Many will point to the 2017 US Open as the one that got away for Rickie Fowler, but the 28-year-old insists he is happy with his run at Erin Hills.
In the end, Fowler finished in the bunch tied for fifth and six shots behind Brooks Koepka, when many considered the man in the orange pants to be the one walking away with the gold medal late on Sunday.
‘Oh, it was nice to finish with some good swings. Made a birdie at the last as well. It was a tough day out there,’ Fowler said as he finished with a birdie to get back to even for the day.
The Californian-born star laid many of his final round problems on the effect of the strong winds at Erin Hills.
‘I know it was probably a little less wind than the guys saw this morning, but it still wasn’t easy. I mean, wind was affecting putts quite a bit, and it was tough to get things going. I mean, there were very few low rounds. It looked like Hideki put up a good one, a few groups out in front of us. Obviously, Brooks played a hell of a round out there this afternoon.’
Another Major top-five finish has Fowler remaining upbeat, insisting there were no negatives to his performance at the US Open.
‘No real negatives. I wish I would have been able to give myself a few more looks out there today and make a few more birdies.
‘But we came out swinging well. Like I said, birdied the first. Had a short one at 2nd, and made a great par at the 3rd. Another good putt at the 4th. Really felt like I kind of eased into the round a bit. It was, all in all, good. It was just tough out there.
‘And I didn’t get as many looks as Brooks, obviously. It’s still cool to see him play well today.’
And following the early exits of the then world’s top three players and the likes of Justin Rose and Adam Scott, Koepka made it seven first-time winners in a row – a good thing for the game, according to Fowler.
‘I think it’s a great thing.
‘You saw the leaderboard this weekend going into today, and still with a lot of the guys that were on that board today at the end, it’s a lot of new blood, young guys. Kind of some of the younger crew is coming in.
‘I’m not saying the older guys are out by any means, but I think we’re making our presence a little bit more known.’
Fowler remained the world’s ninth best player when the rankings were released on Monday.
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