SOUTHAMPTON, NEW YORK | So there must be something special enough about the New York/Long Island area that it convinced Rickie Fowler to ask Allison Stokke to marry him last week while they walked the beach here.
Uh, not exactly.
“There was nothing planned out. I just really didn’t want to carry the ring around any longer,” Fowler said Wednesday.
“So it worked out perfectly. We kept things very, very casual. And like I said, I didn’t have anything planned out. I didn’t want to have to keep toting that thing around for that long.”
Having gotten to the bottom of that mystery, might this be the week when Fowler finally wins his first major championship?
He finished second in the Masters by one stroke, his ninth top-10 finish in a major. He’s seen his friends Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas win majors but he’s still waiting for the week when he’s the guy everyone is congratulating.
“I don’t necessarily think there’s any secret to it. Obviously, you’ve just got to outplay everyone that week,” Fowler said.
Shinnecock Hills is a particular favorite of Fowler’s. He first came to the area in 2013 to play some of the most respected courses in the country, all bunched in the same general area. He arrived on Long Island last Wednesday, did some early work at Shinnecock then played National Golf Links of America on Monday and Friar’s Head on Tuesday with Tom Brady, Phil Mickelson and his host, Jimmy Dunne.
Other than playing his first event as an engaged man, Fowler plans no big changes this week.
“We all know I’m good enough to win. I know I’m good enough to win. Being prepared and making it happen that specific week, there’s been a few guys that have been very good at that – Jack, Tiger,” Fowler said.
“Phil (Mickelson) didn’t get his first for a while so there’s still hope. I’m not too worried about it. I’m excited about some of these courses that we have coming up, especially this week.”