Watch out, Fowler is on the move after win

Published 5:27 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Little Rickie did it!

Rickie Fowler is a name I’ve repeated multiple times in this very column. I constantly call on him to be the winner of the next big tournament.

Unfortunately, he hasn’t won anything in more than a year, and has been known to let a lead slip through his fingers on the final day. Last year’s PGA Championship, anyone?

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That all changed on Sunday.

Fowler reminded all of us why he is one of the top golfers in the world with a fantastic win at the Honda Classic at Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

The kid even finished 1-over on the final day, but it didn’t matter. He was 12-under for the tournament, with the T2s Gary Woodland and Morgan Hoffmann four strokes behind.

Fowler’s performance with his short game was something to behold, taking approach shots that dropped the ball close to the pin and following it up with sweet, sweet birdies all weekend. For a guy who has come close many times since his last win in September 2015 at the Deutsche Bank Championship, he worked it, and worked it good.

Now, as we’re on the eve of the greatest golf tournament in the world, the Masters in April, I expect Fowler to be a legitimate contender.

Don’t roll your eyes this time. He’s proven himself in big tourneys. The 2015 Players Championship, what I and many others consider to be the fifth major, belongs to him.

I can understand anyone who is hesitant to go in on him, though. He has been a pro since 2009 and only has four PGA Tour titles to show for it. The fact that he should have won more helps him a little.

It’s kind of like Leonardo DiCaprio coming up short in so many Oscars before finally winning one. Everyone couldn’t believe he didn’t have an Oscar, which is in a way flattering. You could make the same argument for Fowler.

So I’m putting my money on him when he shows up at Augusta. The Honda Classic is a great win to have under one’s belt before tackling the big one. Who knows, he may grab another win before the Masters, too.