Missing LinksJanuary 27, 2016

Jordan Spieth says Rickie Fowler ‘is hottest name in golf’

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Rickie Fowler won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship on Sunday and Jordan Spieth tied for fifth. “I'd argue Rickie Fowler is the hottest name in golf right now,” Spieth said in this Reuters story. “He is the previous week's winner, he beat all of us, so he is the best player, that's the way I look at it. I look at it most recent, the rankings look at it in a two-year cycle. For me, I was beat by four guys last week, I need to get better, that's my drive.”

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Rickie Fowler at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship

The first time Jason Day played at Torrey Pines was at the Junior World Championship in 2004. “His mom, who was back in Australia, had bought him a special outfit -- plaid short-sleeve shirt, khaki slacks, brown dress shoes -- for a barbecue the tournament held for the few hundred kids that week at Torrey Pines,” Brian Wacker at PGATour.com writes. “It turned out that everyone else was in shorts and flip-flops. ‘I looked like such a dweeb, man!’ Day recalls with a laugh. ‘It was the worst thing ever.’ Or was it? ‘I told him you look professional,’ [Colin] Swatton [his caddie, instructor and friend] remembers. ‘He did. It looked like he was there to play and win. The other guys were there to have fun.’ Win he did.”

San Diego native Chris Riley, a former member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team, is a part-time player these days, yet after Monday qualifying for the Farmers Insurance Open he has high expectations, Kirk Kenney writes in the San Diego Union Tribune.

The Scottish Open, played the week before the British Open, has enjoyed a run of great winners (Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson the last three) and strong fields, but the trend might not continue. The culprit? The Olympics. “[S]cheduling for the game’s top players this summer is a huge headache due to some re-shuffling of events because of golf’s return to the Olympics in early August,” Martin Dempster of the Scotsman writes. Rory McIlroy will skip the Scottish Open and Fowler, the defending champion, has hinted he might not play.