British Open 2019: Rickie Fowler laments bad break on No. 1: ‘That was a s— one’
PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland — Beginning his Sunday at eight under, eight shots off the lead, Rickie Fowler needed a hot start to have any chance of contending at the Open Championship. Instead, he got the exact opposite.
Fowler’s opening tee shot sailed down the left rough line, where it ricocheted off a marshal and kicked left, out of bounds. Fowler didn’t even realize it had gone out until playing partner Justin Rose gave him the heads up that he should hit a provisional.
An absolutely shocking start…
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) July 21, 2019
But Fowler didn’t realize just how poor his break had been until his agent told him later about the unfortunate carom, he said. “I didn’t know until afterwards. That sucks,” he said.
“There’s nothing you can do about it, obviously. You get good breaks, you get bad breaks. Pardon my French, that’s a s—– one. But it is what it is. It was nice to come back, birdie the next three and get things rolling. Obviously it wasn’t easy out there, I’m sure you guys saw some interesting scores and shots kind of the second half of the day.”
It was an impressive rebound for Fowler, who birdied 2, 3 and 4 after the opening double. But he fell victim to the brutal back nine conditions — as did most players in late tee times — and fell back to five under in the end, good for a share of 6th place. The finish was Fowler’s ninth top-six in his major championship career, although he has never won one.
In the end, Fowler conceded that catching Shane Lowry would have been nearly impossible, anyway. “He went out and played some damn good golf over the weekend,” Fowler said. He was also effusive in his praise for the host golf course — and surrounding town.
“I’d love to have it be back here. I think this golf course is a great test. It’s very different from what I’ve seen from a lot of kind of traditional links golf courses. There’s a lot of more forced carries and doglegs. It does force you to play the ball in the air a bit more and test your ball-striking.”
Fowler’s finish also made him low man of his house, holding off Justin Thomas (three under) Jordan Spieth (one under) and Kevin Kisner (even) among his crop of American roommates.
“We got over here on Saturday, had a great time hanging in the town of Portrush Saturday night, Sunday night, had some dinner down there,” he said. “Really good people. The fans have been amazing here. They’ve been super excited to have The Open here.”
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