OK, so you wouldn’t call Rickie Fowler a grizzled veteran of the PGA Tour. Yet at this week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, the 29-year-old begins his 10th (!) season in the big leagues, and Thursday accounted for the 747th round that Fowler has play in a tour event. That’s a big enough sample size to be surprised that the four-time tour winner accomplished something at TPC Summerlin that he had never previously done in his career.
Yes, this impressive eagle alone on the 13th hole, of course, is not the historic first. Fowler has made 80 eagles previously in PGA Tour events. But three holes later, Fowler wound up making another, this time from 8½ feet. And as it turns out, making two eagles in one round is something that Fowler hadn’t pull off before.
What’s the big deal? Well, let’s try to put some context to this. To date in the 2018-’19 season, five players have made two eagles in one round (Sam Ryder and Adam Svensson at the Safeway Open, Paul Casey and James Hahn at the CIMB Classic and Robert Garrigus at the Sanderson Farms Championship). In the entirety of the 2017-’18 season it was done 45 times and in 2016-’17 it was accomplished 55 times.
So it’s a rarity, but not so rare that you wouldn’t have thought Fowler might have pulled it off at some point in his career.
The irony of the whole thing? The two eagles came in an otherwise pedestrian season debut for Fowler, who made three bogeys and two birdies and finished the day with a three-under 68, five strokes off the opening-round lead held by Peter Uihlein, Fowler’s former teammate at Oklahoma State.