Win or lose, Rickie Fowler is proving at The Players Championship that he is not overrated.
The 26-year-old from California was recently named by 24 percent of his peers — tied with Ian Poulter — in an anonymous Golf.com poll asking who was the most overrated player on the PGA Tour. Fowler scoffed at the notion earlier in the week.
“I guess top fives in four ,ajors aren’t that good,” he said Thursday. “Like I said, I’ll take care of my business and I’ll be just fine.”
He did just that in a closing stretch that may lock up his second PGA Tour win.
Fowler played the final six holes in 6 under par, going birdie-par-birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie to post 12-under 276 and grab the clubhouse lead at TPC Sawgrass. His 11 strokes for the final four holes is a Players record.
The face of Puma Golf had contended before at The Players, including a joint runner-up finish in 2012, when he birdied the par-3 17th in three of four rounds. However, he hadn’t closed the deal since the week prior to that tournament, winning the Wells Fargo Championship in a playoff over now world No. 1 Rory McIlroy and D.A. Points.
Despite the lack of wins, Fowler has seven runner-up finishes on Tour and five more third-place efforts. He’s also only the third player in golf history to finish in the top five in all four major championships in a single season, doing so last year without taking home one of golf’s most important trophies.
A Players title may not count as a major now — or ever — but winning one of golf’s most important events and biggest purses could be a big factor in his future success.