“Golf’s longest day” got a little bit longer for Rickie Fowler on Monday.
Fowler was one of nearly 700 golfers across the country trying to claim the last 54 spots in the field at the U.S. Open on Monday, and had to make it out of a tough 36-hole qualifying event at two courses in Ohio to do so.
His first round of the day wasn’t great. Fowler posted a 1-over 73 at Brookside Golf and Country Club in Ohio, though his round there was delayed by more than three hours due to weather in the area. He then ran into some traffic traveling to the Lakes Golf and Country Club — which sits about 12 miles away — for the second half of his qualifier.
When he did get to the second course, his game improved quite a bit. Fowler got to 3-under through his first 13 holes of the day, but his round was cut short due to darkness. He’ll resume on the 14th hole on Tuesday morning, and will need a perfect finish with multiple birdies to have a shot at reaching the U.S. Open.
“I have a good number with a 7-iron in the morning,” Fowler said, via Golfweek. “Then some birdie holes coming in. Just get some good looks and makes some putts. I didn’t make much through the first 31 holes.
“It was a long day for sure. A little beat up after last week.”
The top 16 from the event in Ohio will make it to the U.S. Open. As of Monday night, 26 players were inside the top 16, and 11 players were at 5-under. Wyndham Clark and Chez Reavie both positioned themselves well within the mark to make the cut, and other Tour members Charl Schwartzel, Keegan Bradley and Jason Dufner can make a run with solid finishes on Tuesday morning.
If Fowler wants to get into the playoff, he’ll likely need to hit 5-under at a minimum — if not more.
If he doesn’t make it in, he’ll miss his first U.S. Open since 2010.
Fowler has five career wins on the PGA Tour, but hasn’t won since the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open. Though he’s missed the cut seven times already this season, he is coming off a T8 finish at the PGA Championship and a T11 finish at the Memorial Tournament last week.
While it wasn’t enough to get him into the U.S. Open later this month at Torrey Pines in San Diego, Fowler knows his game is at least improving.
“Definitely feeling the fatigue,” he said, via Golfweek. “We all know Memorial is a big walk and it was a long week, but a lot of guys are in the same spot. I just didn’t get anything going and if you can, you can ride the wave a little bit.
“I just didn’t have that wave to ride.”
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