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With three runner-up finishes and eight top-fives in the 36 majors he’s played to this point, you could argue he’s paid his dues.
So will it be a case of lucky No.37 for Rickie Fowler?
If you ask the man himself, it could well be.
Fowler, 30, is widely considered to be one of the best players never to have triumphed in one of golf’s four marquee events. However, that’s a wrong he’s out to right at Augusta National this week.
The American comes into the week buoyed by a strong showing in last year’s tournament where, after carding rounds of 65 and 67 over the weekend, he finished second behind eventual winner Patrick Reed – and what he would give for Reed to help him into the Green Jacket this Sunday.
“Compared to four, five, whatever years ago, I’m more ready than I’ve ever been,” said Fowler. “I’m not saying that I can sit up here and tell you I’m definitely going to go win, but I like my chances. I love this place. I know I can play well around here. For me, every time I get to play it, it’s fun.”
Having won already this year – at the Waste Management Phoenix Open – Fowler is in good form. He hopes that, coupled with his love for Augusta, will lead him to an overdue first major title.
“A lot of confidence was taken from last year,” he added. “The way I executed on the back nine Sunday last year was definitely something I pull from, and it was a lot of fun to be in the mix, birdieing 18, to make Patrick earn it a bit.
“But was just a little bit too far back, and Patrick put together a strong week of golf. So it was fun. It was great to be in the mix and have a chance – but it’s time to do one better.”
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