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On the Occasion of Rickie Fowler’s 30th Birthday

Alex Kilpatrick

by Alex Kilpatrick in Golf

Updated Mar 26, 2020 · 6:38 PM PDT

Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler's wardrobe choices have changed slightly over the last few years. (Photo credit: Owen Kimbrel [Released])
  • Rickie Fowler turned 30 today
  • I know, it’s uncomfortable to think about
  • Here’s some stuff that will make you feel better about that

Rickie Fowler turns 30 today. This is profoundly weird thing to think about, because Rickie Fowler’s whole brand is built around youth. He’s not a stodgy old golfer, he’s a fun, young golfer, who wears bright colours and flat-brim hats. He made white belts extremely cool. Now your dad has one!

Rickie Fowler Major Championship Odds

Major Championship Odds
Masters +1600
PGA Championship +1800
US Open +2200
The Open +1800

For all the major championship odds trackers, check out our Golf Hub.

Those are good odds! Put them together, and they give Rickie Fowler roughly a 20% chance of winning a major this year, and a 0.0007% chance of winning all three. Rickie has said that it’s a career goal of his to make it into the Hall of Fame, which almost requires winning at least one major championship. If these odds are accurate, and if they keep up, he should win a major by the time he turns 35.

Rickie Fowler’s (Probably) Going to Win One

Part of being thrust into the spotlight at a young age is that people’s expectations get warped. Rickie Fowler’s lack of major championships is turning into a growing worry, in a way that Dustin Johnson’s wasn’t when he turned 30. DJ didn’t win a  major until the weekend before his 32nd birthday, and that wasn’t widely regarded as a problem. Bubba Watson didn’t even make the PGA Tour until he was 27, so nobody noticed that he didn’t win a major until he was 31.

Rickie’s just been our Colorful Golf Son for too long, and we’re getting anxious.

It is a little weird that Rickie hasn’t won yet. In terms of Strokes Gained, he ranked 11th in 2018, gaining an average 1.275 shots per round over the average PGA Tour player over 61 rounds. That puts him directly in between Jason Day and Brooks Koepka, who both have majors. Fowler gains 0.152 strokes per round on Open Championship winner Francesco Molinari, and 0.328 strokes on Masters champion Patrick Reed.

If anything it just demonstrates how finicky golf is, and how tough it is to win on the PGA Tour. Fowler was just one stroke off forcing a playoff at the Masters this year. In 2015 he finished in the top 5 of all four majors. Altogether, Fowler has nine top-ten finishes in majors, including three seconds.

Golfers that Won First Major After Thirty

Golfer Age at First Major
Vijay Singh 35
Phil Mickelson 33
Justin Rose 32
Bubba Watson 31

Major champions are definitely trending younger, and for a while there the list of current winners was all American 20-somethings. Guys Fowler helped paved a path for, in no small way. Fowler’s older than everyone who won a major this year except Francesco Molinari.

If Danny Willet Can Win a Major, Rickie Fowler Can Too

Golf’s a weird, wild sport. There’s a lot of guys in the field and not a whole lot separating them, and things can break an infinite number of ways. Keep putting in good performances at Majors, and a healthy 30 year-old is more or less bound to win one someday.

Perhaps that can be Rickie Fowler’s relatable brand moving forward: his youth is disappearing and he’s struggling to live up to the potential other people have decided he has. His career goals have eluded him for longer than is probably comfortable. He’s having to make some changes to his clothing. He even got engaged!

This is all (of course) semi-autobiographical, but Rickie Fowler fandom has always been. Young people look up to him as proof that they can belong in the game without becoming their parents. Old people look at him and see proof that the game might not by dying. For all of us, I just hope he wins a major championship soon.

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