PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — It’s becoming a common script, and Rickie Fowler wants to flip it.
Since his last PGA Tour victory at the 2015 Deutsche Bank Championship, Fowler has 10 top-10 finishes and a handful of near misses he would like to have back. Now he is in contention at the Honda Classic once again after a pair of 4-under 66s put the 28-year-old one stroke back of rookie Wesley Bryan and Tour veteran Ryan Palmer.
“I feel like it’s time for me to start finishing off more events when I am in this position,” Fowler said. “I wouldn’t look just back at this specific event, but there’s been a few where I’ve had a chance, and I feel very good out front or around guys in the lead.”
If you are looking for a reason why this week will be different, a unique change in equipment may be the critical piece of evidence. Fowler switched from a 44.5-inch driver to a 43.5-inch driver and has noticed a considerable improvement in his accuracy off the tee. Fowler, ranked 131st in driving accuracy this season on the PGA Tour, has hit 21 of 28 fairways on a narrow layout.
Fowler had previously shortened his irons and both his 3-wood and 5-wood. Now his driver fits in with the progression of length.
“I’ll tell you what, it feels pretty good to step up there with 43.5 inches,” Fowler said. “Doesn’t start off line very much and doesn’t move much from there.”