. Last season, he posted seven top-10 finishes, including a pair of seconds, en route to winning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year honors.
This season, he has yet to post a top-three finish and has dropped 24 spots to 52 in the Official World Golf Rankings.
On Friday, at the AT&T National at Aronimink Golf Club, Fowler shot a 1-under 69. That might not sound impressive, but on a course that at first glance is looking tougher than the U.S. Open course at Congressional, Fowler’s 36-hole 3-under score has him in contention.
“It is a tough course. I do have a little bit of room out there where I can improve, so that’s good,” he said. “Playing well and 3-under through two rounds, off to a good start and looking forward to the weekend.”
Though he missed last year’s cut, Fowler believes the course fits well with his game.
“I like this course,” he said. “Unfortunately last year I struggled a bit off the tee and wasn’t able to play well enough to get to the weekend. But I do like the way this course sets up for my game, so looking forward to playing well this week.”
Having made the cut, Fowler loyalists will get more of his Doug Sanders-like apparel selection. An endorser for Puma, Fowler often walks the fairway in a single color, such as bright orange pants, shirt and baseball-style hat with the signature Puma logo.
“There’s definitely some Puma hats floating around,” Fowler said. “Seems like more and more each week I’ve got some kids out there telling me to hurry up and go sign some autographs. It’s great having fans, having good fans like they are. It’s nice to always have supporters out there.”
Stuart Hall is editor of the Golf Press Association.