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Born: 13 December 1988
Birthplace: Murrieta, California, USA
College: Oklahoma State University
Resides: Jupiter, Florida
Major Wins: 0
Euro or PGA Tour Wins: 7
Other wins: 2
Grass Preference: Unknown
Significant Life Events: Yes
GBC Wind Performance Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
GBC Pressure Rating: ⭐⭐
Rickie Fowler has five PGA Tour titles to his name, including the prestigious Players Championship which he won in 2015. He also has two European Tour titles – Scottish Open (2015) and Abu Dhabi Championship (2016), which led him to his highest ever world ranking of 4th.
Ricky turned professional in 2009 following 36 weeks as the number one ranked amateur golfer. It wasn’t long before he had a become a fan favourite in America and became famous for his all-orange outfit. However, since his win in January 2019 in Phoenix, Rickie has slid down the world rankings and ended 2020 outside the top 50 for the first time since 2010.
Swing changes and sponsorship commitments have been cited for his slump and it will be interesting to see how Rickie bounces back in 2021. His switch to swing coach John Tillery in September 2019 has not paid off to date and it remains to be seen whether Rickie will seek to return to the tutelage of Butch and Claude Harmon.
Rickie got married to field amateur athlete Allison Stokke in October 2019.
SG: OFF THE TEE
SG: AROUND THE GREEN
Pressure Performance Analysis
Began the final round of the WGC - FedEx St. Jude Invitational 2 shots behind Brendon Todd. Shot 73 to finish 15th, and looked a shadow of himself.
Co-led the American Express with Scottie Scheffler but shot 70-71 over the weekend to finish 10th, 8 shots back of winner Landry.
Began the final round 2 shots behind Wyndham Clark at The Honda Classic and shot 67 to miss out on a playoff by 1 shot as winner Keith Mitchell also shot 67.
Began the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open with a 4-shot lead and won by 2 strokes after recording a double bogey and triple bogey on route to a closing 3-over 74. Became the first player since 1983 to win with both a double bogey and triple bogey or worse in the final round. Triple bogey came at No. 11 at TPC Scottsdale after he chipped his ball into the water and received an additional penalty when the ball rolled back into the water after he had placed it back into play. Marked the second time of seven occasions he converted a 54-hole lead to victory.
Co-led after 18 holes with Tiger Woods at the Tour Championship with a 65 and followed with 72-73-65 to finish 7th, 6 shots back from Woods.
Co-led after 18 holes at the Scottish Open with a 64 and followed with 66-68-68 to finish 6th, 6 shots back from winner Brandon Stone.
Entered the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open with a 1 shot lead. Closed with a 2-over 73 to finish 11th, 6 strokes behind winner Gary Woodland. Marked his fifth (out of six) 54-hole lead/co-lead he was unable to convert to victory.
Ricky has 5 PGA tour victories including the Players Championship, however only one of these have come since 2017 and he almost threw that away as well. There has to be some serious doubts about his ability to get over the line at the moment and with only two out of seven 54-hole conversions, he can be layed if leading at short odds. His Golf Betting Club Pressure Performance Rating is set at 2 stars.
Loves the Phoenix Open with a win in 2019, 2nd places in 2010 and 2016 and led after 54 holes in 2018. Strong last four results at season opener Tournament of Champions – 4th in 2020, 4th in 2018, 5th in 2016, 6th in 2013.
Several of Rickie’s wins have followed a poor finish the week beforehand. Win at 2015 Deutsche Bank Championship followed a MC, Scottish Open victory the same year followed a MC and Phoenix Open win in 2019 followed a 66th place.
Big finishes in Phoenix and Honda in 2019 and previous wins in Scotland and Players Championship.
Major and WGC Analysis
Rickie has had eight Top 5’s in majors over the years without a win. Between 2017 and 2019 he recorded five Top 10’s out of twelve attempts after two years without a Top 10. In 2014, he was in the Top 5 in all four major’s - he was only the third player, along with Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, to have finished in the Top 5 in all four majors in one calendar year, but the first not to win (Jordan Spieth became the fourth player in 2015).
All Fowler’s top finishes are spread out over all four majors, but he really should have won at least one by now. At the 2014 PGA Championship, Fowler, Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, and McIlroy battled for the title on a rain-soaked Valhalla Golf Club. Despite holding the lead for a good portion of the day, Fowler tied for 3rd. He was the one shot shy of winning the 2018 Masters, denied by a superb performance by Patrick Reed and also has runners up spots at the Open Championship and U.S. Open (both in 2014).
Rickie gears his year around the majors like all the big boys do now and won’t be fully satisfied with this career if he never bags one. It is worth noting several of his top finishes have followed a poor week in the warm up tournament so don’t be put off backing him in that scenario. Like Tony Finau however, the bookmakers tend to price Ricky up like he is a multiple major champion so there is very rarely value for him in the market. Keep an eye on him on the first-round leader market though as he is prone to a fast start.
Ricky has twelve WGC Top 10’s, yet none since 2017. He was 15th at the WGC - FedEx St. Jude Invitational in 2020 though. It remains to be seen whether Ricky can close a WGC, he needs to get back to winning ways on tour first.
2-2. Lost most recent playoff at 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open to Hideki Matsuyama who parred the 4th extra hole for the win. The year before in 2015 he won a three-man playoff at the Players Championship, where he defeated Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner in a three-hole aggregate playoff.
Back in 2012 he won another three-man playoff at the Wells Fargo Championship, bating Rory McIlroy and D.A. Points with birdie on the 1st extra hole. Lost his first ever PGA tour playoff to a Troy Matteson birdie on the 1st extra hole of the 2009 Frys.com Open. This was also a three-man playoff with Jamie Lovemark.
No bet advised on a Rickie playoff due to limited recent evidence.
Shriners for Hospital's Children Open, 2020
Q. How challenging has this been, this stretch for you, and have any doubts about what you're doing crept into your head?
RICKIE FOWLER: No, it definitely has been tough. Anyone that goes through changes or even just dealing with struggles, low points, it happens at some point for everyone.
For me, it's just going through changes. Yeah, it's definitely been tough. But, no, I've never doubted it just because there has been some rounds or some tournaments here and there where seeing the work kind of come through.
Just haven't been able to piece everything together and really put it into a really efficient, consistent form yet. But that is coming. We're just beating down the door.
Like I said, to have had at least some highlights throughout the year where -- whether it was just a good round where stuff clicked, some tournaments where I was able to get myself up into contention, and just keep beating it down, it's been a fun process.
But at the same time, it's definitely been very tough mentally just trying to keep pushing forward. You know, I know what I'm capable of. Seeing other guys struggle, I know what they're capable of. But it's part of golf. It's probably the most humbling game out there. Sometimes you just got to keep putting the foot forward, putting the work in, and keep at it.
Sentry Tournament of Champions, 2020
Q. Top six every time you've played here. Why is that?
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, I love playing in the wind. I feel like this golf course also allows you to use your imagination. Obviously with the amount of up and down and side slopes, and in the wind you've got to have some imagination on shot shape and hit your windows and let the wind -- when it's blowing over 10 or 15, you can't really hold it up against the wind, so you kind of have to play with it and let the wind move your ball, so judging that properly is always fun for me.