Rickie Fowler has been granted a sponsors exemption to appear at this week’s Genesis Invitational. The 33-year-old American has slipped to 118th in the world rankings and has endured a difficult start to 2022, missing the last three cuts, the most recent of which was in last week’s WM Phoenix Open. Nevertheless, Fowler remains a popular player known for attracting significant endorsements, so his involvement in the tournament is sure to prove attractive.
In 2014, Fowler appeared to be fulfilling his potential with top-five finishes in all four Majors – a feat only matched by Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus. Although a first Major victory continued to elude Fowler, his stock remained high two years later, when he climbed to World No.4 after finishing second at Phoenix and winning the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Another Major near-miss in 2018 saw Fowler come within a shot of taking Patrick Reed to a playoff in the Masters before settling for runner-up. The following year saw Fowler win the WM Phoenix Open. However, the years since have seen his fortunes steadily decline.
There were reminders of Fowler’s capabilities in 2021, most notably with a tie for third alongside compatriot Keith Mitchell at The CJ Cup in Las Vegas and a tie for eighth in the PGA Championship. However, those top-ten finishes have proved increasingly elusive for a player once expected to follow a similar career trajectory to four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy. The fact that Fowler competed in last year’s PGA Championship was down to a similar exemption, and he spoke of his struggles the week before the tournament, saying: "It's been humbling. You learn a lot when you're at tough points. These are things that can make or break you. They test you. I'm still upright and moving forward.“
Despite Fowler’s inclusion in this week’s tournament, there are no guarantees that he will compete in next month's Players Championship, while that low ranking may also prevent him from playing in this year’s Majors. Nevertheless, if he can repay the sponsor’s faith in him with a strong performance this week, there will be renewed hope that maybe this time Fowler will have the impetus to fulfill the potential that seemed his destiny at the start of his career.
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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.
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