By Matt Cohen | Site Editor
Since joining the PGA Tour in 2010, it’s hard to argue there’s been a more popular player on tour than Rickie Fowler. The 26-year-old Floridian is charismatic, colorful (literally) and a fan favorite whenever he plays.
Yet despite his popularity, or his incredible performance in the majors last year where he finished top five in all four, there’s a glaring weakness on Fowler’s resume. He’s only won one PGA Tour event.
So here in lies the question – does Rickie have the x-factor to win the big one?
2014: The Breakout Season
Fowler’s 2013-2014 season was historic. He became only the the third player behind Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods to have finished in the top 5 in all four majors in one calendar year, but the first not to win. Fowler had 10 top-10 finishes during the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, but was unable to break through for a W.
“That’s the main goal this year: winning,” said Fowler, during the offseason. “I’ve proved I can play with the guys week in and week out with where I was in the big events and the majors. So it’s just knocking that door down. It’s been a while since my first win, and only two wins as a pro (the other in South Korea)…I need to start making that number a little bit bigger.”
2015 Masters: A Wild Ride
Fowler’s first shot at a major in 2015 didn’t get off to the start he had hoped. On Friday afternoon at Augusta with the cut line sitting at +2, Fowler looked like he wouldn’t make it to the weekend. After a double bogey on 11, Fowler found himself at +5 and in big trouble. Then Fowler birdied four of the final six holes to finish at +1, guaranteeing himself two more rounds of golf. Fowler shot 70-67 over the weekend to finish at -6 and T12 for the championship. Next stop – Chambers Bay and the U.S. Open.
The Most Colorful Man On Tour
There’s no disputing that Fowler’s charisma has helped his meteoric rise in terms of popularity. In a game seen as boring, old and stuffy, Fowler is anything but. Whether it’s his Golf Boys band with fellow pros Bubba Watson, Ben Crane and Hunter Mahan, or his wild and colorful Puma swag, Fowler is young, energetic and well, cool.
It’s also impossible not to like a pro who does so much for charity. Fowler is involved with a number of causes, including the First Tee, Make a Wish Foundation, Farmers Insurance and the Special Olympics.
The Wins Are Coming
When Fowler won his only PGA Tour event, the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship, pundits speculated the wins would come fast and furious. Three years later, now people wonder if Rickie is the next Sergio Garcia, a great talent who never lived up to his potential.
At the same age, Phil Mickelson had 9 PGA Tour Wins. Tiger Woods had more than 25. But then there’s guys like Jimmy Walker, who didn’t win his first PGA Tour event until he was 34, and has since won five times on tour.
So here’s our conclusion: At 26, it’s still too early to give up on the world No. 13. He has all the talent, and if last year is any indication, he’s just now entering his prime. The wins will come. But every year they don’t, the pressure will continue to mount. Still, our hearts and minds tell us that Fowler will break through sooner rather than later and start racking up the wins.
Do you think Fowler has the x-factor, that killer instinct, motivation and grit that turns top fives into firsts? We want you to join the conversation. Upload a video and tell us what you think about Fowler’s chances to start winning more events and a major championship. Or, leave us a comment below and hit us up on social media.