Rickie Fowler – A barren 12 months

This time last year Rickie Fowler was comfortably inside the top 20 in the world and had signed off on another consistent season on the PGA Tour.

But since then he’s made 16 starts and posted just two top tens (both in January), falling outside the top 40 for the first time in six years.

The four-times Ryder Cup star and former Abu Dhabi champion has undergone swing changes with John Tillery and he acknowledges the transition has been hard.

“It definitely has been tough,” he said. “Anyone that goes through changes or even just dealing with struggles, low points, it happens at some point for everyone.”

“For me, it’s just going through changes. But I’ve never doubted it just because there has been some rounds or some tournaments here and there where I’ve been seeing the work kind of come through.”

However, Fowler’s biggest concern recently has been his putting – and at last week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas he tried a different putter in competition for the first time in five years.

His trusty Newport 2 Scotty Cameron was left behind in favour of a prototype Scotty Cameron.

Ranked 60th last season in stroked gained: putting, Fowler found that he couldn’t fall back on one of his strengths – performance on the greens.

“Putting is something that’s always been a strong part, something I’ve always leaned on when I need to, (and it’s) something that’s let me down,” he said.

In Vegas he opened with a 67 with 3.67 in strokes gained: putting, but he fell foul of a couple of water hazards late in the day in the second round to miss the cut.

Still only 31, there’s plenty of time for Fowler to get back to his best.

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