Rickie Fowler to be only American golfer at Olympic opening ceremony
Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar and Patrick Reed are in this week's Travelers Championship field. That presents a small issue, as these three individuals -- all representing the United States in golf's return to the Summer Olympics -- will be in Cromwell, Conn. during the Rio Games opening ceremonies.
Though Watson, Kuchar and Reed will be at TPC River Highlands, the American golf delegate will have a representative at Maracana Stadium: Rickie Fowler, the fourth member of the red, white and blue team.
“I always wanted to have that opportunity, especially with the way the schedule worked,” Fowler said Monday at a promotional event for the upcoming Deutsche Bank Championship. “So now I’ll be the only golfer, but it will be pretty cool.”
Though Fowler plans on keeping a similar practice itinerary for the tournament in Brazil, he admitted golf will not be the only thing on his mind.
“Looking forward to not only the opening ceremonies but getting to see some of the other athletes that are down there and seeing greatness happen in front of me," he said.
Fowler also acknowledged missing the Travelers Championship and next week's John Deere Classic has put him in a tough spot with Ryder Cup qualification. Following Baltusrol, the 27 year old sits 12th in the rankings. Although he's viewed as a lock to make the team as a captain's pick, Fowler stated he wants to make the squad on his own merits.
"I haven't played as well as I would have liked to the past few months, which has kind of put me in a tough position."
Still, the chance at an Olympic medal was an opportunity Fowler couldn't pass.
The men's Olympic golf competition begins August 11.