Reed and Fowler ready to lock horns again
Patrick Reed and Rickie Fowler fought for the Green Jacket on Masters Sunday and it is not hard to imagine them scrapping it out for the Claret Jug this week.
All eyes are on Carnoustie and The 147th Open, where the world’s finest are bidding to be Champion Golfer of the Year – and the American duo are two of the form horses.
Reed already has one major to his name after claiming The Masters in April and is chasing the Claret Jug to enhance an already incredible year, while Fowler has a string of top-ten finishes in golf's biggest tournaments.
The popular 29-year-old has a pair of top-tens at The Open alone and arrives at Carnoustie in fine fettle after an impressive tied-sixth finish at the Scottish Open on the Gullane links - and he admits this would be the perfect place to break his duck.
Fowler and The Open have an intriguing history. It was at Royal St George’s in 2011 that he burst onto the scene before finishing just two shots and one place off Rory McIlroy three years later at Royal Liverpool.
Despite that, he has not cracked the top 20 in his last three attempts and the Florida ace is adamant it’s time for another shot at the trophy.
“I feel great for The Open,” he said.
“I am heading up on Tuesday to get a look at it, I like where my game is at and I am over here ready to go – I am feeling very confident.
“The Scottish Open is always a good place to get ready for The Open and I feel like I have done that.
“There are a lot of positives for me coming into it this year, I played well and hit the ball great – I got done everything I wanted to.
“Carnoustie is very firm and fast. The greens will only dry out as the tournament gets going but tee to green it is quick and it will be tough to stop the ball on the fairways.
“It will be a challenge to do a good drop to hold the ball when the wind gets across, the wind will take it and who knows where it will go – that is the fun of Carnoustie and I am ready.”
Reed is one of many top players standing in Fowler’s way. The 27-year-old admits he initially struggled to adjust to the pressure and scrutiny brought by major golf, but three top-five finishes in a row shows something has changed.
Doubters could argue that the Carnoustie links is a long way from the wisteria and magnolia that decorate Augusta National – but Reed can’t wait.
“I am treating them (majors) like normal events. That is an easy thing to say but I used to put more pressure on and you try and hit the ball harder and further,” he said.
“I tried to force things but it did not work for me early on in my majors. So since then I have to tried to have fun and relax. If I treat every shot like I am back home then I will do okay.
“I have had some good finishes and a win so it’s working. I feel like the biggest thing is controlling the hype of the week.
“I can’t wait to get going out there now, I am feeling strong and confident about where I am at. It’s going to be fun.”
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