It’s been a year and half since Rickie Fowler last tasted victory, but with his four shot lead headed into the final round of the Honda Classic, it appears he is the next American “young gun” who will win this year on the PGA Tour. And, to be more specific, it will be three straight for the good ‘ole U-S- of A.
Coming on the heels of Dustin Johnson’s easy win last week at Riviera and ditto for Jordan Spieth’s domination at Pebble Beach, Fowler, at 28 years old is on the verge of being the third straight “20-something” to hold the trophy on Sunday night.
Three straight rounds in the 60’s, including a marvelous five birdie-no bogey 65 Saturday, has given him a four shot lead of England’s Tyrell Hatton. Fowler even tamed Jack Nicklaus’ “Bear Trap” making birdie at 16 to go -1 for the four holes and also, birdied the par 5 18th for good measure.
While the lead is not insurmountable, he’s clearly in command and he’s been there before, where Hatton has not on this kind of stage. They will play in the final group together.
Fowler has six previous world-wide wins with the last coming in Boston at the former Deutsche Bank PGA Tour Playoff event Labor Day weekend 2015. Earlier that year, Rickie conquered the “unofficial fifth major” by winning the Players Championship in a playoff at TPC Sawgrass.
There is no question he has massive popularity, especially with the young fans wearing his Oklahoma State Cowboy shirts, pants and backwards hats in the galleries.
Now, he can demonstrate his marketability on the course with another Tour win at a very difficult course.