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By : BGA Proshop
It was Rickie Fowler’s first event to kick off his 2018 season. The highly followed, highly anticipated athlete was back after a short break where he was seen spending time with girlfriend American Pole Vaulter Allison Stokke.
Rickie, who has also been a lot quieter on his social media channels seemed to have had less of a ‘boys trip’ break as seen in previous years and more of a travelling down time break where he and Stokke shared video and images of them training together off the course.
So, I’m sure the questions are out there …. is Stokke good for Rickie? Is she going to have a positive impact on his career? You’d have to think so. The athletic 28 year old could be just the piece of the puzzle Rickie has been missing. Not known for is athletic physique while the competition around him continues to enhance their growth in the gym, you would could only think that more of Stokke’s typical training regime would be great for Rickie.
Rickie opened his 2018 campaign playing the OHL Classic at Mayakoba on the weekend and came up short to little known Patton Kizzire who broke through for his first tour win. Rickie finished second and only one stroke behind with third place a further three shots back.
Out of 23 starts last year, Rickie finished 12 events inside the top 10 and 9 of those inside the top 5 gathering only 1 win last season at the Honda Classic in February 2017. So how do we rate Rickie and this latest so close but not quite moment?
Now 28 years old and with 9 years on the tour, Fowler is certainly not the young kid on tour as he was held to be for so long. He has tallied 7 wins which include 4 on the PGA Tour and 2 on the European Tour. He has finished in the top 5 in all 4 majors, had 58 top 10 finishes and earned nearly $30M in prize money.
With rounds of 65, 67, 67, 67 I don’t think you could ask for too much more from the weekend other then another erratic scorecard on the front nine where he started with bogey, par, birdie, birdie, bogey, birdie. I’m sure Rickie would be the first to tell you he’d like more consistency across the board but was also very unlucky to not have a number of birdie putts role in during the final round. Fowler came home strong with three birdies on the back nine including two straight on 16 and 17 which would have made Kizzire very nervous.
But …. It wasn’t to be once again and it’s another almost moment for Rickie Fowler. Yet to have a major against his name and short of expectations with tour wins, you’d have to say that to date, Fowler has not achieved the height of expectations that have been on his spotlighted career. With a strong start to this year, we certainly hope that this is a big year for Fowler and one where he proves all of his doubters wrong and his resume starts to read more in line with the fame of expectations that has followed him through his career.
The golf world has been waiting for Rickie to have a break out year where he bags a major and multiple wins. He almost did it in 2015 …… could 2018 be the year of Rickie Fowler.