When Rickie Fowler entered the 2019 PGA Championship, he was ranked No. 9 in the world. Less than two years later, he is ranked 111th and needs a special invite into the field.
Today, Fowler received that special exemption, according to Will Gray of Golf Channel.
The 31-year old will now be part of the field for the 2021 PGA Championship next month at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course.
The cutoff to qualify for the season’s second major was May 10, and Fowler could have snuck in using his 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup exemption, but it came with a caveat: he also needed to be ranked inside the world top 100, which would have required a win at next week’s Wells Fargo.
Prior to missing last month’s Masters, Fowler had qualified for every major championship since the 2010 U.S. Open.
Gray also reported that John Catlin, who won two weeks ago in Austria on the European Tour, was also invited.
Catlin, ranked No. 82 in the world, has never played in a major and was excited about the prospects after his recent win.
“I’d love to crack that top 50 in the world,” said Catlin immediately following his playoff win. “Just get a chance to play in some major championships – I’ve actually never played in a major.
“I’m thinking this gives me a very good chance to play in the US PGA Championship, that was kind of my goal.
“Hopefully it’s good enough and to get into those events and to have the chance to win a major, that’s been my goal since I was a kid.”
Confirmed with a @PGA official that Rickie Fowler and John Catlin have received special invitations to the PGA Championship "based on their performances, playing records and OWGR position."
— Will Gray (@WillGrayGC) April 27, 2021
“Confirmed with a @PGA official that Rickie Fowler and John Catlin have received special invitations to the PGA Championship ‘based on their performances, playing records and OWGR position,'” wrote Gray.
Fowler has still not qualified for June’s U.S. Open but a good showing at the PGA could punch his ticket to Torrey Pines. He has qualified for the Open Championship in July at Royal St. George.
h/t CBS Golf