The Rickie Fowler showing up on the golf course from last fall to now leading the PGA Championship at Oak Hill next week is the one fans have grown accustomed to seeing since turning pro. Long drives, sharp irons and solid putting have been the name of the game for Fowler, and he couldn’t be happier to be back at that point on the golf course.
It’s especially gratifying for him to see where he’s been finishing in tournaments lately after the rough streak in the previous years where he had to struggle.
«Obviously, it’s been a lot more fun,» Fowler told Fox News Digital while promoting Level Select OTC’s herbal pain relief products, «but I think the most important thing is really being able to build some momentum and confidence.»
CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM
Fowler was as low as No. 185 in the world golf rankings, but he just broke into the top 50 once again for the first time since 2020 after finishing tied for 14th at the Wells Fargo Championship. The 34-year-old now owns Oak Hill and the PGA Championship, his first major title since last year after failing to qualify for The Masters in April.
It’s a course he played well back in 2013, but a new renovation makes things a little more interesting for him and the rest of the course that will play 72 holes starting next Thursday.
«Not a lot of people have seen it since the renovation, including me. So I’m really looking forward to getting there and planning to play 18 on Sunday and getting ready for the week. But it’s a great golf course. You have to drive the ball well. That’s where I’m putting a lot of emphasis over the next few days and preparing for next week. If you don’t drive well, it’s going to be a short week and you’re not going to be able to really show off the rest of the game. So first and foremost, we need to make sure that we’re driving well to start the week.»
RICKIE FOWLER TAKES HOLE IN ONE AT WASTE MANAGEMENT PHOENIX OPEN
Fowler ranks 37th on the PGA Tour right now in driving distance with 306.6 yards per tee shot, which is five places more than Wells Fargo. However, his driving precision ranks 112th in the Tour, something he will be looking to correct especially this week.
However, while he is focused on how to defeat Oak Hill’s difficult fairways and greens, Fowler also noted how he is getting back to playing golf. What he means is not to overthink every swing, chip and putt when he’s out there like before.
That’s thanks to meeting with his swing coach, Butch Harmon, once again.
«Really, the main thing is to get back to playing golf and not playing the golf swing too much,» Fowler said when asked what they’ve been working on the most since their revival. «I’m still working on things I knew I had to do, and Butch knew I had to do it too and be in better positions. But at the end of the day, keeping your mind pretty free of swaying thoughts that aren’t one or two key things in the «I have to focus. To exaggerate a little bit in practice so I don’t have to think about it too much while I’m playing, and that’s been one of the biggest things. Being able to go out and play golf and hit shots and not think too much about the golf swing.» .
On the technical side of the swing, Fowler said «putting the left arm on a more incline» was paramount when Harmon worked with him again. Those who know Fowler’s swing know his very shallow backswing that seems to be a thing of the past now. He’s been noticeably sharper with his backswing, and it’s paying dividends on the course.
«Just giving myself more space and making the swing work more efficiently. That was a lot more of an overkill at the beginning than I have to do nowadays. That was probably the biggest thing, putting myself in a little bit better position at the bottom. swing so I can go ahead and go golfing from there.»
The confidence and swing are there as Fowler ranks 25th in FedEx Cup points and has four top-10 finishes in the 2022-23 season. However, Fowler hasn’t won since the 2019 Phoenix Open, something Harmon previously said he believes will change this year.
Can it happen at Oak Hill, which would be Fowler’s first major championship?
«I think the most important thing is if I drive it, let’s say average for me or definitely better than that, I’ll have a great chance to win there. I wouldn’t say we’ve been anywhere near my best in any of the events this year and seeing the endings I can save a little bit with that, that shows a lot about the game and like I said, driving the ball is going to be key. If I can pull that off, I know I can give myself a chance to win there.»
He also looks to the future, mentioning that the PGA Championship begins a long stretch in which he will play eight of the 10 events in the coming weeks. The US Open and The Open Championship are on that list as he wants to make the Ryder Cup team once again.
LIV GOLF RIPS’ PHIL MICKELSON USGA CEO MIKE WHAN ALLEGES COLLUSION WITH PGA TOUR
«With the state of my game and where I am, I’m excited and I know we can run, have a lot of fun in those 10 weeks and put ourselves in a really good position for the FedEx Cup, ultimately try to move up and be in a position to build part of the Ryder Cup team. So, yes, it’s a big stretch ahead but it’s starting to be a fun summer,» he said.
Fun. That’s what golf is all about, but it wasn’t something Fowler didn’t always feel in recent years.
That seems to have been left behind, and it comes at the best moment of the season.
HOW FOWLER RECOVERS
OTC Level Selection It’s a plant-based pain reliever, and Fowler has been using his products for quite some time to make sure he feels 100% on and off the golf course.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
«It’s been great for us on the recovery side. I love being able to use the cream and roll-on. Being with them for a few years, I used a lot of CBD cream. Now I get the same benefits and effects of the OTC, and like I said being able to use the cream is my favorite most of the time it’s my trainers able to incorporate that into our main therapy either lower back or legs depending on what I feel like I need and then for personal use, so I’m not touching anything, whether it’s before I go play or something, that’s where the roll-on comes in handy.»