Over the two weeks of the FedExCup Playoffs, the most notable omission has been that of the popular Rickie Fowler, who has been resting an oblique injury. The injury came to light at the PGA Championship, where he opened with a 65 and finished T12. Since he was playing well, it was a bit of a surprise that the 29-year-old Oklahoma State product had to withdraw the past two weeks.
“I feel like I’m definitely a lot more rested and ready to go than most guys here, I’m sure.,” said Fowler at a press conference.
“It’s been, I know, a big stretch, obviously the season, it wasn’t planned to miss but it could end up being a good thing with the stretch we have coming up this week and Tour Championship and Ryder Cup right around the corner.
“So, glad to be back, healthy. I feel like my health is always the priority first and foremost. Nice to be back without pain.”
Fowler has not won in 2018, but he currently ranks 26th in the FedExCup standings. That gives him a good chance of making it to East Lake for the fifth time, but he is too close to the bubble to get comfortable. He would miss the Tour Championship if he gets passed by five players, and over the past three years, four players have played themselves into East Lake from outside that top 30.
“You know, it’s one of the reasons I wanted to try and get back early enough to where we can secure a spot for East Lake,” said Fowler, when asked if he was nervous about missing out on the playoff finale.
“We have some work to do this week and I think, ultimately, I’d like to not just get into East Lake but put myself in a good position to have a chance there.
“We’ve fallen back a little bit these last two weeks but no reason we can’t play well here, I’ve played well here in the past and go give ourselves a real legitimate shot going into East Lake.”
A T8 at the Memorial Tournament is Fowler’s only top 10 since he finished runner-up to Patrick Reed at The Masters. He has been in the mix at a number of tournaments, and remains in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Rankings, but he was likely disappointed to go 0-for again in majors, keeping his status as the best player in the world without a major championship.
If he can get hot over the next two weeks, he can add a FedExCup Championship to his resume, which would certainly look nice for the man who leaves his 20s in mid-December.