It’s been three long years for Rickie Fowler and on Sunday at the 2022 Zozo Championship, he has a chance to weed out all of his past critics. Overcoming Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club with a score of 4 under 66 on Saturday, Fowler finished 14th under three rounds and took the lead with Keegan Bradley 13 under, Andrew Putnam 12 under and Viktor Hovland at 11 below.
Playing the final pairing against Putnam in the third round, Fowler hardly looked like he had been out of his last round for a year. His two birds on the outer half come with three on the inner half and only one ball – his only flaw in his last 36 holes.
While the collective golfing public will be behind Fowler in the final round of the Zozo Championship, his return to prominence won’t come without stress. Fowler has struggled as a 54-hole lead throughout his tenure on the PGA Tour, converting only two of his previous eight chances into wins, including his eventual win at the PGA Tour. WM Phoenix Open 2019.
Last in this spot at the 2021 CJ Cup at The Summit Club, Fowler struggled early and often 51 weeks ago and eventually had to make way for Rory McIlroy. There’s no McIlroy in the field, but that doesn’t mean his pursuers can be overlooked. Bradley might hit the ball the best of them all, Putnam is in the middle of a stellar seven league streak and Hovland is good, Hovland and capable of anything.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been in this situation. Last year at CJ [CUP] Fowler said. “Obviously remember you’ve been in similar situations before, but no, tomorrow will be difficult, but also fun. I am looking forward to the challenge. I’m going to have to play well and keep doing what I’ve been doing for the past three days. Keegan [Bradley]Putty [Andrew Putnam] In the list, there are many boys within a few photos. I’m in front, in control, but that could change if I don’t act like I used to. “
1. Rickie Fowler (-14)
Fowler began the week congratulating Tom Kim and his former caddy Joe Skovron on their victory at the Shriners Children’s Open and now he finds himself in a position to claim a trophy of his own. Momentum has never been fleeting for Fowler as critics raced wildly and his recent changes only empower those who come out of the lumberyard.
Ironwork seemed extremely sharp through three rounds, but more importantly, he started puttingt like the classic Fowler. While many like to point to his full swing as the cause of his poor performance, it was actually the flat club that let the 33-year-old down. To lose points on the pitch in the last two seasons on the PGA Tour, he quickly corrected the situation. While the shot will certainly come under pressure when contentious – and the operator must keep eye contact – with the Fowler, it has and always has taken the hitter.
2. Keegan Bradley (-13)
3. Andrew Putnam (-12)
4. Viktor Hovland (-11)
T5. Maverick McNealy, Cameron Champ, Hayden Buckley (-10)
T8. Sahith Theegala, Taylor Moore, Tom Hoge, Ryo Hisatsune, Joel Dahmen, Matthew NeSmith (-9)
Earlier this week, a question was posed on First cut podcast Will Collin Morikawa, Cameron Young or Hovland score the most wins in the 2022-23 season? My CBS Sports colleague Kyle Porter was the only one who picked Hovland and must be grinning now.
Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club is a great fit for the Norwegian as he is one of the best dribbling strikers in the field and has shown this through 54 holes. Beating all 18 greens in regulation in Round 3, if Hovland can keep things stress-free on Sunday, it’s possible he, not Fowler, will score the goal for Oklahoma State.
“It’s just a simple golf swing. It’s like there isn’t too much water, but there are just some really good tees here. Not the widest straight line and the roughest road are penalties, so you do. must drive it well,” Hovland said. “If you put it in the fairway, you get a lot of good short putters with very soft and pure greens, so you can really hit the pins, and if you get the putter, you can make some falcons.”
2022 Zozo Championship updated odds and selection
- Rickie Fowler: 11/5
- Keegan Bradley: 12/5
- Viktor Hovland: 6-1
- Andrew Putnam: 15/2
- Maverick McNealy: 20-1
- Cameron Champ: 25-1
- Hayden Buckley: 40-1
- Sahith Theegala: 40-1
- Tom Hoge 45-1
- Matthew NeSmith: 60-1
- Taylor Moore: 75-1
- Joel Dahmen: 80-1
Heart said Fowler came out of the schneid and won the Zozo championship. His prices are relatively fair and I don’t mind indulged in just the fact that it’s Fowler. Unfortunately, golf has a way of ripping hearts and Hovland could be the player to do it.
The world number 11 driver will need to hit a few more fairways, but for a driver of his caliber this is achievable. He has quietly established himself as one of the best hitters in the world since last summer and combined with his dribbling ability he will put a lot of pressure on Fowler, and possibly enough. to break him.