Rickie Fowler is at the top of the leaderboard at a major because today is a Saturday and the sun came up and humans are still alive.
This time Fowler trails, who else, Rory McIlroy, by two strokes after shooting a slick second-round 66. Fowler leads the tournament in birdies with 13 after 36 holes.
Today’s been the day he’s owned this year at majors, too:
Top of the leaderboard in third rounds of majors this year:
Day — 2 over
Furyk — 2 over
McIlroy — 1 under
Fowler — 12 under (!)
— Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) August 9, 2014
Unfortunately he’s run into the buzzsaw-ing of Bubba Watson, Martin Kaymer, and that McIlroy kid in that order this season.
And McIlroy is at it again. He’s the leader at 9 under (Fowler is at 7 under) and I’m just not sure the Cali kid has the goods to catch the one from Holywood right now.
That’s not a knock on Rickie, it’s just that Rory is playing at an historically great clip at the moment.
The phrase Alan Shipnuck used to describe the 2000 PGA Championship (and another Oklahoma State alum) comes to mind:
Bob May played like a champion. Tiger Woods played like a god.
McIlroy is playing the role of “a god” (or Woods) this week at Valhalla and is basically bludgeoning the course to death with his monstrosity of a driver.
He’s averaging 312 yards off the tee on a sloshy, slow course where his drives are often embedding in the soil without taking a single bounce.
He’s a terror.
Fowler, though, is putting out of his mind. He has been all season, really. He leads the tournament in putts per green at 1.52 and when combined with his tighter, more reliable swing, he’s become as consistent at major championships as Tiger Woods is at putt putt against his son.
Fowler will be paired with a thing called Mikko Ilonen on Saturday in the third-to-last group and trying to position himself to do something that only Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have ever done.
Rickie Fowler: can join Tiger ('00, '05) & Jack ('71 & '73) as only players to finish top-5 in all 4 majors in season in modern era.
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) August 9, 2014
That’s pretty awesome.
It would be even more awesome if he became just the second OSU golfer ever to taste major glory.