Rickie Fowler Misses Out On 59 But Shoots PGA Tour Career Low Round

The 34-year-old shot a 10-under 60 at the Travelers Championship as his resurgence in form continues

Rickie Fowler in the third round of the 2023 Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands
Rickie Fowler shot a PGA Tour career-low 60 in the third round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rickie Fowler came within one shot of joining golf’s exclusive 59 club in the third round of the Travelers Championship before eventually settling for a 10-under effort of 60.

However, despite just failing to join the likes of Justin Thomas, Adam Hadwin and Jim Furyk as a player who has shot golf’s magic number, Fowler’s effort at TPC River Highlands is still the lowest in his PGA Tour career.

It is also the latest indication that the World No.35 is close to his very best form after a run that had seen him drop as low as 185th in the world rankings just nine months ago.

Starting on the 10th, Fowler began the day steadily enough with successive pars. However, he then served notice of the fireworks to come with five birdies in the next seven holes to leave him on 30 at the turn.

Two more birdies followed on his 10th and 11th holes, and it got even better for Fowler with three holes to play with an eagle on the par 5 sixth.

He shot another birdie on the penultimate hole, leaving him needing his ninth of the day on the final hole to shoot 59. It wasn’t quite to be as his birdie putt from just over 13ft left him adrift by 16 inches.

Still, Fowler will have returned to the clubhouse delighted with the state of his game and he heads into the final round at 15 under. That puts him in with an excellent chance of claiming his first PGA Tour win since the 2019 WM Phoenix Open.

Fowler’s impressive performance in Connecticut this week is the latest in a series of eye-catching displays in recent months, including three top-10 finishes in his last three starts.

That included a T5 in last week’s US Open, which featured a record for the number of birdies at the Major – 23. That resurgent form has also closely correlated with his decision in September to split with coach John Tillery and return to the legendary Butch Harmon.

After his third round, Fowler attributed his return to form at least in part to that decision. He explained: “I learned a lot over the last few years working with Tillery and being back with Butch and getting back to focusing on a few key things and where I’m in a position where I can go out and play golf with as limited thoughts as possible.”

Despite not quite making 59, Fowler revealed he had shot the score once, albeit not on the PGA Tour. He said: “I shot 59 at MaKena. I can't remember - it was a few years back. Rahm and I were playing together. I think I ended up winning the match 1-up. I shot 59, he shot 60. It was a grind.”

A few weeks before reuniting with Harmon, Fowler also split with caddie Joe Skovron and currently has Ricky Romano on the bag.

Fowler's achievement in the third round follows an identical score carded by Denny McCarthy in the first round of the tournament. 

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.