Fowler looking to bounce back after US Open disappointment

American Bill Hurley defends his title in Quickens Loans National in Maryland

 Rickie Fowler: “I just want to make sure the game continues to stay consistent. I want to keep it trending in the right direction, unlike last year.” Photograph: Kamil Krzaczynski/EPA

Rickie Fowler: “I just want to make sure the game continues to stay consistent. I want to keep it trending in the right direction, unlike last year.” Photograph: Kamil Krzaczynski/EPA

 

Rickie Fowler will attempt to bounce back from a disappointing end to his bid for a first Major title in the US Open in this week’s Quicken Loans National.

Fowler started the final round at Erin Hills two shots off the lead, but struggled to a closing 72 which left him six shots behind compatriot Brooks Koepka in a tie for fifth.

And although that was his first top-five finish in a Major since finishing in the top five in all four in 2014, it came on the back of a closing 76 in the Masters in April after starting the final round just one behind eventual winner Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose.

Fowler is an ambassador for the tournament sponsor and is playing in the event for the sixth time in the last seven years, but will have to come to terms with a new venue.

TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm in Maryland is hosting a PGA Tour event for the first time since former Open champion Ben Curtis shot 20 under par to win the now-defunct Booz Allen Classic in 2006.

The course has since undergone significant redevelopment which contributed to much lower winning scores when it staged Web. com Tour events in 2012 and 2013, with the winning scores of David Lingmerth and Michael Putnam just eight and seven under par respectively.

This golf course has a good look to it. It’s a ball-striker’s course. So I just want to keep the game simple and keep going forward.”

Fellow American Bill Hurley is back to defend his title, but also wishes the event was still being held at Congressional Country Club, where the former US Navy lieutenant carded a closing 69 to win by three shots from Vijay Singh for his first PGA Tour victory.

“We certainly wish it was at Congressional because I finished first, fourth and eighth there, so there are courses for certain players and that’s one of mine,” said Hurley, whose win secured a place in the Open Championship at Troon which he turned down to attend his sister’s wedding.

“But this is a familiar place to me. I do practice and play out here when I’m home a good bit, so it’s a great spot and it will be a great event this week.

“I’ve played consistently mediocre this year, I think I’m 102nd right now in the FedEx Cup, made a lot of cuts but only one top-10. Just trying to kind of get back consistently in the top-10 and leapfrog up the FedEx Cup here in the summer.”

The leading four players, who are not already exempt, who finish in the top 12 at TPC Potomac will earn a place in the British Open at Royal Birkdale from July 20th-23th.

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