April 12 2013
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- In case you've been hiding under a rock and didn't know, Rickie Fowler, he of the colorful clothes and lat-brimmed hat, is a devotee of motocross as well as golf.
So the 23-year-old came up with one of the more descriptive accounts of his first-round 68 at the Masters that included two double bogeys in his first 10 holes.
"I would have went down pretty hard on the first corner and probably been out of the race," Fowler said as he thought back to the opening stretch. "Could have been a pile-up in the first corner so I would have been heading back to the pits."
Instead, the resiliant Fowler played his final eight holes in 4 under with two birdies and an eagle at the 15th hole. He finds himself among the leaders, as a result, as he begins the second round in Friday's final group with Jason Day and Padraig Harrington.
"Just try to keep moving forward -- not take too yourself out of the tournament," Fowler said, using more conventional language to describe his strategy. "You know you can't win it on Thursday but you definitely can lose it. Just trying to stick to the game plan, not take too many risks."
Fowler, who is playing in his 13th major championship this week, knows Sunday is the day to try and make things happen. After all, he had his appetite whetted a year ago when his good buddy Bubba Watson won the Masters and Fowler, Ben Crane and Aaron Baddeley followed him in the playoff.
"Seeing him do what he did, being there with him and being able to share that moment and on through the night, through dinner and stuff, it was definitely special and gave me a little bit of a kick in the butt to go win a golf tournament," said Fowler, who did just that at the Wells Fargo Championship a month later.
"Made me, I guess, appreciate the Masters a little bit more."