Titleist Brand Ambassador Rickie Fowler Named PGA Tour Rookie of the Year
Posted: December 7, 2010
Titleist Brand Ambassador Rickie Fowler was named PGA Tour Rookie of the Year over the weekend, capping a tremendous season for the 21-year-old that included a lot of time spent on leaderboards, airplanes, television screens and Twitter.
He also happened to sign a few autographs and provide one of the more dramatic Ryder Cup moments in recent memory.
Fowler, who celebrates his 22nd birthday Dec. 13, currently sits at No. 25 in the Official World Golf Ranking, after beginning the season at the Sony Open in Hawaii at No. 249.
"We're off to a good start," said Fowler, "and hopefully we can keep that going."
In 28 official starts this season, Fowler totaled seven top-10s, including runner-up finishes at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and the Memorial Tournament, and had the highest rookie finishes on both the PGA Tour money list (22nd) and the FedEx Cup standings (32nd).
To end the season, Fowler shot 69 or better in 15 of his last 20 rounds, which included a globetrotting three-week stretch at the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic in Malaysia (T-5), WGC-HSBC Champions (T-25) in Shanghai and season-ending Children's Miracle Network Classic (T-3) in Orlando, Fla.
"It's been a lot of fun," Fowler said.
The most fun may have come in late September at the Ryder Cup, where Fowler suited up as a captain's pick for U.S. skipper Corey Pavin and delivered when it mattered most.
On a pressure-packed Monday morning in waterlogged Wales, Fowler birdied four of his last six holes to come back from 4 down and halve his singles match with Eduardo Molinari – sinking a tricky, downhill 15-footer for birdie on the 18th hole when it seemed the entire world was watching.
"Shot of the year would have been the putt on 18 at the Ryder Cup," Rickie told Team Titleist via text message Monday.
"Putt on 17 (12-footer for birdie) is in there also."
Similarly impressive was Fowler's turnaround at his first Open Championship this summer on the Old Course at St. Andrews, where he followed an opening-round 79 with rounds of 67-71-67 to finish tied for 14th at 4-under 284. Fowler's bogey-free final round included a 43-yard birdie putt from off the green at the famous par-4 17th Road Hole that drew enormous cheers from the St. Andrews gallery, and a string of replays on golf broadcasts around the world.
"Yeah, that (shot) too," Rickie said.
To be sure, there were many great ones – though that amount does not approach the number of autographs Fowler signed throughout his rookie season, spending hours and hours among his fans with a Sharpie (usually orange, like his Oklahoma State-inspired Sunday wardrobe) in hand, another lasting image from Fowler's 2010.
"I have no clue (how many I signed)," said Fowler, who also keeps up with his fans with a very active Twitter account. "At least a few thousand."
And certainly more than last year.
Here's a closer look at Fowler's Titleist equipment:
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: 909D2 7.5 (Mitsubishi Diamana White 73)
Fairway: 910F 13.5 C•1 SFT setting (Mitsubishi Diamana 'ahina 80)
Irons (4-9): MB (True Temper Dynamic Gold)
Wedges (47, 53, 59): Vokey Design Spin Milled (True Temper Dynamic Gold)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Circa 62 No.3 GSS