Rickie Fowler may have joined the extraordinary league of Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus as the only players to finish inside the topfive in all four majors in a season, but the American insists he is a long way from joining the club of Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth.
After a fabulous 2014 season in which he was in contention in almost every major, the 26-yearold heads to the 144th Open Championship this week as one of the pre-tournament favourites, having won the Scottish Open last week.
In typical links course conditions at Gullane Golf Club, Fowler made three birdies in his last four holes to edge compatriot Matt Kuchar and Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin by one shot.
Ahead of the Open Championship, Fowler was asked what he needed to do to add his name to the growing rivalry between the world No1 McIlroy and No2 Spieth, and make it a triumvirate.
Fowler, who jumped to No5 in the world rankings this week after his Scottish Open win, said: “I mean, a good start would be to become a major champion, and that’s something that I’ve always dreamed of and have wanted to accomplish.
“The way obviously Jordan has been playing, it’s amazing golf. Rory has been doing that for quite some time. I do have some work to do. I need to continue winning. I think that’s the biggest thing, and putting myself in positions to win.
“I can’t worry about them or other players, just got to keep working hard and focus on what I need to do and take care of my business.”
Fowler played his first Open in 2010 at the Old Course, and impressed in his first outing as he finished tied for the 14th place despite starting with an awful round of 79.
He finished second last year at Royal Liverpool and fifth at Royal St George’s in 2011. Explaining what he thought was the turning point for his immense linking for links golf, Fowler said: “I’ve always enjoyed playing links golf.
But when I believed that I could really win over here was after my stellar start of 79 in 2010, my first time out at St Andrews, I shot a 67 to make the cut and went on to have a great weekend.
I had a chance to maybe show Louis (Oosthuizen) something, but he played pretty amazing that week here.”
Fowler plays his first two rounds along with Justin Rose and six-time major champion Nick Faldo, who is playing his final Open. They tee off at 17:45 UAE time tomorrow.
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