Watching Rickie Fowler at the 2018 Master’s was like watching art in motion. He entered the weekend as the most likely winner, according to Las Vegas odds makers. Unfortunately, Fowler saw his first major championship slip through his fingers once again. A solo second is something to be very proud of, but the entire golf world wants to see Rickie Fowler capture a major championship. Will it happen in 2018?
Eight years ago, Rickie Fowler burst into the golf world with his bold orange outfits and his surfer dude hair. He immediately became the young heartthrob of the game. He sure did grab my heart. Here we are in 2018, and Fowler has yet to prove he is an elite golfer. In fact, he might be one of the more overrated golfers on tour.
In Fowler’s eight-year career, he has just four wins, none of which are majors. Four of the last five majors have been won by golfers under the age of 30, none of which were Fowler. Also, eight of the last nine majors have been won by first time champions. He has put together three second place performances in majors throughout his career, but when will he get over the hump? He prompts the question I have pondered time and time again when I watch him: is Rickie Fowler the next Sergio Garcia?
Sergio Garcia turned pro in 1999 and it took him 18 years to finally find a major win. It took Garcia two years to win on tour, just like Fowler. Eight years into Garcia’s career, at the Open Championship, he lost on the final hole at his first real chance at a major. This year, Fowler lost on the final hole, at one of his first chances at a major. The two golfers clashed in 2015 at the Players Championship; it is regarded as the “fifth major.” Fowler came out on top in a playoff, which is regarded as his best win of his career.
So, are we destined for 10 more years of painful endings for Fowler? Or will he find a way to pull out a major win in his eighth year on tour? After this Master’s performance of -14, many people would think so, but I just can’t bet on him to get a win under his belt.
Fowler is sixth in the Official World Golf Rankings after the Master’s. Being the sixth best golfer in the world is incredible, but there are many other golfers I would pick ahead of Fowler to snag one of the three remaining majors this year. No, one of them is not Tiger Woods. Golf just keeps getting younger and Tiger just can’t keep up with the young guns of today.
The U.S. Open, The Open Championship and the PGA Championship all remain up for grabs in 2018. Jordan Spieth won’t get shut out, he will capture one. Rory McIlroy’s career is back on the upswing, he will find a way to pull one out. Will the final major go to Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler or someone else? I wish I had the answer, but we will just have to find out.
Rickie Fowler has the experience needed to capture a major. He has the raw power, the finesse on the greens, the control and moxie to take over golf, but he has yet to do so. Rickie could be elite; he could also fall flat on his face. The mystery of Rickie Fowler is what makes him so interesting to watch.
By Ben Swanger, guest writer