It has taken him a couple of weeks but Rickie Fowler has responded to Sir Nick Faldo’s recent jibe.
Fowler, 32, is facing a race against time to qualify for next month’s Masters Tournament having dramatically fallen down the world rankings.
The American, who has been an ever-present at Augusta National since making his debut in 2011, has fallen to 81st.
If he is to extend his streak of playing in every major dating back to the 2010 Open, Fowler needs to either get back into the world’s top-50 by the end of this month – an exceptionally remote possibility – or win this week’s Honda Classic or the Valero Texas Open in a fortnight’s time.
Responding to a tweet earlier this month about Fowler’s struggles to qualify for the Masters, six-time major champion Faldo launched a bizarre broadside him, tweeting: “Good news is if he misses the Masters he can shoot another six commercials that week!”
The Englishman subsequently explained that his tweet had been an attempt to light a fire under Fowler
Now, after advancing to the weekend at PGA National where he lies T31 with two rounds to play, Fowler has responded.
“I know where Nick was trying to come from on that and it's like competitor to competitor,” he said. “You're trying to needle each other and get each other going type of thing.
“I am fortunate to have some great partners and make some great commercials and it's been fun to be able to do that. I would much rather be playing the week of the Masters than working but it's all part of it.
“I'm going to keep kicking down the door, if we're able to do something special in the next few weeks before Augusta, we'll be there. If not, we'll keep grinding and we'll be back in the winner's circle soon.