Rickie Fowler enters 2018 with a 'major' elephant in the room

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 10: Rickie Fowler the United States walks from the second tee during the second round of the OHL Classic at Mayakoba on November 10, 2017 in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images) Getty Images

Rickie Fowler enters 2018 with a 'major' elephant in the room

PGA Tour

Rickie Fowler enters 2018 with a 'major' elephant in the room

Rickie Fowler was asked Wednesday at Kapalua about the possibility of a player now days winning eight or nine times in a season.

Tiger Woods won nine times in 2000, and has eclipsed eight wins in a season twice more during his career. Vijay Singh had a nine-win year in 2004. But since 2010, the most wins any single player has had in a single season is five with four players accomplishing that feat.

Fowler, among others asked Wednesday, still believe it can be done, though Fowler did say that five or six wins in a season “is a pretty special year.”

“You get past that mark,” Fowler added, speaking during his press conference before this week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, “(you can) just go hang up the clubs and go hang at the beach.”

Unfortunately for Fowler, even if he wins five times this season – the most wins he’s had in a year is three, in 2015, when he won twice on the PGA Tour and once in Europe – he might not be able to enjoy the sun, sand and surf to the fullest. Unless, of course, one of those wins is a major.

Fowler, at 29 and in his ninth PGA Tour season, is still stuck at zero major-championship victories – and he knows it.

“Goals going forward this year are, I would say, the biggest and main one is get a major,” Fowler said. “I think I did a good job last year of putting myself in contention multiple times, but there needs to be some better weekends to make sure that we’re on top come Sunday afternoon. So that’s the main goal this year.”

Fowler has eight career top-10s in majors, including two last season (T-5 at both the U.S. Open and PGA Championship). He’s getting closer to that major breakthrough, though. Last season was one of Fowler’s best, statistically, on Tour. He won the Honda Classic and closed the year win a win at the Hero World Challenge. In all, he had 10 top-10s in 21 Tour starts with just three missed cuts. His 0.761 strokes gained: putting ranked second on Tour, and Fowler was second in scoring average (69.083).

Currently, Fowler is ranked No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings – ahead of Dustin Johnson, ahead of Jordan Spieth, ahead of everyone.

“Not that we’re going to live off statistics,” Fowler said, “but if we can check all the boxes in there and be prepared, then we can be ready to go win golf tournaments.”

Maybe even some of the major variety.

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