Rickie Fowler – The Next Breakout Player

Rickie Fowler is a rising star. He is a hungry lion who is proving that the young players on the PGA Tour are here to stay. After turning pro in 2009 at the age of 21, Fowler has steadily improved his standing within the professional ranks. Since the moment he emerged on tour, he has been touted as one of the future stars of golf.

Fowler’s first three years on tour proved that the early predictions of his potential were well founded. His record of one win, 12 top 10s, 39 top 25s, out of 75 events was impressive. More importantly, he demonstrated improvement each year by his climb up the FedEx Cup standings and his steady movement up the money list. Overall, Rickie Fowler was a golfing professional who pundits considered as a future champion.

The PGA Tour season of 2013 was not as kind to Fowler. He faltered in the money list and appeared to be human. He was not as prominent on the Tour as the previous three years and his game seemed headed in the wrong direction. The main reason for Fowler’s failing game could be attributed to the death of his swing coach Barry McDonnell in early 2011. His play in 2012 was erratic and showed signs of weakening throughout the entire season. He continued through the 2013 season without a swing coach and to no surprise, his erratic play continued. After finishing 38th in the FedEx Cup standings, his second worst performance since turning pro, Fowler must have realized it was time for a change.

Enter Butch Harmon in December 2013. Not surprisingly, Fowler’s golf game immediately improved as seen by his eighth place finish in Thailand. Already considered to have a great swing, Fowler needed some minor adjustments to get back to his great play. Coaching some of golf’s great players, Harmon was the right person, at the right time, to make a dramatic impact on Fowler’s golf game.

“I’ve spent a lot of time with Butch and been around with him and with the other guys that he’s worked with,” Fowler said. “He’s kind of seen me develop over the last few years and really felt that with the experience he has as a teacher he could help me reach my goals and aspirations and help me be the best player that I can be.” (PGATour.com)

“It’s just basically taking what I have and turning it and cleaning it up and making it the best it can be,” Fowler said of his work with Harmon. (PGATour.com)

Suddenly, Fowler had renewed hope for the 2014 season. Starting off slow, except for his performance at the Masters, Fowler did not perform as expected. However, in June something happened. Fowler found his golf game and the second half of the 2014 PGA Tour season was what everyone was waiting for.

The biggest change in Fowler’s game was his attitude. He impressed Harmon by his desire to be a Major champion. “I love the kid,” Harmon said. “The thing I like is he’s been saying ‘I want to be known more for my golf than my clothes and my hat. I want to contend in majors.” Well, the Fowler/Harmon combination did not disappoint! Fowler’s performance in the 2014 Majors was outstanding. Overshadowed by the PGA Player of  Year, Rory McIlroy, Fowler was the best overall performer in the 2014 Majors.

Tournament 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Master Tournament DNP DNP DNP T38 T27 T38 T5
US Open T60 CUT DNP CUT T41 T10 T2
The Open Championship DNP DNP T14 T5 T31 CUT T2
PGA Championship DNP DNP T58 T51 CUT T19 T3

There is little question that the golfing experts are curious about Rickie Fowler. I bet many are asking:

  • What is next for Rickie Fowler?
  • Is Fowler ready to claim his first Major championship?
  • In 2015, can Fowler repeat his stellar play in the Majors?
  • Is Rickie Fowler here to stay?

If Rickie Fowler stays with Butch Harmon, great things are expected from him in 2015. There are many great players on the PGA Tour, but this upcoming year will be a breakout year for Rickie Fowler. If he wins the Masters, then expect him to win a second Major! He will build on the momentum of an early win and will challenge Rory McIlroy for the title of world’s number one golfer! Regardless, expect Rickie Fowler to win a Major championship in 2015.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!



6 thoughts on “Rickie Fowler – The Next Breakout Player

  1. Pingback: Rickie Fowler: Rising to the Top of Golf | The Grateful Golfer

  2. Jim! I really dig Fowler and completely agree with you. He’s got the total package to be a top player and seems to be just that one big win away. His showing in the Majors this year was ridiculous.

    What I think is key for him is that he appears to embrace and love what he does. He knows how to “play the game”.

    Great bit of writing here, enjoyed it.


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