Pebble Beach – It’s the kind of compliment that can wear thin, but Rickie Fowler is confident he’ll shed the tag of “best player never to win a major” whether it’s at Pebble Beach this week or not.
Fowler will tee it up in a major for the 37th time when the US Open begins on Thursday.
The 30-year-old American has won five US PGA Tour titles, but has yet to break through on the game’s biggest stages and once again he faced the question of just how big a burden that had become.
“It’s a compliment in a way,” Fowler said. “Obviously there’s a lot of great players that haven’t won a major.
“It’s not necessarily something I think about or worry about. I know that when the time is right, it’s going to happen.”
Fowler noted he’d put himself in position to win majors, notably at the 2014 PGA championship at Valhalla when he was left to regret ill-timed miscue at the par-three 14th as Rory McIlroy powered to victory and at Augusta National last year, when he couldn’t find enough late birdies to derail Patrick Reed.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve necessarily had one in my hands and let it slip away, which is a good thing,” Fowler said.
He was looking forward to tackling the challenge again at Pebble Beach, although he’s played the California course sparingly.
“I look at Pebble as not necessarily a place that the more you play it you have an advantage,” Fowler said. “It’s a pretty straightforward golf course. There’s only a couple of tee shots that are somewhat blind that you need to just make sure that you’re comfortable on lines. It’s pretty much right in front of you. Very small greens.
“So, I love that about it. It’s not very tricky. You hit it in a lot of the middle of the greens here, and you’re going to be in a good position.”