Golf-American Fowler sees hope for young guns at Augusta

Reuters

Thu, 24 Mar 23:21:00 2011

American Rickie Fowler feels the recent lack of form displayed by established winners ahead of next month's U.S. Masters gives the sport's younger generation, including himself, a chance for glory.

Phil Mickelson, a three-time winner at Augusta and the defending champion, has yet to win this year, and Tiger Woods, a four-time Masters winner, is without a tour win since 2009.

While nobody is ruling out either Woods or Mickelson at Augusta there is a feeling that the field is wide open for a young challenger to make their name.

"I definitely think there is a possibility. A lot of the young guys are playing well right now. A few guys have already won this year," Fowler, 22, told reporters on Thursday after firing a three-under-par 69 to leave him tied for second and three shots off the pace at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

"There are a lot of us that are going to be in the field and the way I look at it, if I am in a field I have a chance to win and so I am going to try to win."

German Martin Kaymer, 26, is currently top of the world rankings and Rory McIlroy the 21-year-old from Northern Ireland is rated eighth, but there are a host of other young players who have shown tournament winning form.

American Gary Woodland, 26, captured his first U.S. PGA Tour title at the Transitions Championship last week while Venezuelan Jhonattan Vegas, also 26, won the Bob Hope Classic in January for his maiden victory in only his fifth start.

Fowler, in his second full year on the tour, has risen to 30th in the world rankings but has yet to claim a win on the PGA Tour and he says he is trying to be patient.

"I think to be playing professional golf you have to be pretty patient. Obviously I have been in contention a few times and I feel like my time is coming and I have to keep putting myself in the position (to win)," said Fowler.

 

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