Walker Cup Memories: Rickie Fowler
|Rickie Fowler posted a 7-1-0 record in two Walker Cup appearances for the USA in 2007 and 2009. (USGA/John Mummert)|
Rickie Fowler played on a pair of victorious USA Walker Cup Teams in 2007 (Royal County Down) and 2009 (Merion Golf Club), producing a 7-1-0 record, including a perfect 4-0-0 mark in foursomes (alternate shot). Fowler turned professional after the 2009 Match and has one PGA Tour victory. Fowler’s 2007 teammates included future U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson and PGA Tour winners Billy Horschel, Dustin Johnson and Kyle Stanley. The 2007 GB&I team included future two-time major winner Rory McIlroy (2011 U.S. Open and 2012 PGA Championship) and current GB&I captain Nigel Edwards.
What did it mean for you to play in the Walker Cup?
It was very meaningful to play on two Walker Cup teams. It was the reason I stayed amateur, to play for the U.S. again on the 2009 team, and it was pretty special to be part of another winning team. Obviously, it was a big deal; it’s about the biggest accomplishment you can have as an amateur golfer. It’s comparable to making the Ryder Cup when you think about the best from the U.S. playing against the best from GB&I.
I feel like it helped me prepare for the Ryder Cup. It was a great steppingstone for me in general for the next step in my golf career. It was something to build off of.
What do you remember most?
Probably the most nervous I ever was on the golf course was that first Walker Cup [in 2007 at Royal County Down]. I was just coming out of high school, and I was overseas, playing on a huge stage. I was way more nervous than I was on the first tee in my first U.S. Open. You’re playing for your other guys on the team and for your country and that’s a lot of pressure. But it was fun to feel that kind of nervousness because you’re excited about it.
How strong were the teams you played on?
The first one I was on in ’07 was just filled with great guys on both sides, and a lot of those guys are out here playing professionally now, so that was a pretty good group all around. On the USA side alone, at one point we had eight guys with status on the PGA Tour. That was a pretty strong group. Just to be around them and play beside them I think made me a better player.
- Dave Shedloski