Rickie Fowler had a great 2014, finishing in the top five in all four majors, but he didn’t collect any wins on the PGA Tour so people doubted his ability to turn his skill into success. In 2015 Fowler was voted “most overrated” by his peers, which he used as motivation and then won THE PLAYERS, the Scottish Open, and the Deutschebank Championship. Fowler also finished second once, third once, and had seven top 10 finishes.
Now, entering 2016, Fowler isn’t just a social media guy, he’s actually a guy who can compete on Tour with the big guns. Before the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Fowler spoke with the media about his goals for 2016 and said that he wants to build on the success he had in 2014 and 2015. Fowler knows what he needs to do to gain the respect of casual golf fans and his peers that have doubted him.
“I feel like to be in the same conversation I need to get a major and get that on the resume to at least have some sort of credentials to be there,” Fowler said Tuesday at Kapalua. “I’m just looking forward to working on being the best that I can be. The ultimate goal is to be the best player in the world. I obviously have some pretty tough competition out there.”
Adding a major championship to his resume would definitely boost Fowler’s appeal. Fowler is just 27-years-old and has only been on Tour since 2016, but in that time he’s only collected three PGA Tour wins. It’s easy to see why fans and his peers would overlook him when guys like Justin Thomas, Smylie Kaufman, Danny Lee, and Brooks Koepka are winning earlier in their careers.
“I think a combination of the two years, going with how I was able to hang around and get some top finishes in the majors in ’14 and the last year to go out and get the wins,” Fowler said. “You put those two together, and we win a major this year.”
Fowler is currently ranked sixth in the Official World Golf Rankings, and if he can claim a major tournament this season, the perception around him would definitely change. Fowler knows that he has his work cut out for him though with Spieth, Rory, Bubba, and Day all ahead of him in the rankings.
“I’m just looking forward to working on being the best that I can be. The ultimate goal is to be the best player in the world. I obviously have some pretty tough competition out there.”
[Via Golf Channel]