Count us among those who have been more than a little leery of the whole "Rickie-Rory" rivalry nonsense that sprang up in the wake of Fowler's maiden PGA Tour win at the Wells Fargo last week. The media (yes, we know whereof we speak) can be far too quick to create storylines and anoint heroes, and Fowler's known tendency to fall apart on Sundays gave us pause.
But let's be honest: Fowler's play at The Players on Sunday was nothing short of impressive. He was one player short of a four-man playoff (our fancy way of saying he finished in a tie for second) and his strong late-holes run put him just outside a true hunt for Matt Kuchar. (Of course, Fowler had to deal with some problems of his own making; he started the round -10 and finished it -11 but had six birdies...you do the math.)
"I'm swinging it well and I have a lot of confidence in myself and my game right now," Fowler said. "I feel like I'm managing myself around the golf course and throughout the tournament better, getting myself in the right positions, and not giving away tournaments and keeping myself in them." And he even says the right things, too!
Fowler said he wants to make the Tour Championship and the Ryder Cup team, and the way he's playing right now, he's right on track. A rivalry with Rory or whoever may or may not happen, but for the last few weeks, at least, Fowler's been holding up his end of the bargain.
But please, Rickie ... we'll give you the flat-brim cap, but ditch the 'stache.