The Loop

Rickie Fowler follows Honda Classic win by tying for 20th in ‘first major of the year’

February 28, 2017

Sam Greenwood

The “first major of the year,” as Rickie Fowler once called it, passed without much notice on Monday, maybe because Fowler didn’t win it.

The Seminole Pro-Member is an annual one-day affair at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Fla., on its renowned Donald Ross course adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean. It features a star-studded field of tour pros partnering with Seminole members.

How star-studded? After Steve Flesch and his partner Mark Loomis of Fox Sports finished second in the Low Gross competition and tied for second in the Low Net competition on Monday, Flesch Tweeted:

“Great day at Seminole Pro-Member. Think I picked up some much needed World Ranking Points too!”

“Seriously, I may have gotten into the WGC Mexico with this finish! #ballin”

Fowler, who along with partner Buddy Marucci won the tournament back to back in 2011-’12, said facetiously upon his arrival the following year, “It's the first major of the year, so I’m playing to win.”

The winner of the Honda Classic on Sunday, Fowler did not fare so well on Monday. He and Marucci, an accomplished career amateur who lost to Tiger Woods in the final of the 1995 U.S. Amateur, teamed for a 68 and tied for 20th, five back of winners Alan Fadel and professional Bo Hoag.

The fact that Hoag has played only three PGA Tour and four Tour events since turning professional in 2011 suggests this was something of an upset in a field with Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Jim Furyk and Ernie Els, as well as World Golf Hall of Famers Raymond Floyd, Ben Crenshaw, Annika Sorenstam and Beth Daniel.

Rose and his amateur partner, former Deutsche Bank CEO Seth Waugh, won the Net portion of an event in which past champions include Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Jimmy Demaret and Arnold Palmer.

The first major of the year, indeed.