Rickie Fowler took a break from the PGA Tour for a European vacation this past week.
Fowler headed over to Northern Ireland to play in the Irish Open, collect a hefty appearance fee and lend support to his pal Rory McIlroy, host of the event.
Young Rickie was paired with young Rory the first two rounds at Royal County Down and after a pair of 71s, found himself right in the hunt while Rory floundered with an 80 on Friday and found himself hosting rather than playing the weekend.
Fowler hit the shot of the tournament late in the third round when he holed his second at the par four 16th for an eagle two and plenty of Irish eyes were smiling.
What would happen next may well have been a first in Fowler’s professional career.
At the par four 17th, he hit not one, but two balls out-of-bounds and wound up with the dreaded “snowman” — an eight for those unfamiliar with golf jargon. He went from two-under for the tournament to two over.
Staggering to the final hole, it would happen again. This time, Rickie hit only one ball out-of-bounds but still recorded a second straight “snowman.” Yes, dueling eights to finish the day. Young Rickie was beaten and assaulted by the game, and made all of the hackers in the world feel a lot better about themselves.
Fowler recovered from the ordeal and went on to shoot 73 on Sunday to finish in a tie for 30th at seven-over par. Not bad considering he was eight-over on those two holes late Saturday.
The TPC champion headed back to the states where he’ll play in Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial event this week.