Fowler Back Home in Oklahoma Still Trying to Find His Form | Sports News

 Fowler Back Home in Oklahoma Still Trying to Find His Form | Sports News

By JIM VERTUNO, AP Sports Writer

TULSA, Okla. (AP)-Rickie Fowler stood for nearly 20 minutes answering more questions about his game and how he would get back to where it was when he was still a force in golf and especially in the majors.

Every now and then he would cross his arms, or rub his elbow, subconciously flashing the Olympic rings tattoo on his right arm.

That tattoo is a link back to 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, when Fowler represented the United States at the Olympics and was at the top of his game in a three -year run that saw him reach the No. 1 high. 4 in the world. Enthusiasm for fun (note the prints), quick smile and witty demeanor make Fowler one of the most recognizable players on the tour.

Eight years later, the now 33-year-old three-year-old was eliminated from his last win heading into the PGA Championship this week, and is about to fall into the top 150 in the world for the first time since his rookie year in 2010,

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There is some consolation that he is back at “home” in Oklahoma, where the Californian is a two-time college All-American at Oklahoma State and has played the Southern Hills course more than a dozen times.

“I was so excited about the week and yes, any time I’m in Oklahoma, I’m at home,” Fowler said.

The sweet nostalgia will only last and last longer. It won’t find fairways or roll putts.

Fowler was desperately looking for idlas responses to struggles that left him far behind on the leaderboards later on. He said the struggles were both mental and physical.

“It’s a much longer road than we want it to be … I’m not trying to be like I used to be or anything like that. I try to be the best I can be, ”Fowler said.

“I knew it was there. It’s more than building trust now. The last two years, it’s been really hard to build momentum, and momentum is really what builds confidence and you can start riding that wave, ”Fowler said.“ Yeah, there’s no buzzing. ride anything. ”

Fowler’s last win was in 2019. But there was a time when he was a force in the majors, eight top-five finishes, including three as runner-up. His best finish at the PGA Championship was third in 2014 when he was a threat to every major that year.

The drop-off so far has been dramatic. Fowler has just one top-10 finish and six missed cuts in 13 events this season. The past two years have seen only three more top-10 finishes.

There are a few flashes of the old form. He finished eighth in the PGA Championship to take his spot this year. A few weeks later, he was tied for 21st at the Wells Fargo Championship after missing a cut in the previous two tournaments.

However, all that has been done is to raise a lot of questions as to why this is not happening?

Fowler answered them with a smile. If he felt the tension, he would never show it. And, according to him, it’s not as terrible for him.

“I really enjoy it like it sucks. I really found myself. Not that I fell in love with the game or anything like that, but I embraced the grinding and the aspect of just getting every day and going out and having fun with it, even when we were in tough places, ”Fowler said.

He talks about playing casual rounds with friends, or just spending time with his wife and child.

“I like to just play and play for fun, and sometimes it’s going to go and mess with some friends and not pay much attention to what’s going on or what you’re shooting, like that,” Fowler said.

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