Rickie Fowler Masters Q&A on pressure to land a maiden major title and the legacy he wants to leave on the game
Rickie Fowler: Winning a Major is one of my highest priorities every year
You have shown winning form already in 2016. Do you feel ready to win your first major? Do you feel pressure to do so?
Nobody expects more of my game than I do, so no, I don’t feel pressure to win a Major in 2016. Winning a Major is one of my highest priorities this year, next year, the year after that and every year for the remainder of my career. I have proven to myself that I can compete with and win against the best players in the world. That gives me additional confidence that I can win Major Championships.
Last year you were on the first tee at Augusta National five hours before your start time to watch the ceremonial tee shots of the Big Three. What do these legends of the game mean to you?
I have so much admiration for Arnie and Jack and am fortunate to have personal relationships with them as well. My childhood coach Barry McDonnell was an “old school”. He taught me to play from that perspective and to appreciate the greats of that came before us. Part of what makes golf such a great game is its history and tradition and I am proud to follow in their footsteps any way that I can.
What do you hope to achieve on and off the course by the end of 2016?
Off the course I plan to continue to work hard on my swing, my putting, and my mental game. I want to continue to stay healthy and get stronger physically. I also want to enjoy time with family, friends. My business and philanthropic interests are important to me as well, and I plan to devote time and attention to over delivering in those initiatives.
On the course, I want to show up to each event fit and prepared to play so that I can put myself in contention. From there I want to test myself against the best players in the world and hold as many trophies as possible on Sunday evenings! Hopefully, this year I will win my first Major Championship.
You are among a group of golfers in a powerful position to influence the future of golf forever. When you look back on your career, what legacy do you want to have left on the game?
When I look back I want to say I worked hard, enjoyed competing against the best of my day, winning my share of tournaments, and had a ton of fun doing so! I hope those who watched me play or played with me felt like I represented myself with grace and class, and that I made the game a little bit better.
I want kids to be inspired to play golf and work hard to chase their dreams on and off the course in some small part because they enjoyed watching me. I am just 27, so thinking of my legacy now seems a little premature. If I accomplish the above, I will look back and smile I am sure.
Jack Nicklaus was asked about Fowler’s prospects of winning a maiden major in 2016, and whether there would be added pressure on the 27-year-old’s shoulders.
Rickie Fowler’s main goal is to win a major in 2016. Do you think the pressure of a first major win is greater today than in the past?
I don’t think the pressure to win a Major is any greater now than it has been in the past. The majors have always been the measuring stick of success on the Tour. I think from the perspective of most Tour players, they will say that the most significant part of the game, and what a person’s lifetime accomplishments should be based on, are the Major Championships.
The Majors are the lasting Championships. They are the ones people remember. The ones that live on to be told through generations. The majors have always held great importance, be it the era of Jones, or Hogan, or Palmer, or Spieth, McIlroy and Fowler, or myself. Rickie has gotten better each year, and he’s been putting himself in a position to win. I believe if he puts himself in a position to win a major, he knows how to win. So, if he gets himself in a position to do it, I think he will probably do it.
Rickie Fowler is a Rolex Testimonee, Rolex is an International Partner of the Masters.