Rickie Fowler — Getty Images
Since the Mayans were wrong, it appears the 2013 PGA Tour season will actually happen. There are plenty of big names set to make some noise in the upcoming season (the year kicks off on January 4th!), so we've picked our ten guys we think will have huge impacts next season and preview them here. We continue with "Mr. Flat Bill," Rickie Fowler.
Career PGA Tour wins: 1
Career major wins: 0
What he did in 2012: First off, let's discuss the high points of Rickie Fowler's 2012 season, like the win at the Wells Fargo Championship — his first PGA Tour victory — where he stuffed a wedge to four feet on the first playoff hole to beat Rory McIlroy and D.A. Point. There's also the 6 top-15 finishes in his first 16 starts prior to the U.S. Open — including a stretch that saw him post three straight top-5 finishes.
If you stop right there, Fowler's season would be considered a huge success. However, once you take a look at the second half of his season, the win and the torrid start loses its luster. From the U.S. Open to the end of the year, Fowler never posted a top-10 and only finished inside the top-25 on two occasions.
Not only that, he went from a Ryder Cup lock early in the season, to the bubble, to off the team in the span of three months. For a season that started with so much promise, Fowler's 2012 was actually a bit of a disappointment. Even with the rough finish, the Wells Fargo win certainly justified his place on the list of rising twentysomethings on the PGA Tour.
Why we like him in 2013: Fowler has a truckload of talent and a swing that's capable of winning tournaments in bunches, but up this point, the 24-year-old has been wildly unpredictable. Just when you think he's ready to explode — see the stretch last season where he followed up his first win with T-2 and T-5 finishes in his next two starts — his game suddenly disappears.
So why do we like Fowler to have a big season? For one, there's the chance to prove the naysayers wrong. Plenty of people questioned whether the pressure of making the Ryder Cup got to Fowler last in the season. Whether he wants to admit it or not, there will likely be some added motivation to start hot and secure a place on the Presidents Cup squad.
Fowler has proven the naysayers wrong before, and even with the questions surrounding his back — which was an issue late in the year — you have to like the kid's chances. I'm not sure he's ready to win a major just yet, but another PGA Tour win is something that should be at the top of his 2013 to-do list.
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