Rickie Fowler knows Australia pretty well now following time at Coolum in 2011 and previous visits to Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide – so much so that it&aposs his favourite overseas location to play golf. “I&aposve seen a little bit and I&aposd say outside the US it&aposs probably my favourite country to come to. Great people, it feels like as close to home as you can get,” Fowler said. Like many players, the young American is adjusting to the new wrap-around schedule on the U.S PGA Tour and admits consistency is a key area he needs work on for sustained success throughout the elongated season. “It&aposs a little odd now that we&aposre starting the season, the PGA Tour this late in the year. But 2013 started off well, I had a couple of good top 10s to start the year and then it was a little slow throughout the year, just I kind of struggled with consistency,” he said. By consistency, Fowler referred to limiting his mistakes – or making them at a time when he can still recover in the tournament. The extreme sports enthusiast has been working on the physical side of his game to increase his endurance over four rounds but is spending more time working on his mental game as well. “I think the biggest thing for me is the mental side of it, possibly making too many mistakes at the wrong time. A lot of that is just mental errors.” “I know I can hit all the golf shots I need to do it, it&aposs just about pulling them off at the right time, which all comes down to mental mistakes that you possibly make and maybe not being fully committed to the golf shot; so getting in there, having the confidence, believing in it and going out and doing it,” Fowler said. Fowler picked up his sole PGA Tour victory in 2012 when he beat Rory McIlroy and D.A Points in a play-off for the Wells Fargo Championship and his only other professional title came at the Korean Open in 2011. The California native said the greens would be the key at a lengthened Royal Pines layout. “You&aposve got to make putts. It really doesn&apost matter how well you&aposre striking the ball when the scores are low. You have to go out and make putts. If you happen to miss a green and you have to get up and down, you miss a putt for par, it takes away that momentum and that&aposs the biggest thing,” Fowler said. In a change of pace, Fowler was asked at his press conference about his passion for dirt bike racing – a hobby he was heavily involved in before professional golf. “My agent may not like it as much but I try and I guess it&aposs not to scare myself, but go out and do things that kind of get my heart pumping a little bit on occasions.” If things go to plan this week, the heart could well be pumping on Sunday afternoon.
Author: Hamish Jones / Golf Australia