HUMBLE, Texas – Rickie Fowler had a spectacular opening round 64 at the Shell Houston Open considering the soggy fairways that were aggravating players on Thursday. Fowler skipped the WGC-Dell Match Play to rest prior to the Shell and The Masters and said after the round that he doesn’t play four events in a row. That has clearly worked out this week as he shot a 31 going out. Fowler held a three-stroke lead over the field for a while until Sung Kang caught him on the 17th hole.
Kang, who finished tied for 69th at this event last season and missed the cut in 2012 before ending up on the Web.com Tour, made an unfortunate bogey on the 18th to drop to seven-under and hand Fowler sole position of the lead ahead of the second round.
One of Fowler’s best shots came on his final hole, the par-3 ninth that he nearly aced.
Apparently, Fowler caught the ball a groove too low.
“It looked good. I may have caught it a groove low, but it was a shot I was trying to hit. We had 230 to the hole and no help. The wind was off the left. Trying to hit a low bullet 4-iron that kind of would pitch kind of between 10, maybe 15 on, and that’s exactly what it did and, yeah, it was scary.”
If you say so, Rickie.
Fowler will be throwing out the first pitch at the Astros game tonight, which he said, “is close to Ryder Cup nerves.”
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) March 30, 2017