Rain Man Rickie: Fowler climbs Open leaderboard with third round 68
Rickie Fowler fought his way through the worst conditions he's ever played in and stole the spotlight Saturday at the Open Championship. Fowler played for the third straight day with Rory McIlroy and stole the applause from the pro-McIlroy crowds with a two-under par 68.
Sandwich, England, United Kingdom
July 16, 2011 02:17 pm EDT
Rickie Fowler stepped to the first tee with Rory McIlroy Saturday at the 140th Open Championship. They were rain-soaked, cold and wind blown.
And they hadn't even started their round.
By the end of the long day in the worst of conditions at Royal St. George's, Fowler put up a magnificent round of 68 while McIlroy's 74 dropped him far from contention.
Fowler was firmly in contention after what was truly a great exhibition of ball striking and perserverance.
"I knew it was gonna play hard," Fowler said as he dried off after his amazing effort. "I got off to a good start and just kept things going. For the most part, I was controllling the flight of the ball. I felt like I was in control of my game and it was nice to make some putts late in the round."
Fowler, who has yet to win a tournament, will start the day in pursuit of Darren Clarke and Dustin Johnson, who will play in the final group. "I feel people believe in me," Fowler said. "I had some fun today."
He was well received all day, perhaps stealing some of that applause from McIlroy, the U.S. Open champion.
Of the two, it was Fowler who looked at home in the bad weather and testy links.
"I love links golf. I like the variety of shots. It's fun for me. Today was probably the worst conditions I've played in."
You'd never know it from the final result.
Fowler will be in the Sunday spotlight, he'll play in the next to last group with a chance to win that first-ever tournament.
And it would be a major achievement as well.
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