"Well, good luck keeping it on the green."
That's how Nick Faldo set the stage for Rickie Fowler's difficult bunker shot on Muirfield Village's 18th hole on Thursday. And for good reason. From a downslope in the back of the back trap, Fowler faced a downhill shot with not much of a super-slick green pitched away from him. But then he did this:
The walk-off sandy birdie capped an up-and-down opening round at the Memorial for Fowler, who started his day with a birdie before making a triple bogey on the second hole. Fowler wound up with eight birdies and a two-under-par 70, which placed him in the top 15 heading into Friday.
Fowler's first trip to Muirfield Village in 2010 produced a runner-up finish, but since being the 54-hole leader that year he's struggled at the Jack Nicklaus track. In six appearances since, he's missed the cut three times and his best finish is a T-22.
"It's nearly impossible, kind of," Fowler described the shot on 18 to Golf Channel after, "and when I saw it come out, I thought there's no way this is staying short." In other words. . .