Did Justin Thomas just turn the corner? Rickie Fowler might know

Rickie Fowler shot 60 whereas watching Justin Thomas shoot 62 forward of him.

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It may need been deja vu yet again for Rickie Fowler Saturday on the Travelers Championship.

Per week after taking pictures the primary ever 62 in a U.S. Open, holding the 54-hole lead and ending T5 at Los Angeles Nation Membership to reassert himself into the major championship conversation for the primary time in years, Fowler had one other likelihood for immortality.

This time it was for golf’s magic quantity: 59.

Very similar to he tore aside LACC per week in the past, making birdie on half of his first 36 holes, Fowler dissected TPC River Highlands, one of many extra getable programs on Tour, to the tune of eight birdies and an eagle by means of 17 holes. He had only a 14-foot chip left on his last gap (the ninth) to shoot the twelfth sub-60 spherical in PGA Tour historical past.

It didn’t go, however Fowler settled for the bottom spherical of his profession. Maybe solely Fowler knew his resurgent season was coming. Earlier than the beginning of the Fortinet Championship final fall, he was 186th within the Official World Golf Rankings. He held the 54-hole lead on the Zozo Championship earlier than shedding out to Keegan Bradley — who additionally took the 54-hole lead in Connecticut by one at 21 beneath.

After his shut name on the U.S. Open, he entered this week’s Designated occasion — which he’s required to play having nonetheless completed high 20 within the PIP, regardless of almost shedding his card final season — at No. 35 on the planet.

That’s solely 17 spots behind the person he acquired to look at shoot one other low quantity in entrance of him Saturday. In actual fact, Fwoler even gave Justin Thomas a part of the credit score for his personal rating.

“In a method, we’re sort of feeding off one another with me enjoying proper behind him,” Fowler instructed CBS Sports activities’ Amanda Renner. “It was enjoyable. I do know he’s been struggling a bit bit as of late, so to see him play properly yesterday after which get again on the horse at this time and get going— that’s when it’s enjoyable is when you’ll be able to feed off your buddies and get going.”

Simply as Fowler’s resurgence hit the highlight on the U.S. Open, Thomas’ latest struggles could have hit a low level.

Since Thomas received the PGA Championship in Might 2022, he’s recorded simply three official top-10s. Final week on the U.S. Open, Thomas bottomed out with the worst rating of his PGA Tour profession within the second spherical, an 81 that despatched him house early, ending 153rd out of 156 gamers.

Justin Thomas

‘It’s all pretty sh***y’: Justin Thomas blunt after finishing 152nd at U.S. Open


Nick Piastowski

Thomas has performed so poorly throughout the 2022-23 season that he’s in jeopardy of lacking each the Ryder Cup workforce and the FedEx Cup Playoffs for the primary time since becoming a member of the Tour.

After his second spherical on the U.S. Open, he said he felt as low with his game as he ever had. However in his postround interview Saturday with Renner, he revealed once more he was enjoying as “one of the best I’ve performed in years” within the days main as much as the Open.

“It simply was such a foul week, like I mentioned, I legitimately felt prefer it was a fluke,” he mentioned later Saturday afternoon. “It simply was truthfully so dangerous that it was simpler to place behind me. I felt like I used to be engaged on the suitable issues in my swing, and like I mentioned, simply in such a greater headspace this week.”

A drought of greater than year-plus with out a win for a participant to storm out of the gates with 15 in his first eight seasons definitely qualifies as regarding, particularly if you begin listening to about him being concerned about his headspace.

Nonetheless, if there’s anybody who may know a factor or two about recovering from poor kind, it’s Fowler.

Like Fowler waited around for Xander Schauffele final Thursday after the latter matched his U.S. Open-record 62, Thomas waited round for Fowler to congratulate him on almost breaking golf’s model of the sound barrier.

The dichatomy of the 2 associates’ positions of their careers shouldn’t be misplaced. Fowler is simply rounding again into kind after a droop. Whereas Thomas could have simply discovered the underside of his.

On Saturday afternoon they have been merely associates who each acquired sizzling on the identical time. Sunday, they’ll each be chasing Keegan Bradley, getting into the ultimate spherical seven and 6 photographs, respectively, out of the lead. They’re each chasing first wins. First in a yr for Thomas and the primary in additional than 4 for Fowler.

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Printed : 2023-06-24 23:19:30

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