Johnny Miller once said during the Open Championship that Rory McIlroy may be worried about how his shirts looked. It’s an outlandish statement that won’t be forgotten by golf fans any time soon.
On Sunday during the Honda Classic Miller was back at it. During Rickie Fowler’s finish, Miller proclaimed, “A win is a win, but you’ve got to learn to finish out Sundays like a true champion. He hasn’t learned how to do that yet.”
Fowler started the final round with a four-stroke lead over the field and he finished with a four-stroke lead. Expecting anyone to run away from the field on a Sunday when guys are dropping like flies is ludicrous. Fowler did what he needed to do despite several mistakes and held on to win.
Fowler was asked about Miller’s comments after the tournament was over:
“Well, I started with a four-shot lead and I still won by four, so I didn’t play great. It wasn’t a pretty round, but we got the job done. A win’s a win.”
As NBC pointed out several times, Fowler has played in 179 PGA Tour events, had only three wins ahead of Sunday; he also has nine second-place finishes, five third-place finishes and his popularity with fans seems to make him an easy target for the “he can’t close” narrative. Fowler is one of only six guys on Tour right now age 28 or under with at least four wins. The other five guys are Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama, and Justin Thomas. That’s some nice company.
Of course now we’ll only hear about how Fowler has never won a major, and while that is true, again, Fowler is only 28 and the last three major champions were all over the age of 30.