Rickie Fowler Continues Team Overhaul With a Shocking Move He Hopes Can Revive His Dying Career

Rickie Fowler is running out of time to get his PGA Tour career back on track. The 33-year-old just narrowly avoided missing the FedEx Cup Playoffs for the second straight season, and if his downward slide continues for much longer, he’s going to be in danger of losing his PGA Tour card for good.

Feeling it was time for a change, Fowler parted ways with his longtime caddie, Joe Skovron, before last month’s FedEx St. Jude Championship. But he didn’t stop there. This week, Fowler continued to remodel his team by breaking up with his swing coach, John Tillery.

Rickie Fowler is scrambling to revive his dying golf career

Rickie Fowler hits a tee shot during the FedEx St. Jude Championship.
Rickie Fowler hits a tee shot during the second round of the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind | Andy Lyons/Getty Images

It’s make-or-break time for Fowler’s professional golf career.

The fan-favorite hasn’t won a PGA Tour event since the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open. He’s only recorded two top-10 finishes over the last two seasons, and he’s missed 18 cuts in 46 starts over that span. Fowler, who reached as high as No. 4 in the Official World Golf Ranking during his prime, has plummeted all the way to 178th.

After a handful of swing changes and equipment tweaks amounted to nothing, Fowler knew more drastic changes were necessary. So, ahead of the 2022 FedEx Cup Playoffs last month, he parted ways with Skovron, who had served as his caddie ever since he turned pro in 2009.

Fowler is evidently looking to start fresh ahead of the 2022-23 season, because Skovron wasn’t the only casualty of his recent overhaul.

Fowler parts ways with swing coach John Tillery

The beginning of Fowler’s career downfall can be traced precisely to the end of 2019. Coincidentally (or maybe not), that’s the exact time period when Fowler switched his swing coach from Butch Harmon to Tillery.

Since then, the Oklahoma State product has dropped nearly 150 spots in the OWGR. This week, he decided it was time to move on.

On Tuesday, Tillery told ESPN that he and Fowler are no longer working together.

“Man, I love the guy,” Tillery told ESPN. “This job will punch you in the gut sometimes. As a coach, there’s nothing better than watching your guys succeed, and nothing worse than watching them struggle. The X’s and O’s of what they need to do is the easy part, but getting it done can be a challenge sometimes, and we didn’t get it done. I’m pulling for him and wish him nothing but the best.”

Time will tell whether this move can revive his career, but Fowler is going to need more than a new caddie and a fresh swing coach to make it happen.

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