The Future No. 1: Rickie Fowler

The Future No. 1: Rickie Fowler

Rickie Fowler, 22, was named 2010 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.
Nathaniel Welch

Who’s your pick for World No. 1 in five years?
It could be Tiger, Phil, Westwood, McDowell, Donald. Then you look at the guys who are 18-30 now, and 30 guys could be No. 1.

You left one big name off your list. What’s your timeline to become World No. 1?
Nothing ideal. If I’m No. 1 at some point, I’m No. 1. If it happens next year or 10 years from now, I’m not picky.

Hype follows you wherever you go. Do expectations weigh on you?
It’s a good warm-up for where I want to be: the best player in the world. Obviously, if I was No. 1, I’d have to deal with hype or pressure every week. I want to be in a position where I’m dealing with pressure and expectation all the time. I make sure not to get overwhelmed by outside stuff and keep focused on my goals.

Who are your golf idols?
Ben Hogan. I’m old school. My coach taught me a lot of Hogan stuff. Arnold Palmer. The sport wouldn’t be as big if it wasn’t for Arnie. And Jack Nicklaus. He took the torch from Arnie. Those two guys paved the way.

You have one of golf’s most recognizable looks. How involved are you in creating your look with Puma?
I get to see new stuff a year or two out, and I critique things I don’t like. I still pick out what I want to wear, what looks good.

What’s your No. 1 golf moment since turning pro two years ago?
The Ryder Cup! The final pressure-packed match stands out [Fowler birdied the last four holes Sunday to halve his match against Edoardo Molinari]. But just to make the team is huge. And then to spend time in the team room, to grow closer to the guys, the preparation, it all added up to an amazing week.

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