Three months ago, Rickie Fowler learned he was going to become a dad.
During the Honda Classic, Fowler and his wife, Allison, learned she was pregnant with a baby girl and due in November. But before sharing the news with the world on Monday in social media posts, they told family members and friends.
“I was kind of waiting to be able to share with people, and then that’s kind of when it starts to become real,” Fowler said Wednesday at the Travelers Championship. “Everyone tells me it’s life changing. I’m looking forward to it. I’m sure over the next few months I’ll continue to think about it but won’t really know until the little one shows up and we know exactly what we’re going to do from there.
“She’ll be the main thing. Everything else will kind of take a backseat. But I’m looking forward to kind of trying to manage everything, keep things as efficient as possible and being able to spread my time between her and family and golf.”
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As for his golf, Fowler has been delivering better results heading into the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut, after laboring for nearly two years as he made significant swing changes.
In his last two starts, Fowler tied for eighth in the PGA Championship and tied for 11th in the Memorial. Before those two showings, he had gone 29 starts without a top 10, had missed 13 cuts and fell to 128th in the world rankings, his worst standing since early 2010.
After playing in every major since the 2010 Open Championship, Fowler did not qualify for the Masters in April and last week’s U.S. Open. The last of his five PGA Tour titles – he also has two wins on the European Tour – came in the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open.
“It’s not fun sitting at home watching other guys play majors, that’s for sure. It’s added motivation,” said Fowler, who has moved up to 91st in the world rankings.
Fowler never lost confidence in the swing changes he was making and was always looking big picture. It was difficult and frustrating at times, but he finally reached a point where his concentration was on getting the ball in the hole instead of getting his body in the right positions during the swing.
“It’s been fun to be back in a position where I can just go play golf,” Fowler said. “We put the work in on the swing, and it’s time to stop worrying about that and go play golf. It’s been a long time coming, but nice to finally start to see some results.”
Fowler, 32, hasn’t played the Travelers since 2013, when he tied for 13th. He also tied for 13th in 2010 and missed the cut in 2009. But he likes the area, likes the course and likes how his form is trending.
While he watched a little of the U.S. Open – “It wasn’t necessarily my primary focus last week,” he said – he played quite a bit of golf in South Florida and is ready to tackle a strong field featuring world No. 2 and defending champion Dustin Johnson, No. 6 Bryson DeChambeau, No. 7 Patrick Cantlay, No. 8 Brooks Koepka, No. 9 Patrick Reed and reigning PGA champion Phil Mickelson.
“Ready to go again,” he said. “With the finishes I’m coming off of, I definitely expect myself to be up there (on the leaderboard) and kind of continue to ride the wave that we kind of started.”