SAN ANTONIO — Tell me in case you’ve heard this one earlier than: Four guys stroll onto a inexperienced …
It definitely has been a irritating stretch for Rickie Fowler, who possible gained’t be in Augusta subsequent week and is on tempo to overlook the FedEx Cup playoffs as effectively, sitting at 136th in the standings heading into this week.
And after all, Sir Nick Faldo’s shot at Fowler and subsequent apology firmly put the highlight on the 2010 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, the man many contemplate the finest present Tour participant to have by no means gained a main.
Fowler rallied to achieve the weekend at the Valero Texas Open by advantage of a 68 on Friday, however simply as he appeared to be trending in the proper route, the five-time PGA Tour winner posted three bogeys in his first 4 holes coming out of a rain delay Saturday.
A microcosm of Fowler’s season got here on the No. 3 at the TPC San Antonio Oaks Course, a quick par 3 over a pond. Fowler’s tee shot discovered the inexperienced, however he had a 55-foot putt for birdie.
That’s when he tried to pull the flagstick from the gap and issues bought a little weird.
Both Fowler and taking part in companion Charl Schwartzel struggled to get the stick faraway from the gap, as did their caddies. The pin lastly got here free after Schwartzel lodged a membership in to carry the gap down whereas his caddie pulled it free.
Fowler, who was 1 over for the event at the time, proceeded to three-putt the gap, dropping 11 pictures off the lead.
The placing fiasco wasn’t an aberration for Fowler; in actual fact, it’s changing into the norm. Fowler’s drop in the world rankings — he’s fallen to 94th in Official World Golf Ranking and 118th in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings — has coincided together with his lack of contact on the greens.
In 2017, Fowler completed in the top-10 in practically half (10) of his 21 PGA Tour begins, gained the Honda Classic and was second in scoring common. That additionally occurred to be his finest placing season, one by which he led the Tour in Strokes Gaines: Putting.
But since then, Fowler has been in a freefall — he was forty third in 2018 in SG:P, adopted by thirteenth in 2019, sixtieth in 2020 and now 176th in the present season.
Fowler did reply on Saturday with a pair of birdies after his string of bogeys, however with out his putter exhibiting marked enchancment, there’s no purpose to assume he’ll snap out of this hunch any time quickly.