America’s Golf Sweetheart is back.
He left his massive estate on the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter and has ventured down to Mexico to save the television ratings at the OHL Classic.
We’re talking Rickie Fowler here — yes Rickie, the Sara Lee of professional golf, because remember — nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee.
Yeah, when it comes down to it, nobody doesn’t like Rickie Fowler.
Rickie’s 28, soon to be 29 next month, going on 19, the ever-smiling Peter Pan of the PGA Tour, refusing to grow up while his bank account does.
Rickie was on winter hiatus, on vacation following the FedEx Cup playoffs and the Presidents Cup. Damn exhausting, earning the big bucks, that’s for sure.
So Rickie packed his bags, went down to Carmen del Playa to tee it up this week.
Eat your heart out Web.com grads, Rickie makes more in a month than most of you will make the entire year.
It’s good to be Rickie Fowler.
Rickie even came to town early.
“I mean, I’m excited to be down here,” said Fowler, who with his girlfriend, Allison Stokke in tow, arrived at the Riviera Maya on Saturday for some pre-tournament fun in the sun. “I want to play well and I feel like I definitely can play well. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t feel I could win. But I’m also enjoying the relaxation and getting some time in the gym and we’ll definitely be ready to go and really get the season going in January.”
Well, perhaps Rickie was serious about this “play well” part of the equation. He opened with a nifty six-under par 65 on Thursday, clean scorecard, no bogeys, mind you, six birdies. Well done Rickie.
It’s not like Rickie was hanging out all this time since the Presidents Cup playing video games at his mansion.
Fowler served as Grand Marshal at his alma mater Oklahoma State’s homecoming; went to the girlfriend’s homecoming at Cal-Berkeley; did a wine-tasting tour in the fire-ravaged Napa Valley; shot TV spots for Farmers Insurance in Los Angeles; swung through Scottsdale, Arizona; and squeezed in five rounds of golf. In between, Rickie made sure to send Butch Harmon, video of his swing last week. Butch noticed what everyone else notices from time-to-time and that would be Rickie’s tendency to get the club slightly laid off the top, now and then.
Rickie’s club position must have been pretty good during his first round. He’s just three shots back of first-round leader Patton Kizzire who might have had 59 in the back of his mind during his first round. He ended up shooting 62 with a bogey at his final hole of the day.
Thank goodness for Rickie, he put some spice into an otherwise bland leaderboard.
After Kizzire, Vaughn Taylor shot 64 while behind Rickie there were names like Fabian Gomez, Xinjun Zang, Austin Cook and golden-oldie, Retief Goosen.
Thanks for being there for us, Rickie.
Glad you’re there, glad you’re playing well.
Keep it up.
Might be the only reason to watch.