Rickie Fowler loves Quail Hollow.
This is where he nailed his first PGA Tour victory.
Naturally, he’s one of the players many picked to contend at the 2017 PGA Championship.
Things started really well for Fowler Thursday afternoon.
“I got off to a great start, making birdies at three and four,” Fowler recounted after opening with a two-under par 69. “Made a lot of good swings to start.”
Then came the fifth hole, a 449-yard par four and it was there that Fowler’s day took a serious hit.
“I just kind of, a little mental mistake,” Fowler admitted. “Forgot a swing cue I usually think of and missed the drive.”
That missed drive ended up in a right fairway bunker, one with a significant lip. Fowler then took a chance that backfired. His second caught the lip of the trap and came back straight at him, landing just short of his feet. His next was well short of the green and his fourth went long. Fowler then hit a sloppy chip, his fifth shot and it ended up 14-feet past the hole. Two putts later he walked off with a seven and went from two-under to one-over.
“I would be nice to not have it,” Fowler said of the triple. “I just needed to continue to do what we’ve been doing. It was a bad hole. The good thing was that it was early enough that I had plenty of time in front of me to make up for it.”
And that’s exactly what he did.
He birdied seven and nine to get back into red figures then added two more at 10 and 14, six birdies on the day and a 69 that could have been a lot better.
Just that one missed cue.