Fowler Looking for a Fast Start
Rickie Fowler will have one clear goal when The 144TH Open Championship gets underway on the Old Course on Thursday.
“I just want to start better than last time,” he admitted in reference to the 2010 Open when he opened with a 79 before shooting up to a share of 14TH place with subsequent rounds of 67, 71 and 67. “I learned very quickly that you had to know where you wanted to go. There are some tough tee shots out there and visually it often doesn’t set up where you think you need to go.”
The good news for the 26-year-old from Murietta, California, is that there is currently nobody in the Home of Golf who believes he won’t succeed in that goal and not just because last year at Hoylake he produced four rounds in the 60s to finish tied for second place behind Rory McIlroy.
Fowler claimed top-five finishes in all of last year’s Majors but his win in this year’s Players Championship followed by a second success at last week’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open show that he has moved to a higher level since then.
“It was another big week for me,” he admitted. “It’s definitely a learning process. It’s not easy out here playing against the best players in the world and it’s nice to finally have a multiple win season.”
Fowler’s win last week at Gullane proved that he is currently one of the hottest players on the planet but he was playing down the suggestion his latest victory would give him an advantage over Jordan Spieth and the other players who warmed up for The Open by playing in the John Deere Classic in America.
“I don’t think I have an advantage by any means,” he said. “Most of the best players are here and there are a lot of guys on top of their form. I believed it (coming to Scotland) was the best preparation for but I can’t speak for anybody else.
“Jordon’s playing some amazing golf and he showed last year when he won in Australia and then flew back to the States and won Tiger’s tournament that he can handle the travel. I feel more and more guys will come over (ahead of The Open) but it all comes down to how each individual wants to prepare.”
“Ultimately, though, I feel like it is a good warm-up and a good way to get ready for a Major. The game feels very good right now, and I’m comfortable with links golf and ready for the challenge.”