June 4 2012
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Rickie Fowler had been the hottest player on the planet, winning the Wells Fargo Championship last month and finishing 10th or better in his last four starts.
Not Sunday at the Memorial Tournament, though. Fowler started the final round in third place, three shots off the lead, but ended up shooting an 84 that tied for the the high score of the week and dropped him 49 spots down the leaderboard.
Fowler only made four pars in 18 holes on Sunday. He had three double bogeys, eight bogeys and two birdies in shooting his highest score on the PGA TOUR. Fowler's previous high was a 79 in the final round of the Northern Trust Open earlier this year.
"One of those days," Fowler said. "I made birdie on the first hole and I pulled one on 2 and just kind of got behind the eight-ball. I really didn't make that many bad swings. I felt like I hit some pretty solid golf shots. Out here if you don't hit your number perfectly, within one or two paces, you're either in the bunker with a tough up and down or long on a downslope out of the rough and you're not getting up and down.
"Going to get a lot of Sundays from now on, some good ones and some bad ones, and this is not going to be the last bad one."
Fowler was playing with Tiger Woods, who birdied three of his last four holes to shoot 67 and seal the 73rd victory of his career. Fowler said he was just trying to stay out of Woods' way on the back nine and agreed that Sunday was vintage Woods.
"I wasn't counting," Fowler said when reminded Woods made up a two-stroke deficit over his final four holes. "I had too many strokes of my own to count. ... He was playing good. He was hitting some solid golf shots, and it was fun to see him finally out there making some swings like he does when we're at home.
"He looked very comfortable and hit a lot of good shots, and like I said, the times where he's in the moment and in the heat of contention is where he really shines."
All in all, Fowler didn't appear overly concerned by his performance on Sunday. He knows he's been playing well -- ranking 10th in the FedExCup and ninth in earnings on the PGA TOUR – and sees the final round at Muirfield Village as something of an anomaly.
"It kind of shows you the fine line out here," Fowler said. "If you're not hitting your numbers, especially coming down Sunday, it separates the men from the boys, and today I just was a little off. I didn't hit too many mis-hit shots. I hit some that were solid golf shots that whether the wind died or picked up, just tough luck."