Ahead of the Arnold Palmer at Bay Hill, CBS golf analyst Nick Faldo took a jab at Rickie Fowler’s role as golf’s top commercial star amid a year-long slump, which has jeopardized his streak of 10 straight Masters’ starts.
Faldo tweeted, “Good news is if he misses the Masters he can shoot another six commercials that week!”
Good news is if he misses the Masters he can shoot another six commercials that week! ? https://t.co/kgGcmaZUJO
— Sir Nick Faldo (@NickFaldo006) March 2, 2021
Despite his struggles on the course, Fowler remains golf’s busiest brand pitchman. The five-time Tour winner regularly appears in ad spots for Rocket Mortgage, Farmers Insurance, TaylorMade, and Mercedes Benz, among others.
Critics like Faldo say the star has spread himself too thin, particularly with a new wife – which seems to have coincided with the start of the slump. They argue: there’s simply not enough time in the week to maintain a world-class golf game and a new marriage, while also juggling his sponsors’ content commitments.
For example, a new Mercedes spot, starring Fowler, is already guaranteed a spot in the Masters’ advertising rotation, even as the golfer struggles to secure a spot in the field.
Faldo – a six-time major winner, and three-time Masters champion, followed up with a question for “fans” yet clearly intended for Fowler:
“Ok sports fans [and Rickie] out of my own curiosity what would you rather have, a boatload of cash or your name in three green books?”
Ok sports fans out of my own curiosity what would you rather have, a boatload of cash or your name in three green books? pic.twitter.com/fHMn1S1y8D
— Sir Nick Faldo (@NickFaldo006) March 3, 2021
In a second follow-up, this time via video, Faldo (half) apologized, but included a backhanded reminder of Fowler’s longtime reputation as overrated:
“Like everybody, we want him to find his game as soon as possible. So, five years ago now, he was voted by the players as the most overrated player on Tour. It motivated him to go and win the Players literally the next week. So, a couple years later when things were gone quiet, I said to Rickie, ‘Hey, I need to give you a bit of needle, mate, to motivate you.’ And he said to me, ‘Bring it on.’
“OK, it’s years later, so hopefully he still remembers that.”
Hello friends….. pic.twitter.com/pAgfEe6lzs
— Sir Nick Faldo (@NickFaldo006) March 4, 2021