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The Masters

Rickie Fowler adds Texas Open in final attempt to qualify for the 2021 Masters

March 19, 2021
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Michael Reaves/R&A

Three rounds remain at the Honda Classic, and with brutal wind in the weekend forecast, expect a fair share of scoreboard fluctuation. In spite of that unpredictability, a first-round 70 has Rickie Fowler closer to the cut line than the top of the board, with a first-hole bogey on Friday not helping matters. Fowler, who is mired in a slump, needs a win at PGA National to earn an invitation to the Masters, a tournament he’s played in every year since 2010.

Luckily for Fowler, should this not come to pass in Palm Beach Gardens, he’ll get one more Masters shot.

On Thursday, Valero Texas Open officials announced that Fowler had committed to the San Antonio event. The Texas Open is the final PGA Tour stop before the sport heads to Augusta National and serves as the last chance to qualify for the Masters.

“Rickie is among the most recognizable and popular players in golf and we are thrilled he will be returning to the Alamo City in two weeks,” said Larson Segerdahl, executive director of the Valero Texas Open.

Fowler, 32, has not missed a major start since the 2010 Open Championship, and he finished runner-up at the 2018 Masters. However, Fowler has struggled mightily with his game over the past 14 months, his last top-10 coming in January 2020 at The American Express. He entered the Honda 124th in the FedEx Cup and 138th in strokes gained. Fowler is No. 81 in the Official World Golf Ranking, his worst standing since February 2010.

Fortunately for Fowler, plenty have earned a last-second invite to the Masters. Of more recent note is Ian Poulter. The Englishman was told he was in to the 2018 Masters following a match win at the WGC-Dell Match Play, only to find out later he was given bad information. Undaunted, Poulter entered the Houston Open, where he beat Beau Hossler in sudden death to book his trip to Georgia.

Fowler has just one career start at the TPC San Antonio, finishing T-19 at the 2019 Texas Open.