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Rickie Fowler mired in a sophomore slump

May 30, 2011

From the May 30 edition of Golf World Monday:

For those of you who don't believe in a sophomore jinx, we give you Rickie Fowler.

Last year's PGA Tour rookie of the year heads to this week's Memorial as a welcome addition to a field that once again will not feature four-time winner Tiger Woods.


Fowler is one of the game's stars and for good reason. He is charismatic, polite, great with fans and plays an exciting brand of golf with tons of birdies. He also is a steely competitor, as he proved in last year's Ryder Cup.

But since watching Justin Rose roar past him in the final round to win the 2010 Memorial, Fowler has not been a threat to win, and this year he has just two top-10s in 13 starts. Hard to believe that the kid who birdied the last four holes and earned a half point against Edoardo Molinari at Celtic Manor has trouble closing, but Fowler's 71.89 final-round scoring average ranks 121st on tour -- though he is 33rd in scoring through 36 holes.

Perhaps a return to Muirfield Village GC, where he held a three-shot lead after 54 holes before Rose beat him with a closing 66, will kick-start his second pro season.

It's time he augmented all those colorful clothes with a little crystal or silver. He's more than capable. And he's due.

-- Dave Shedloski

(Photo: Hunter Martin/Getty Images)