PGA fan-favorite Rickie Fowler has had a rough past two years on tour, but he’s starting to turn a corner. When talking about how he has been able to get his game closer to where he wants it, Fowler gave credit to an unlikely source–NBA GOAT Michael Jordan.
Jordan owns a golf course in Hobe Sound, Florida, which just so happens to be where Fowler practices most of the time. Rickie and MJ have developed a close relationship, and have played a lot of rounds together. Fowler said he gets motivation playing with Jordan, and never hears the end of it when he loses.
“I was 7-under par through 17 holes [recently] and lost,” Fowler said to ESPN. “And he’s not quiet about it. [But] playing against MJ is as good as it gets for prep.”
Rickie Fowler has not cracked the top-10 in any of the 11 events he’s played in 2021. He went from once being considered a top golfer, to ranked 128th in the world. Fowler didn’t qualify for The Masters for the first time in his career, and is only playing the PGA Championship because he got an exemption.
“Yeah, it’s been tough,” said Fowler, a five-time PGA Tour winner who in 2014 finished in the top five in all four major championships but didn’t win any. “Especially knowing that at times, tee to green, it’s been a lot better than what things may show or look. Partly because of things not putting well or just not having the ball go in.
“A lot of it is just you start to see some putts go in, and the hole starts to look a lot bigger, but as soon as you miss a few, it starts to shrink up on you. That’s currently where things have been. It’s nice to at least make some putts today. I hit some good putts, and I kind of attribute that to the work we put in earlier this week.”
While Rickie Fowler has gone through some tough times on the course, he’s confident that he’s starting to get back to being a threat to win tournaments.
“I’m starting to feel pretty darn good,” he said. “The last few months, it’s been a lot more just go play golf and not play golf swing. Put a lot of time in prior to the last few months of working on swing and doing the stuff we kind of needed to work on and accomplish. Now it’s just go play golf.
“Unfortunately, through that time, the putter has gone pretty cold, if not the coldest it’s ever been for me, and that’s been a club I’ve been able to rely on through my career from junior golf on up. So I’m very happy with where we’re at. Things can still get better, but we’re back to playing golf and hitting shots and having fun.”
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