Column: Fowler brings game along with mullet to US Open

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PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Someone wanted to know about Rickie Fowlers haircut, not the kind of question you usually get after taking a share of the lead in the U.S. Open.

The mullet was attention grabbing, for sure. So on this day at Pebble Beach was his golf.

What that means for the rest of his U.S. Open is a question harder to answer than his hairstyle. Fowler has a history of unpredictability in major tournaments, as evidenced by the 84-65 he shot on the weekend last year at Shinnecock Hills.

Still, if his game holds up through this weekend he might want to see a barber before posing with the Open trophy Sunday night.

“We were doing it for the PGA in May. Were calling it Mullet May,” Fowler said about the dos he and Jason Dufner got for charity. “We werent doing it to get any extra attention or anything like that. It was for fun. And obviously were not trying to look good with it.”

What did look good Thursday in the opening round of the U.S. Open was Fowlers game. He made just a single bogey on his way to an opening 5 under 66 that left him tied for the early lead.

It might have been the best round from a player with a mullet since John Daly won the PGA in 1991. It might have also been one of the best ball striking rounds of Fowlers career.

“It felt like the worst I could have shot,” he said, “so thats a good thing.”

It is a good thing for all Rickie Fowler fans, of which there are many in golf. Hes as popular as he is nice, a good combination on a tour with more than its share of petulant players.

But while hes a proven winner, he hasnt won enough to take his place among the games elite.

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And while hes had flashes of greatness at major championships, hes yet to win one of the ones that matter the most.

“If I dont win a major thats not going to necessarily define me,” Fowler said earlier in the week. “So I want to win a major? Yes. I would love to and then knock off some more after that.”

The U.S. Open would be a good way to start, as well as a good place to erase some painful memories from the past. That includes the 84 from last years third round at Shinnecock, where whatever could go wrong did go wrong for Fowler.

But Fowler is nothing if not positive. He believes in his talent, and at the age of 30 hes got plenty of time to add to his five PGA Tour wins and capture a major or two.

He points to 2014 where he was the only player to finish in the top 5 of all four majors as evidence of his potential, and the final round at the 2018 Masters where his 65-67 on the weekend wasnt enough to overtake Patrick Reed.

Fowler instead found himself in a familiar pose, standing off the 18th green in a familiar pose, congratulating the champion.

“I wouldnt say Ive necessarily had one in my hands and let it slip away, which is a good thing,” he said. “But we have to go get ourselves one, because weve been in the position enough times where it could have went the other way.”

On Thursday, most things went Fowlers way. He had the advantage of an early start, and got a jolt from a birdie three on the 512-yaRead More – Source

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