Fowler look­ing for a ma­jor break­through

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - - Sports -

SOUTHAMP­TON, N.Y. – Rickie Fowler knows he can win ma­jor cham­pi­onships. He says every­one in golf knows that. So, Rickie, how about this week in the U.S. Open?

Ma­jors have not been kind to Fowler, who ei­ther gets teased or slammed by them. In April, he came up one shot short of Pa­trick Reed at the Masters. Fowler also was run­ner-up at both the U.S. and Bri­tish Opens in 2014. In all, he has eight top-five fin­ishes in Grand Slam events.

He also has missed cuts in seven ma­jors. So, once again, he was asked Wed­nes­day: Rickie, how about this week?

“Yeah, def­i­nitely I’ve been very close,” Fowler said. “I feel like there’s a few you could look at and say, if it wasn’t for that one guy, we would have won. There was a cou­ple of ma­jors where there was a run­away or some­one just hap­pened to play just that lit­tle bit bet­ter. There’s some scores that I’ve shot that have been good enough to win ma­jors, but we haven’t been able to get it done that spe­cific week.

“You know what, at the same time, I kind of like to look at it as far as I’m good enough, and I ba­si­cally won a ma­jor: I won The Play­ers against, ar­guably, the best field we play all year on a golf course that is a very good test as well. No, we just got to hap­pen to get one done at the right time and have that week.”

Shin­necock Hills would be a good place for it to hap­pen. Fowler rates it as one of his fa­vorite Amer­i­can cour­ses, one he’s played more of­ten than any head­ing into a ma­jor on that lay­out. He’s been on Long Is­land for more than a week, with prac­tice rounds at Shin­necock and sev­eral other highly rated cour­ses.

Fowler even played with Tom Brady on Tues­day at Friar’s Head, an­other revered course on the is­land.

“I’ll tell you what, Tom Brady can putt,” Fowler said.

Fowler can do ev­ery­thing with a golf ball, and for the last year he’s been con­sid­ered the best player not to win a ma­jor, ever since Ser­gio Gar­cia cap­tured the 2017 Masters. At 29, he should be in his prime com­pet­i­tive years, and he hardly lacks ex­pe­ri­ence: This will be his 10th U.S. Open.

Boat man: Tiger Woods brought his yacht, Pri­vacy, to a U.S. Open in New York and missed the cut for the first time in a ma­jor.

That was 12 years ago when the Open was at Winged Foot.

He can only hope for a dif­fer­ent out­come at Shin­necock Hills.

“Stay­ing on the dinghy helps,” Woods said with a grin.

The 155-foot yacht is said to in­clude a Jacuzzi, gym and movie theater. It doesn’t sound as though Woods has spent much time ashore ex­cept for be­ing at Shin­necock Hills for his first U.S. Open in three years.

“Sag Harbor is a cute lit­tle town,” he said. “I’ve only been there for a few days now. I haven’t re­ally got a chance to walk about a lit­tle bit, but cer­tainly will this week.”

BRAD PEN­NER / USA TO­DAY SPORTS

Rickie Fowler, 29, is con­sid­ered the best player not to win a ma­jor. He calls Shin­necock Hills one of his fa­vorite cour­ses.

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