AUSTIN, TEXAS – MARCH 24: Rickie Fowler of the United States plays his shot from the seventh tee during day three of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club on March 24, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Will Rickie Fowler play at The Masters? Here’s what the fan-favorite on the PGA Tour needs to punch his ticket and qualify for Augusta.
Rickie Fowler is staying in Texas for good reason one week ahead of The Masters: he’s heading to the Valero Texas Open after a stellar performance at the WGC-Match Play in Austin. Although he didn’t make it to the knockout stage, his wins over current world No. 3 Jon Rahm helped push the Spaniard down a notch in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR).
His 2-1-0 score included a win over another tough contender, Keith Mitchell, sending him down the OWGR one peg as well to No. 46.
Although Fowler’s road to The Masters didn’t get any easier — he’s plateaued at No. 59 in the OWGR — his avid fan base saw a lot to celebrate about his play in the first few rounds in Austin.
Is Rickie Fowler playing The Masters? What he needs to qualifyFowler is currently not in the field for The Masters entering the Valero Texas Open.
Only the top 50 ranked players will secure spots in the next major, The Masters, at the esteemed Augusta National Golf Club next week. Fowler’s only opportunity remains Valero — but it’s not good enough to just contend. Rickie Fowler has to win the tournament outright in San Antonio, TX to be in the field at Augusta.
Fowler hasn’t won a PGA tournament since 2019’s Waste Management Phoenix Open and his struggles with form in 2020 and 2021 have been well documented, with the popular player dipping in the rankings as low as 185th. He also missed qualifying for The Masters in both years, after having appeared consecutively at the major for a decade.
But Rickie’s 2022-23 season so far has been an impressive one, certainly a vast improvement from the previous two years, and has shown all kinds of indication that he’s on the road to victory.
Starting with the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP last October, the 34-year-old golfer has made every cut, including a Top 2 finish at ZOZO and a Top 10 in Phoenix this year, making it five Top 20 finishes since the outset of the season. It’s this remarkable streak that’s allowed him to advance his ranking back into the Top 60, the highest it’s been in three years.
His 13th place at THE PLAYERS and match play wins at last week’s WGC prove that he still has the juice to go toe-to-toe with the top players in the world.
The Valero also has a weaker field, with even top peers such as Tyrrell Hatton and Hideki Matsuyama nursing injuries and flirting with withdrawal from the event.
Fowler’s made some changes to his game and his strong iron play is every indication that it’s paying off. The California native now ranks 15th in putting and third in tee-to-green stats. Fowler’s improved form is also due in part to his decision to reconnect with swing coach Butch Harman after the 2021-22 season.
All the reason why picking Rickie Yutaka Fowler (gotta throw his cool middle name in there) to achieve his first PGA Tour victory in four years at the Valero Texas Open for a dream invite to The Masters next week is very much in play.
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Source : FanSided