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Travelers Championship

Rickie Fowler had U.S. Open FOMO: 'No fun watching other guys play majors'

June 23, 2021

Andy Lyons

CROMWELL, Conn. — If you’re younger than, say, 40 years old, you know what FOMO is. If you frequently interact with someone younger than 40 years old, you know what FOMO is. Still, in the spirit of anti-agism, we’ll define the acronym: Fear of Missing Out.

It’s the feeling you get on a Saturday night, when you’re stuck on the sofa wondering what shenanigans your friends are up to. Or, in Rickie Fowler’s case, when you’re stuck inside your South Florida mansion watching your boys play in the U.S. Open.

It’s a new phenomenon for Rickie, because the 32-year-old played in 42 consecutive majors from the 2010 Open Championship through the 2020 Masters. But he’s now missed two out of three in 2021, as a barren stretch of play—he remains winless since February 2019 and dropped as low as world No. 128 in June—saw him fail to qualify for this year’s Masters and U.S. Open.

Predictably, he’s not a fan of the whole not-playing-majors thing.

“It’s not fun watching other guys play majors, that's for sure,” Fowler said Wednesday, ahead of the Travelers Championship. “It's added motivation. I wouldn't say I ever like necessarily took them for granted. It's such a fine line out here. I think all of you understand that. Everyone out here on tour understands that, the difference of being on teams or being at majors and sitting at home watching is small. Same thing with playing the weekend and missing cuts, making cuts. It's a putt or a shot here or there that can change kind of the outcome of the week.”

The good news for Fowler is he won’t have to suffer through FOMO anymore. At least not this year, as he’s qualified for this year’s Open Championship at Royal St. George’s by way of his T-6 at the last Open, the 2019 edition at Royal Portrush.

Fowler is also beginning to see signs of a sustained turnaround. Playing on a special exemption form the PGA of America, Fowler finished T-8 at last month’s PGA Championship at Kiawah, then followed it up with a T-11 at the Memorial. As such, he’s risen to No. 88 in the world­—nothing to write home about for a former mainstay in the top 15, but progress nonetheless.

“I’m obviously here and planning to be in a position to have a chance over the weekend and on Sunday,” Fowler said. “With the finishes I'm coming off of, I definitely expect myself to be up there and kind of continue to ride the wave that we kind of started.”

There’s also the best news of all: his wife, Allison, is pregnant with the couple’s first child. Fowler shared the news on social media on Monday but said they found out the week of the Honda Classic, back in March.

“Everyone tells me it's life changing. There will be a little change in the dynamic of whether it's home and practice, on the road. I'm looking forward to it. I'm sure over the next few months I'll continue to think about it, but won't really know until the little one shows up and we know exactly what we're going to do from there.”

On the road. If it’s up to Fowler, he’ll be gone each of those four special weeks next year. It’s no fun watching other guys play majors.