US Open: Rickie Fowler not worried by near-misses in the majors
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 11/06/19 5:31pm
Rickie Fowler insists he is not unduly concerned at remaining in the "best player without a major" category as he prepares to make his long-awaited breakthrough at this week's US Open.
Fowler has endured a number of near-misses in all four major championships since making his first appearance at the US Open in 2008, amassing eight top-fives including three runner-up finishes.
The popular 30-year-old was tied for second in the 2014 US Open at Pinehurst, albeit a distant eight strokes behind runaway champion Martin Kaymer, the year in which Fowler finished in the top five in each of the majors.
Fowler makes his 39th start in a major on the California coastline this week and, although he is understandably keen to land the biggest win of his career, he is not letting his quest distract him from the job in hand.
'Don't mess up again, USGA!'
After a number of controversial US Opens, David Livingstone looks at why the USGA need an incident-free week at Pebble Beach.
"It's a compliment in a way," said Fowler when asked about being one of the best players in the world without a major title on his CV. "Obviously there are a lot of great players that haven't won a major, but it's not necessarily something I think about or worry about.
"I know that, when the time is right, it's going to happen, and I've been in the position to have a chance and been right there in the mix come Sunday. I don't necessarily put my life on it, looking at what success is. If I don't win a major, that's not going to necessarily define me.
"Do I want to win a major? Yes. I would love to and then knock off some more after that. But it's not going to define who I am. I'm going to continue to go out and put the work in and put myself in position to go do it.
"I'm looking forward to it, especially the last few years with how comfortable the major weeks have felt, just a matter of time."
Fowler is also comfortable with not having let any majors "slip away", although he felt his best chance was at the PGA Championship in 2014, where he lost out to Rory McIlroy, while a late charge at the Masters last year also came up just short.
Get the best prices and book a round at one of 1,700 courses across the UK & Ireland
"One of my better chances was probably Valhalla," he added. "I had the lead on the back nine and made a bad swing on the 14th. I ended up making bogey, but obviously Rory played well that back nine and got himself the win.
"But it's fun when you're in the mix. I thought Augusta last year with Patrick winning, I had a chance to make a few more birdies on the back nine there. I thought I hit it to almost gimme range on 17, but it came up a couple of yards short of a perfect number.
"I wouldn't say I've necessarily had one in my hands and let it slip away, which is a good thing. But we have to go get ourselves one, because we've been in the position enough times where it could have gone the other way.
"I think in 2014, when I finished top five in all four, I had the lowest scoring for the four combined. But that doesn't get you a major. So obviously we can play good enough, but it's about getting those 72 holes and getting the job done."