Rickie Fowler loses another major opportunity with 14-over 84 at U.S. Open

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Rickie Fowler loses another major opportunity with 14-over 84 at U.S. Open

PGA Tour

Rickie Fowler loses another major opportunity with 14-over 84 at U.S. Open

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – Rickie Fowler said Friday he was hoping for tough, windy conditions in Round 3 Saturday at the U.S. Open.

Be careful what you wish for at Shinnecock Hills.

Fowler began the round six strokes behind leader Dustin Johnson and shot himself out of contention with a colorful scorecard. He was so good tee-to-green in the first two rounds that he thought he could handle tough conditions his peers wouldn’t be able to tolerate.

All Fowler needed to do was shoot around even par and he’d have a great shot at his first career major. Instead he shot 14-over 84, his worst round in a major championship and the second-worst round of his career.

“I made mistakes and then I wasn’t able to get myself out of trouble like I needed to,” Fowler said. “It is what it is. Go hopefully get a good round tomorrow and get a decent finish. This was obviously one that I was looking forward to. I love Shinnecock. Love playing it. It would have been nice to – like I said, maybe I should have made the cut around 5 over.”

Fowler wasn’t the only player to struggle on Saturday, and he raised a fair concern over the fact that afternoon conditions were so disproportionally hard that morning-wavers Daniel Berger and Tony Finau now co-lead at 3 over after making the cut at 7 over.

“Obviously that’s great golf,” Fowler said. “But that round was not out there this afternoon.”

It was difficult in the morning and downright insane by the afternoon round. At the par-4 10th hole, Fowler was 110 yards out facing an uphill wedge shot into the green. His approach landed on the short side and rolled back down, leaving 45 yards in.

His third shot went long, and when his fourth shot came out a little hot from behind the green the nearby fans were screaming for his ball to stop. Begging.

It didn’t stop.

It rolled back down the hill in front of the green, at which point any sensible amateur would have picked it up and cracked a beer while their show-off buddies completed the hole.

Fowler took his triple like a man and started walking toward the 11th hole hoping to still break 80.

“The double on 15 kind of ruined our chances of that,” Fowler joked.

He hung around the clubhouse for a bit with fiancée Allison Stokke, to whom he proposed last week. News travels fast because fans shouted ‘Congratulations!’ at him all day, which is a weird thing to hear when you’re two touchdowns over par.

Thing about Fowler is that even when things are going that bad, it’s kind of hard to tell. He doesn’t throw clubs. He doesn’t verbally assault caddie Joe Skovron. He just rolls with it, as far as most can tell.

He signed autographs for a while after the round and handled himself well as he always seems to do. It didn’t change the fact that he was out of yet another major championship, one of the great talents in golf at age 29 once again left waiting until the next one.

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