Rickie Fowler says after contending in all four majors last year and then winning The Players Championship in May, he is finally ready to claim his first Grand Slam title at the 115th US Open.
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In 2014, the 26-year-old American finished in the top-five in all four major championships in a calendar year, something only Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus can claim.
Fowler followed that up last month by outlasting Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner in a playoff to win The Players Championship which is sometimes referred to as the unofficial fifth major because of its strong field and difficult layout.
He said: “It would be nice to put a major on the resume. Being in the winner’s circle just a few weeks back, I’d really like to have that chance here.”
— Paul Grondahl (@PaulGrondahl) June 17, 2015
Fowler, who is ranked ninth in the world, has a huge fan base in his home country and will be one of the players to watch at the US Open which begins today at Chambers Bay course, near Seattle.
Fowler says he is no longer in awe of his peers after his Grand Slam performances.
“After my performance last year in the majors, I really felt like I belonged on the big stage,” said the American, whose maternal grandfather was Japanese. “I proved that this is the kind of game I have.
“Taking care of business at The Players, that’s where I want to be. I want to be in contention and win golf tournaments.”
But despite all that there is a real sense in Fowler that there are more goals to achieve.
“The four majors were solid weeks. I managed to put myself in contention and put together great rounds and end up making history with four great finishes,” he said.
“But there’s a difference between being a top-five guy and getting the job done and being the last one standing and holding the trophy at the end.
“I definitely feel like the win at the Players was the next step to holding the trophy at a major.”
Fowler enjoyed his best finish at the US Open last year at Pinehurst when he shared second place with Erik Compton.
— Bob Pompeani (@KDPomp) June 18, 2015
Fowler will be trying to follow in the footsteps of defending champion Martin Kaymer, who last year won the Players Championship and then followed it up a couple weeks later with a US Open title.
“I would love to do the same as he did last year,” Fowler said. “And I really feel comfortable on this golf course. I love playing links golf.
“I’ve played well in the Open Championships. And I have played well in the US Open. I feel like putting the two together with the links style and US Open setup could turn out to be a great week.”
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