The Wyndham Championship, starting Thursday at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., is the final chance during the PGA Tour’s regular season for golfers to play their way into the top 125 of the FedEx Cup standings and qualify for the playoffs.
The biggest name on the bubble this time around, without a doubt, is Rickie Fowler.
Fowler is No. 130 in the standings with 402 standings points and needs a strong finish at the Wyndham to avoid missing the playoffs for the first time since his pro career began in 2010.
“It’s kind of right out there laid out in front of me, I know exactly what needs to be done,” Fowler said. “Yeah, it’s pretty simple. Back up against the wall, go make some more birdies than I do bogeys and get a tee time next week, and if not, you don’t. Yeah, it’s kind of just all on me. That’s about it.”
Once a wunderkind with a recognizable face and orange outfits, Fowler has hit the worst slump of his career. He’s in search of his first tour victory since February 2019 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and his T8 finish at the PGA Championship — where he only qualified via special exemption — is his lone top-10 of the season.
Saying there’s always going to be ups and downs in all walks of life, Fowler likened his recent inconsistencies to trying to get a dirt bike kicked into gear.
“There’s been a lot of good stuff within the past four, five, six months, more and more, a little more frequently,” he said. “It’s been a bummer that I’ve been kicking this long, but we’re still here kicking.”
Fowler is also unlikely to qualify for the Ryder Cup team. He sits in 41st in those rankings, behind names like Talor Gooch and Maverick McNealy.
Fowler played for the U.S. in four Ryder Cups, winning one in 2016, and said he’d “be there in a heartbeat” if captain Steve Stricker offered him a special supporting role as an assistant captain.
In his only showing at the Wyndham, Fowler finished 22nd in 2016.