Rickie Fowler fired a second consecutive three-under-par 69 to move into contention for the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool. Had it not been for a problem with his eyes, however, he reckons he could have been in a far better position.
The 25-year-old former Walker Cup player will start Saturday’s third round six shots adrift of runaway leader Rory McIlroy but could have been much closer had he not struggled with his vision on the greens.
“I left a little bit out there,” he reflected. “I didn’t feel great with the putter. My eyes were a bit off, so I kind of scraped it around. I was able to make a few and get in with a good, solid round, so I’m excited for the weekend to see if we can get a few things ironed out and keep moving forward.”
Pressed to elaborate on his issues, Fowler added: “I probably slept on the wrong side. My eyes are very sensitive. I think some of the setup things that I struggle with sometimes, my shoulders get shut and my head gets behind the ball. If any of those are just a little off and my head is not in the proper position, then my eyes aren’t able to see the line properly.
“So, I usually use EyeLine putting device, which has a mirror. I’m able to check everything there. I’ll just use that to go through a checklist and see where everything is and, typically, it’s a pretty easy, quick fix. But yeah, day to day, one little thing and it can throw off your eyes.”
"The goal going into the year was to be in contention at majors." - Rickie Fowler
Despite some struggles, Fowler is adamant that he is happy with his position overall in the tournament and says he finally feels at home on the game’s biggest stages.
“The goal going into the year was to be in contention at majors and have good finishes and have a chance to win them,” he said. “The US Open was definitely the most comfortable I had felt in major. And then I feel like this week is the most comfortable I’ve been with the expectations of knowing I want to be in contention and to have a chance to win the golf tournament.
“So, it’s fun going through the process and kind of moving forward and putting myself in positions to be around for the weekends at majors.”
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