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Rickie Fowler Is An Elite Player Who Will Win Multiple Majors

PGA Championship - Final Round

Hello friends. On Sunday, 24-year-old Justin Thomas broke through and took down his first major championship. He did it in impressive fashion, shooting a final round 3-under 68 to come from 3 back and win by 2. He did it with clutch stuff like a dramatic 10-foot birdie putt on 10, a 6-foot par save on 16, and this ballsy birdie on the difficult par-3 17th.

Awesome stuff, everybody is happy for JT. He’s clearly the main story.

But unavoidable in this is the familiar sight of Rickie Fowler congratulating one of his good buddies on winning a major championship. Even Golf Channel is featuring that very narrative today.

After Jordan Spieth won the Open Championship last month, there Rickie was again celebrating. This time with the Claret Jug.

(and with JT, no less)

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When Bubba won his first Masters in 2012, Rickie was there to hug him on the 10th green.

When Spieth won the Masters in 2015, Rickie was right there.

Jimmy Walker’s PGA at Baltusrol last year? Rickie, right there.

At what point do you look at all of this and say, “holy fuck, how miserable is this dude watching everyone around him take down majors?” Obviously he loves these dudes. He’s sincere in congratulating these dudes on their triumphs.

But that gets old. It has to. And this look after, what, the 4th, 5th, 6th time you’ve been in this situation?

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Well this look personifies that. It’s predictable and it makes painting the narrative that Rickie is sick and tired of watching his boys win majors impossible to avoid. It inevitably forces you to ask: How long can Rickie Fowler go as the bridesmaid? How long can he sustain an elite level of golf before getting discouraged by his shortcomings? Is Rickie Fowler overrated? Will Rickie Fowler ever win a major?

The answers:

1) As long as it takes.
2) As long as it takes.
3) No.
4) Yes.

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Look, Rickie Fowler is good. He’s really fucking good. How good? At 28 years of age, he’s got 4 PGA Tour victories, including a Players Championship. He’s got 7 top-10s in major championships. He’s been on 3 Ryder Cup teams (not the greatest record, but posted a 2-1-0 record last year and won his singles match).

He’s also got a Scottish Open title and 2 of those 7 major top-5s came in The Open Championship — his game is versatile.

Phil Mickelson didn’t win a major until he was 33, and he’s got 5. Padraig Harrington? 34, and he’s got 3.

The point is — while he’s not Spieth young, he’s still relatively young and still has plenty of time.

That’s how good he is on a macro level. How good is he on a micro level? Well this season he’s 46th in strokes gained off the tee, 15th in strokes gained on approach, 4th in scrambling, and 1st in strokes gained putting. He gets better the closer he gets to the green, to the point where he’s the best player on the planet with the putter in his hands.

He’s also tied with JT for the most Tour top-10s this season with 9.

He’s got the skill. He’s got the consistency. He’s got the wins, so I wanted to come here to defend Rickie Fowler. Yes, his flashiness can distract from the talent that it covers. Yes, it’s becoming a glaringly obvious, awkward look each time he hugs one of his boys minutes after said boy wins a major championship. Yes, it’s fun to point and laugh at Rickie as the poor bastard jealous of what everyone around him’s got; I did it on this week’s podcast and I regret nothing.

But when you look at the big picture, when you factor in all that golf is about — consistency, putting yourself in contention, improving the closer you get to the hole — Rickie is a PHENOMENAL, elite player who will win multiple majors. He’s a top-10 in the world talent with big wins, crucial experience, a proven and cemented spot on American Ryder/Presidents Cup/Olympic teams, and game versatility that makes him a threat on any course, in any condition, against any field.

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Rickie Fowler is one of the best players on earth and has nothing to worry about.

Literally, nothing.