CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – For all the understandable talk about Rory McIlroy’s glittering track record at Quail Hollow, don’t sleep on Rickie Fowler, who won his first PGA Tour event here.
By chance, Fowler and McIlroy were grouped together Thursday (and Friday) with Jon Rahm and it was Fowler who won the day, shaking off a triple bogey at the par-4 fifth hole to shoot 2-under-par 70. It was a promising first step for Fowler, who is trying to win his first major championship.
Aside from the single big blemish on his card – Fowler said he forgot a swing key and it led to a poor drive that set in motion of a chain of unfortunate events – he made a difficult day look almost easy.
“This golf course has a great look to me,” Fowler said. “It suits my eye. I’ve made a lot of putts here.
“I feel like we did a good job on the putting surfaces today. The big thing for me is continuing to drive it as good as I did today, if not better. That can be tightened up a little bit. If we do that, it will be a good week.”
Playing with McIlroy and Rahm felt like a bonus to Fowler, spending the first two days with two guys he really likes.
And did they intentionally wear almost identical light gray pants on Thursday?
“That was just coincidence,” Fowler said. “I thought we looked good.”