AUGUSTA, Ga. — After Rory McIlroy folded and Jordan Spieth ran out of holes, it was up to Rickie Fowler to put some pressure on Patrick Reed.
Fowler drained four birdies on the back nine, including a must-have on the 18th hole, to finish at 14-under and force Reed to make par on his final hole to win his green jacket.
While Reed was able to do that and earn his first major championship, Fowler was happy with his finish and hopes his first major win will come at the upcoming U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills.
“I gave it my all,” Fowler said after shooting a 5-under 67 to stand one shot behind Reed and one-stroke ahead of Jordan Spieth. “I left everything out there on the golf course. I was just a little too far back. It would have been nice to have a few more [birdies] coming in, but we did everything we could. Patrick went out there and outplayed all of us this week and he earned it.”
Fowler earned a much-needed boost of confidence after shooting 65-67 on the weekend to storm up the leaderboard.
“Solo second feels and sounds better than tied for second,” Fowler said. “It was nice to edge out Jordan on the last [hole]. I’m really looking forward to this year and the three majors that are left. Shinnecock is one of my favorite golf courses in the U.S.”
Fowler’s ball striking was superb, setting up short birdie putts at the eighth, ninth and 12th. He got up and down for birdie at the par-5 13th, and two-putt the par-5 15th for another birdie before finishing with an 8-footer for birdie at the 18th.
“I just did a great job of sticking to our game plan, staying patient and continuing to fight all 72 holes,” Fowler said. “You’re never going to be perfect. You’re going to miss shots. You’re going to make bad swings. There’s always times you can say, ‘What if?’ But we tried. We gave it our all. I tried to do my very best of committing to every shot. It was a great week and I’m definitely pleased with the weekend that we were able to put together.”