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Devil Ball Golf

Rickie Fowler’s game disappears on Sunday at the Memorial

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Rickie Fowler / Getty Images

Let's be clear here: One round bad round won't make or break Rickie Fowler's career. Despite blowing up on Sunday at the Memorial, he'll still go into the U.S. Open as one of the favorites to win at Olympic Club.

But we'd be remiss if we didn't at least touch on what has to be the worst round of the 23-year-old's career. Playing in the penultimate group with Tiger Woods on the final day, Fowler came completely unglued early on, going four-over in the first eight holes to set the tone for a truly forgettable round.

And it only got worse from there, as Fowler came home in 8-over 44 to finish the day with an eye-popping 12-over 84. To put the round in perspective, there was a 17-shot gap between Fowler's 84 and playing partner Tiger Woods' 5-under 67.

There's no doubt Muirfield Village was playing tough on Sunday. But it wasn't playing 80-plus shots tough. You could easily chalk up the poor round to Fowler playing in his fifth tournament in six weeks, but if you look at the disparity between his scoring average on Saturday and Sunday, it paints the picture of a golfer who's still struggling in the final round.

[Related: Tiger Woods wins again, and for now, that's enough]

After the 84 on Sunday, Fowler's Sunday scoring average is 71.91, compared to 69.84 on Saturday. That's a full two-shot difference.

Should we be worried about Fowler's final round struggles? Probably not. The kid should get a lot of credit for posting four consecutive top-10s in his last four events (including a win) before this week.

But even with the recent performances, it's hard not to look at how poorly he's played — especially with some of the top players in the game — and wonder what the heck is going on.

"One of those days," Fowler said after his round. It certainly was. While it'd be easy to dwell on the round, the best thing he can do at the moment is forget about it and look ahead to the U.S. Open.

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