Did Justin Thomas simply flip the nook? Rickie Fowler would possibly know


Rickie Fowler shot 60 whereas watching Justin Thomas shoot 62 forward of him.

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It may need been deja vu once more for Rickie Fowler Saturday on the Vacationers Championship.

Every week after capturing the primary ever 62 in a U.S. Open, holding the 54-hole lead and ending T5 at Los Angeles Nation Membership to reassert himself into the most important championship dialog for the primary time in years, Fowler had one other likelihood for immortality.

This time it was for golf’s magic quantity: 59.

Very like he tore aside LACC per week in the past, making birdie on half of his first 36 holes, Fowler dissected TPC River Highlands, one of many extra getable programs on Tour, to the tune of eight birdies and an eagle by means of 17 holes. He had only a 14-foot chip left on his ultimate gap (the ninth) to shoot the twelfth sub-60 spherical in PGA Tour historical past.

It didn’t go, however Fowler settled for the bottom spherical of his profession. Maybe solely Fowler knew his resurgent season was coming. Earlier than the beginning of the Fortinet Championship final fall, he was 186th within the Official World Golf Rankings. He held the 54-hole lead on the Zozo Championship earlier than shedding out to Keegan Bradley — who additionally took the 54-hole lead in Connecticut by one at 21 underneath.

After his shut name on the U.S. Open, he entered this week’s Designated occasion — which he’s required to play having nonetheless completed high 20 within the PIP, regardless of almost shedding his card final season — at No. 35 on the planet.

That’s solely 17 spots behind the person he obtained to look at shoot one other low quantity in entrance of him Saturday. In actual fact, Fwoler even gave Justin Thomas a part of the credit score for his personal rating.

“In a approach, we’re type of feeding off one another with me taking part in proper behind him,” Fowler advised CBS Sports activities’ Amanda Renner. “It was enjoyable. I do know he’s been struggling slightly bit as of late, so to see him play nicely yesterday after which get again on the horse at the moment and get going— that’s when it’s enjoyable is when you possibly can feed off your buddies and get going.”

Simply as Fowler’s resurgence hit the highlight on the U.S. Open, Thomas’ current struggles might have hit a low level.

Since Thomas gained the PGA Championship in Could 2022, he’s recorded simply three official top-10s. Final week on the U.S. Open, Thomas bottomed out with the worst rating of his PGA Tour profession within the second spherical, an 81 that despatched him house early, ending 153rd out of 156 gamers.

Justin Thomas

‘It’s all fairly sh***y’: Justin Thomas blunt after ending 152nd at U.S. Open


Nick Piastowski

Thomas has performed so poorly through the 2022-23 season that he’s in jeopardy of lacking each the Ryder Cup group and the FedEx Cup Playoffs for the primary time since becoming a member of the Tour.

After his second spherical on the U.S. Open, he stated he felt as low along with his sport as he ever had. However in his postround interview Saturday with Renner, he revealed once more he was taking part in as “the most effective I’ve performed in years” within the days main as much as the Open.

“It simply was such a foul week, like I stated, I legitimately felt prefer it was a fluke,” he stated later Saturday afternoon. “It simply was truthfully so dangerous that it was simpler to place behind me. I felt like I used to be engaged on the proper issues in my swing, and like I stated, simply in such a greater headspace this week.”

A drought of greater than year-plus with out a win for a participant to storm out of the gates with 15 in his first eight seasons actually qualifies as regarding, particularly if you begin listening to about him being concerned about his headspace.

Nonetheless, if there’s anybody who would possibly know a factor or two about recovering from poor kind, it’s Fowler.

Like Fowler waited round for Xander Schauffele final Thursday after the latter matched his U.S. Open-record 62, Thomas waited round for Fowler to congratulate him on almost breaking golf’s model of the sound barrier.

The dichatomy of the 2 pals’ positions of their careers shouldn’t be misplaced. Fowler is simply rounding again into kind after a stoop. Whereas Thomas might have simply discovered the underside of his.

On Saturday afternoon they had been merely pals who each obtained scorching on the similar time. Sunday, they’ll each be chasing Keegan Bradley, coming into the ultimate spherical seven and 6 photographs, respectively, out of the lead. They’re each chasing first wins. First in a 12 months for Thomas and the primary in additional than 4 for Fowler.


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