2016 US Masters
Published: 10:21 05/04/2011
Rickie Fowler believes he can become the first US Masters debutant to don the green jacket in over 20 years when he takes his place among the world’s best golfers at Augusta National this week.
The 22-year-old is a precocious talent and he feels with the right mindset, he can put up a serious challenge to the more experienced contenders.
Fowler, who was awarded the PGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year in 2010, will be among 20 players making their US Masters debut on Thursday. Only two players have won the Masters at the first time of asking, Fuzzy Zoeller was the last player to do so in 1979 with Gene Sarazen the only other rookie to win, way back in 1935.
After his practice round on Monday Fowler said: "I'm playing well right now.
"If I go into the week with high expectations I feel like there's a chance we could be walking up 18 in contention and that's something I've dreamed about. Obviously I watched plenty of Masters golf growing up and the green jacket is obviously something that means quite a bit in the golf community.
"Just to be a part of this week is pretty cool. I'm soaking it all in and really looking forward to playing the par three contest. If I was going into it blind without any help from other players, it would be very tough. Luckily, especially having local caddies when I was here a couple of days last week, local knowledge definitely helps.
"I played one round with Phil (Mickelson) and being around guys like that that see the place a lot or have played well here definitely helps with preparation. For the first-time players it's not an easy golf course to just go out and learn. And it's a major," Fowler added.
The youngster won many UK fans with some scintillating golf on his way to finishing tied 14th in last year’s Open Championship at St Andrews before scoring two points for USA in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor last October.