Rickie Fowler shot a 1-under par 71 and ESPN has declared his “prolonged slump to be over.”
For context: Fowler opened with a 67 last week in Texas only to post 72 and miss the cut at the Byron Nelson. He also started with a 2-under 70 in Charlotte and chased it with a 77 on Friday to miss the weekend at Quail Hollow, a course he’s historically eaten up.
But sure. A first-round 71 means his slump has ended.
No one is a bigger fan of Rickie Fowler than this space. He is one of the real nice guys on the tour, but to claim his slump to be over is next-level dishonest especially when Fowler did not say he’d “overcome prolonged slump.” Read the transcript.
In fact, when asked the last time he felt this good, Fowler said “last Thursday,” and then noted he’d missed the cut on Friday.
“Actually, last Thursday,” said Fowler. “I might have been close to plus one maybe, and then it went the other way. I think I was close to minus four on Friday and missed the cut by one there.”
Fowler’s slump began in the middle of the 2019 – a year which started in typical Fowler fashion, including a win (Phoenix), runner-up (Honda), top-5, and top 10 in his first nine starts. After that, though, it’s been tough sledding for the former can’t-miss kid.
Once a top-10 machine, Fowler has not posted a single finish inside the top 10 since Jan. 19, 2020 at the American Express, more than 16 months ago.
Let’s hope the 2021 PGA Championship is the beginning of the end of Fowler’s struggles. But it’ll take a lot more than 18 holes (or even 72) to prove that theory.