By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
Rickie Fowler knows better than to look at the calendar. It's
October, after all. Halloween is still a week away, for goodness sakes.
But here he is in Malaysia this week making his first start of the new PGA TOUR season. The CIMB Classic is the third event in the wrap-around 2013-14 schedule -- and the first TOUR event in Asia to offer FedExCup points.
So regardless of where the date falls on the calendar, Fowler's mission is the same.
"I guess the way to look at it is just we're all out here trying to play well whenever we tee it up," Fowler said. "Not really looking at it as the start of the year or anything like that, just over here trying to play some good golf in Asia, on a three-week trip playing here at CIMB, then HSBC and then going down to Australia for the Aussie PGA."
Fowler, who hasn't played since the BMW Championship in September, does have definite goals for the new year, though. He is making his second appearance at the CIMB Classic -- tying for fifth in 2010.
"Always the goal is to make it to the TOUR Championship through the FedExCup Playoffs," he said. "I've only made it once, and I've played well, had one win two years ago now. ... And then Ryder Cup, as well.
"There's a lot of things to set goals on, but I think those are probably two of my primary goals, and I would also like to get my second win out of the way."
Sergio Garcia, who will play with Fowler and India's Gaganjeet Bhullar in the first two rounds at Kuala Lumpur Country Club, also wants to make the Ryder Cup team. But the Spaniard would be playing for Europe, which has won seven of the last nine matches.
"We've had this kind of start at the end of the year on the European Tour before, before we had the Race to Dubai, so we're kind of used to it," Garcia said. "It doesn't really change that much.
"You still have to play, play well like you've done throughout the
year, and I was fortunate enough to get a little bit of a rest coming
into here, coming into this week, so hopefully I'm nice and fresh out
Garcia opted to play in the CIMB Classic rather than the BMW Masters in Shanghai to get a head start on the PGA TOUR season. He'll also play in next week's World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions which counts on both the PGA TOUR and European Tour.
"They're both good tournaments, but I felt like I could get a couple nice starts to start playing for the PGA TOUR next year," he said.