FedExCup spotlight: Rickie Fowler

Stan Badz/PGA TOUR
Rickie Fowler has yet to establish himself as a FedExCup threat, but he's on the fringe.
May 01, 2013
Chris Dunham,

Each week, PGATOUR.COM will take a look at one of the FedExCup contenders in the field and break down his past performances at that week's event, FedExCup history, and potential for success in the 2013 FedExCup chase.

Fourth-year TOUR player Rickie Fowler returns to one of his favorite stops -- Quail Hollow -- this week for the Wells Fargo Championship.

Arguably his best event, Fowler had a solo sixth and a tie for 16th at the Wells Fargo Championship before earning his breakthrough victory there in a playoff with Rory McIlroy and D.A. Points a year ago.

That victory kicked off a great run of form for Fowler who tied for second at THE PLAYERS the following week and fifth at the Crowne Plaza Invitational in his next start to pave the way for the 24-year-old to make his first trip to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.

Prior to last season, Fowler had twice been denied a trip to East Lake after competing in the first three legs of the FedExCup Playoffs. But last season he accumulated enough points to break through. His performances in the Playoffs will be the key to improving on his career-best 28th-place FedExCup finish.

In his 10 career Playoff starts, Fowler has finished twice inside the top-25 -- with a T24 at last year's Barclays and a T23 in his TOUR Championship debut. An average finish of 43.6 won't cut it in the Playoffs, especially with quintuple points on the line and swings bigger than at any point in the PGA TOUR season.

It could just be a matter of experience for Fowler. Take 2011 FedExCup champion Bill Haas for example. It took Haas three trips to the Playoffs to earn his first top 10. The following year, he went T47-T22-T30 and missed out on the TOUR Championship yet again. Haas made his first trip to East Lake in 2011 and left with the FedExCup.

Fowler's already made a trip to East Lake, but perhaps he's still in the Playoff learning process.

As far as the 2013 PGA TOUR season goes, this is a key stretch for Fowler, who enters the week at No. 29 in the FedExCup standings.

This week's stop may be his best, but he's found great success at THE PLAYERS and also the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance. In addition to that, there are four big-point events (majors, WGCs) Fowler is eligible for coming up between now and the Playoffs.

He'll still need to perform in the Playoffs, but if Fowler can get himself into the FedExCup top 10 before late August, his road back to East Lake becomes much easier.

Once he figures out how to find that extra gear on that road, look out.

Fowler's FedExCup finishes
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
DNP DNP DNP 32nd 43rd 28th
FedExCup highlights
• Fowler has played in 10 of 12 Playoff events since debuting on TOUR in 2010.
• He owns two top-25 finishes in Playoff events with his best finish a tie for 23rd at the 2013 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola (his lone start in the event).
• Fowler hit his FedExCup peak (No. 6 in the standings) after this season's Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
• Fowler, the 2010 rookie of the year, had a career-best five top-10 finishes en route to a 32nd-place final standing in that season's FedExCup race.
Fowler's Wells Fargo results, FedExCup standings
Year FedExCup before Wells Fargo result Points earned FedExCup after
2010 22nd 6th 100 19th
2011 46th T16 53 38th
2012 56th Won 500 41st