Monday, April 14, 2014

Rickie Fowler shot a Sunday 73 to finish tied for fifth, his best showing at the Masters. (Getty) Rickie Fowler shot a Sunday 73 to finish tied for fifth, his best showing at the Masters (Getty Images).







PHOTOS: Best shots of Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler from the final round of the 2014 Masters

Throughout the week, Fowler's flashy and color-coordinated driver let him down. He only hit 32 of 56 fairways -- including a tournament low four in the short grass on Sunday -- good enough for next to last in the field. But ranking dead last was Masters runner-up Jonas Blixt, so maybe playing from the fairway is overrated. Who knows.

"It was a rough driving day for me," Fowler said. "I got off to a nice start and I definitely got a lot out of the round with how poorly I got it off the tee. I got off to a nice start and had a good look on 2, and had a tough break with a lip-out. I walked away with a bogey. That's kind of a tough way to start. I just drove it poorly today, so that kind of kept me from being able to attack the golf course."

The former OSU Cowboy's swing looks perfect to the untrained eye, but he is incorporating major changes to his game. He began working with swing genie Butch Harmon in December 2013, and the results weren't immediate. He finished 33rd in the Humana Challenge, then missed three-straight cuts. A deep run at the Match Play proved Fowler was going in the right direction with Harmon, but the end product wasn't a consistent one -- yet. 24th, then 44th, then a missed cut, then a tie for sixth.

"For the most part, it's just mental, it's between the ears," Fowler said. "I feel really good with the swing. I've been hitting a lot of good golf shots and making a lot of really good golf swings. So the biggest thing is just going out and trusting it and making it happen."

During the week, whether it be on the range or on the 2nd hole on Sunday at the Masters, Fowler is conscious of his takeaway position and rehearses several times before he takes a cut at the ball.

It's not perfect yet. But it's progress. For more news that golfers everywhere are talking about, follow @si_golf on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube video channel.

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