Las Vegas, Nevada (Oct. 8, 2010)–One of the key questions before the Ryder Cup started was: Did U.S. captain Corey Pavin make the right choice by picking Las Vegas golfer Rickie Fowler, a rookie on the PGA Tour? Fowler answered that question by picking up a point for the U.S. team with two halves, including an amazing finish on Sunday that left teammates and fans speechless. Fowler, one of more than 30 PGA, Nationwide, LPGA and Champions Tour players with deep ties to Las Vegas, plays and practices at the two Las Vegas TPC golf courses.—by Bill Bowman
Fowler, the 21-year-old graduate from Oklahoma State, is the first rookie to play in the Ryder Cup that took place Oct. 1-4 at the Celtic Manor Resort Club in Wales. But his play looked like that of a veteran. On Sunday, with all the pressure in the world on his young shoulders, he responded like a veteran by birdieing the final four holes to pick up a crucial halve for the U.S. At the time it kept the U.S. hopes of retaining the Cup alive. “It was a position where I had nothing to lose,” Fowler told the media afterward. “I had to go for it. Edorado (Molinari) played great all day. He hit a lot of great shots and forced me to make some putts at the end.” And make them he did, draining putts from everywhere including the final one on 18 in front of his teammates. “I told myself … just hit a good putt and what happens is what happens. I hit a good one and it went right in the middle.”
But it was a teammate’s play that really got Fowler fired up. “I felt the point that turned around my match and go me pumped up again was, I saw Tiger make a putt on 13 from about 50 feet and that kind of gave me a little extra life,” he said. “I went on to win the hole with a par and that kept me moving those last four where I made a little run.” Fowler was also humbled … and excited about the chance to play with the world’s best players on the world’s biggest stage. “I just want to say it’s been an awesome week for me. At 21, playing Walker Cup last year and to come and play the Ryder Cup this year, it’s been pretty cool to be on a team with all of these guys.”
Fowler’s no stranger to the pressure of team play. He competed in the Walker Cup twice for the United States, going 4-0 in 2009 and 3-1 in 2007 where, as with this year’s team, he was the youngest team member. Now it’s back to the reality of the PGA Tour. He’s made 17 of 25 cuts with a pair of runnerup finishes and he’s earned more than $2.3 million. He’s often seen roaming the fairways and greens at TPC Summerlin and TPC Las Vegas.
Quotes courtesy of ASAPSports.com