Rickie Fowler had to settle for another major top 5 in the USPGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky

Words: Robin Barwick

It was another major near miss for Rickie Fowler at the 2014 PGA Championship, and the American is finding they get more painful as they come. This year, he has finished tied for fifth in the Masters, tied for second in both the US Open and Open Championship, and now tied for 3rd in the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club.

Fowler, 25, had led during the final round yesterday, amid the most exciting finale to a major championship this year. As dark, forbidding storm clouds rolled along the Ohio River Valley and over Louisville last night though, and as the skies darkened, Fowler couldn’t hole the putts to keep up with Rory McIlroy, his Northern Irish rival who won his fourth major title a by a shot.

Fowler finished on 270, 14 under par, two shots behind McIlroy and a shot behind Fowler’s friend and playing partner for the day, a revitalised Phil Mickelson. Fowler is the only golfer to have finished in the top five of all four majors this year, and there are two ways to look at this achievement. On one side of the coin, he joins the finest of golfing company in this extremely impressive display of consistency in the world’s most important four tournaments, as Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods are the only other golfers to have achieved the same feat. On the other side though, when Nicklaus and Woods finished so well in all four majors in the same year, both of them won at least one of them.

“This is probably the one that hurts most for me in the majors this year,” started Fowler after his round last night. “The first three were a lot of fun to be in great positions and to have great finishes. But today, I really felt that I could go out there and win it. It stings. Still, to look back on the year, it was pretty awesome through the majors and something I can be proud of.

“Rory played great,” added Fowler, who is five months older than McIlroy – they are former Walker Cup opponents, in 2009. “He has been a deserving champion for the last three tournaments and right now he is the best players in the world, hands down. We’ll see if we can sneak one away from him at some point.”

While Fowler has not won since the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship on the PGA Tour – his only tour win in five years as a professional – the Californian has now established himself as one of the leading players on Tom Watson’s Ryder Cup team, which will arrive at Gleneagles in six weeks’ time.

Robin Barwick travelled to the PGA Championship courtesy of Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes-Benz is the official car of the PGA Championship