Can Rickie Fowler finally cash-in at Carnoustie?

Scotland’s famous Carnoustie Golf Links is once again home to The Open Championship. The Claret Jug is up for grabs in the 147th playing of golf’s longest running major. While 155 other competitors have their eyes on the top prize, one player in particular is ready to finally etch his name in the history books.

Oklahoma State standout Rickie Fowler has been on the cusp of  a major championship victory more than once in his near decade as a professional golfer. In 34 major events, he found himself in the top-5 on eight separate occasions. During 2014’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, Fowler earned his best showing to date with a tie for second. He finished two strokes behind the winner Rory McIlroy.

Back in early 2017 Fowler was named as one of Golf.com‘s 10 best golfers never to win a major, a sentiment that many in the golf community stand behind. The California native has also finished runner-up at the 2014 U.S. Open and this past year at the Masters. Despite his previous shortcomings, Fowler has had a quiet yet successful year thus far in 2018 and would assuredly like to capitalize on that success with a win at Carnoustie.

Consistency is key at Carnoustie

This season Fowler has teed it up 18 times on the PGA Tour and affiliated events. Of those 18 starts, he finished top-15 in nine of them including a victory in his second event of the season. While an unofficial PGA Tour event, Fowler’s victory at the Hero World Challenge was a dominant one carding a final round 61 to win by four shots.

Just one month prior to chasing the Claret Jug at Carnoustie, Fowler and the rest of the PGA Tour did battle with the unforgiving Shinnecock Hills for the U.S. Open. Many described Shinnecock as a Links style play with fast and unforgiving fairways and greens. On a Saturday that brutalized many players Fowler shot a dismal 84. He rebounded on Sunday to shoot a round of 65 to finished tied for 20th.

Fowler’s resiliency is a truly admirable asset to have especially when contending at a major. The resilient aspects of his game coupled with his consistency to drive the ball with distance and control puts the former Players Champion is a great position coming into the week. One of Fowler’s most successful events is the Scottish Open, where he won in 2015 and has placed in the top-10 on multiple occasions.

With his experience for Links style golf, Fowler is surely a favorite heading into this week’s Open Championship. The wins may not be as recent as Dustin Johnson or Jason Day, or as plentiful as Tiger Woods or Jordan Spieth, but the time is now for Rickie Fowler. As the conditions of Carnoustie continue to firm up and become one of the most challenging these players will experience, this year may be Fowler’s best bet to become a major champion and forever cement his place in the history books.

 

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