Fowler Channels Payne

Fowler Channels Payne 1
A stylish tribute to Payne Stewart.  (©USGA/Steven Gibbons)

RICKIE FOWLER REMEMBERS WHEN HE HEARD about the untimely death of Payne Stewart. Fowler was 10 years old and sitting in the back seat of a car with his mom and sister. He was a big Payne Stewart fan. The terrible news hit the boy hard.

“I started crying in the car,” Fowler said on Thursday at Pinehurst.

Stewart dressed for and played the game with style. The same can be said for Fowler, especially today.

In a tribute to one of his golfing heroes, Fowler was outfitted in white knickers, a light blue shirt and argyle-patterned stockings. Rickie looked good and played well, just like Stewart did on this spot 15 years ago when he claimed his second U.S. Open title.

Mickelson liked the gesture when he saw Fowler in the locker room. Fowler characterized it as a “great reaction.” The spectators also appreciated the attire, he noted.

The Oklahoma State product finished with an even-par 70. He was happy with his opening round.

“I played really well today,” Fowler said. “[That was] probably the worst I could have shot.”

His inventory of the round included hitting 12 fairways and 15 greens in regulation, which constitutes fine ballstriking on the Donald Ross layout.

Fowler Channels Payne 2
Fowler from the fairway. (©USGA/Michael Cohen)
Photo of author
Neil Sagebiel

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