Rickie Fowler’s Bladder Cost Him a Couple of Shots at the Rocket Mortgage Classic
While he’s still yet to get back to the winner’s circle, the 34-year-old has missed just two cuts in 19 starts and has recorded seven top-10 finishes, the latest of which came at the U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club, where he shared the 54-hole lead but ultimately tied for fifth following a final-round 75.
Despite failing to win his first major, Fowler jumped to 35th in the Official World Golf Ranking, his highest point in nearly three years. The five-time PGA Tour winner maintained that No. 35 spot with a T13 this past weekend at the Travelers Championship.
As he’s long been a spokesman for the title sponsor, Fowler is again teeing it up this week at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. And just as he’s been doing for months now, he played some solid golf to get his tournament started. But his first round actually might have been even better had he not dealt with an issue that anyone who’s ever stepped foot on a golf course has encountered.
Rickie Fowler says his bladder may have led to a pair of bogeys at the end of his first round at the Rocket Mortgage Classic
Beginning his week on the back nine of the par-72 layout at Detroit Golf Club, Fowler, playing alongside Tony Finau and Joel Dahmen, got off to a strong start with a birdie on the 422-yard, par-4 10th but gave the shot right back with a bogey on the 223-yard, par-3 11th.
After a pair of pars, he birdied three of the final five holes on the back side, finishing his first nine with a 3-under 33. Fowler took that momentum right into his second nine, making birdie on three of the first four holes to get to 6-under, at the time giving him a share of the lead. After pars at five and six, he recorded his eighth birdie of the day at the 540-yard, par-5 seventh to get to 7-under.
But his last two holes didn’t go quite as smoothly.
After finding the fairway at the 383-yard eighth hole, the second-shortest par-4 on the course, Fowler found the right rough on his approach and failed to get up and down, giving him the second bogey on his card.
Bogey number three followed at the 200-yard, par-3 ninth. After his tee shot found the right greenside bunker, the California native hit a solid sand shot, leaving him less than five feet for par. But he hit a poor putt and settled for a four, giving him a 5-under round of 67.
While still a strong day, Fowler knows he made some silly mistakes at the end of his round. And during his post-round presser, he offered up a possible cause.
I mean, to be perfectly honest, I had to go to the bathroom pretty badly. So luckily, I just got drug tested, so I went straight in. There weren’t many bathrooms the last five holes, so I was a little shaky coming in. And not to necessarily blame the finish on that, but it didn’t help.Rickie Fowler following his first round at the Rocket Mortgage Classic
He was clearly in good spirits when making the statement, even chuckling a bit as he spoke on the matter, and will look to get those shots back on Friday when he, Finau, and Dahmen kick off their second round at 1:05 p.m. Eastern.
And you can bet Fowler will hit the facilities with a little more frequency.