Rickie Fowler, close to fatherhood, ready to emerge from the doldrums


LAS VEGAS – Rickie Fowler celebrated his second wedding anniversary with his wife, Allison, on Tuesday night.

The two are expecting their first child – a daughter – on November 30.

And he’s focused on rebirthing a career gone wrong.

In other words, Fowler has a lot on his mind.

After a six week mini-fast in which he lost 5 pounds of body fat by cutting back on carbs and fruits, eating healthy and exercising, while working hard on his game and fulfilling desires and his wife’s needs, Fowler will make his first start of the season Thursday in the Shriners Children’s Open at TPC Summerlin.

He will do so after his two worst seasons since turning pro over a decade ago. Last season, Fowler, 32, whose most recent of nine world wins came at the Waste Management Phoenix Open 2019, had just one top 10 in 18 starts and did not make the qualifiers for the FedEx Cup for the first time since 2009. It fell to 125e in the official world rankings, his worst ranking since 2009. Over the past two seasons, he has amassed just eight top-10s in 56 starts while missing 18 cups.

“Life comes quickly to you sometimes and you manage it the best you can,” Fowler told TPC Summerlin Tuesday.

Rickie Fowler reacts to a missed putt on the 9th hole in the first round of the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, NC. (Photo by Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)

The most important change to manage is impending fatherhood. Fowler said everything was going well on Allison and Baby’s fronts and that they were both counting every day.

“She’s awesome. Everything went really well. It’s a lot easier on my end, obviously. She’s pregnant and has to put up with me,” Fowler said. “A lot of people told me that when the baby is born is when the light bulb goes out. Allison is leading the charge, as far as everything is in order and whatnot, and I try to play a good supporting role.

“I help him in any way I can. There are plenty of people out there trying to give you their opinion on what to do and what not to do, but at the end of the day we are both there and we will work together and move forward.

“Which makes me a little more comfortable, because it’s something new, I feel like we can do it. And we both come from great families and it has reverberated. But it’s okay. be a big change.

Just like his offseason plan. Fowler last played in August in the Wyndham Championship. After a week off, Fowler began a two-pronged attack to improve his physical condition and his playing form. He wasn’t wiping the slate; instead, he was following a new pattern.

For six weeks, he tackled training, his practice and a change in his diet.

And he stuck to it.

Carbohydrates and fruit were both off during the week.

“And I love the fruit,” he said.

Instead, he finished plates with lots of protein, fat, and lots of greens. On weekends, he opted for leaner protein and less fat. His cheat day was Sunday when he had a little ice cream, popcorn.

He also had a lot of tea in the evenings, which helped him avoid snacking.

“I finally got to have a few drinks over the weekend, but I didn’t have too many, because by eating healthy for six weeks, I didn’t want to push too hard,” Fowler said. “It wasn’t the most fun. But it was a long way off and it was about holding myself accountable, with Allison helping on the nutrition side and my trainer taking care of the physical aspect.

“It was a good way to clean up. I am fresh and ready to go.

And he remains determined to stick with the swing changes he started working on two years ago. While he is still optimistic, the crisis has challenged him on and off the golf course. But he is confident that a comeback is coming.

“We are in a good position. It’s no fun having big chunks of time when that isn’t your choice. I can’t wait to change that, ”said Fowler, who plays this week and will then play consecutive weeks on sponsor exemptions in the CJ Cup right next to TPC Summerlin and the Zozo Championship in Japan. “What we have been working on on the swing side, on the equipment side, everyone is on the same page. The past two years, that’s not where I wanted to be here.

“So I’m going to scratch that off and move on.”

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