After winning for the first time on the PGA Tour just last week at the Wells Fargo Championship, most figured Rickie Fowler was on the verge of finally breaking out and winning tournaments in bunches.
But it's a safe to say very few had him pegged to go back-to-back on two of the most difficult courses in golf, right off the bat.
After firing a 66 on Saturday, that has him three shots off the lead at 9-under, he's now 18 holes away from becoming the first golfer since Tiger Woods, who accomplished the feat in 2009, to win in consecutive weeks on the PGA Tour.
As NBC commentator Johnny Miller noted during the round, the floodgates may have opened for one of the sport's brightest stars. It certainly looked that way on Saturday, as Fowler put on another superb ball-striking session for the crowds at TPC Sawgrass, hitting more than 80 percent of his greens in regulation for the second straight round.
On a day where the winds made it nearly impossible to make up ground on the field, Fowler thrived under the conditions, playing a near-flawless round that included six birdies in his first 11 holes.. It was the kind of round that made you believe last week's win could be the start of something special.
Even though Fowler has company at the top of the leaderboard, there's no doubting the fact that his game from tee to green this week is as good, if not better, than any player in the field. The big question at this point is if he can keep it going for one more day and withstand the pressure that comes with potentially winning one of the biggest tournaments in golf.
Luckily for Fowler, he's fresh off dealing with the pressure of winning on Sunday, and that could bode well for his chances. Anything can certainly happen during the final round of the Players Championship, but the way he's playing at the moment, you have to think he'll be right there on the back nine.
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