Las Vegas – Rickie Fowler plans to add more events to his PGA schedule as he hunts for his first major title, starting with this week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
The 26-year-old American opens his 2015-16 campaign with his first Las Vegas appearance since 2010 and hopes to build on a 2014-15 season that saw him win The Players Championship to snap a three-year win drought, add the Scottish Open title and then win the Deutsche Bank Championship, a US PGA playoff event.
Combine that with four top-five finishes in 2014 majors – including runner-up shares at the US and British Opens – and Fowler’s confidence is soaring.
“I feel like my confidence and belief in how I can go about accomplishing (my goals), that may change with winning this year and how I played in the majors last year,” Fowler said.
“That only helped me believe more and build more confidence to figure out how I’m going to accomplish my goals. But my goals have always been to win, be in contention, win majors, ultimately be the best player in the world. Over the last two years, I’ve just built more belief and confidence.”
Fowler, coming off a triumphant US effort at the Presidents Cup in South Korea earlier this month, added Vegas to his play list in hopes of making a faster start this season after reaching the top 10 in only one of his first nine stroke-play events last season.
“I started a little bit behind the 8-ball last year with not playing many events until the start of the real calendar year,” Fowler said, “So with China being really the only one that I had planned on, with it being a World Golf Championship, I wanted to try and fit at least one more in.”
Fowler played 21 US PGA events last season, the fewest since he became a full-time player in 2010.
“Time management is a big part of playing well out here, when to play, when not to play, and how much off the course to do,” Fowler said. “Last year was the least I’ve played throughout the year. Still kind of tweaking my schedule year to year. I’ll probably play a little bit more this (season).”
Only US PGA playoff champion Jordan Spieth, the reigning Masters and US Open champion, and world number one Jason Day of Australia outplayed Fowler in the US PGA playoffs.
Fowler will play alongside Jimmy Walker, a Presidents Cup teammate who won twice on the US PGA Tour last season, and US 2016 Ryder Cup captain Davis Love, who won at Greensboro last August.
Another hot trio at TPC Summerlin for the first two rounds will be the major champion group of 2012 US Open champion Webb Simpson, 2013 PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner and 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley.