Even with the scant offseason offered by the current PGA Tour calendar, Rickie Fowler found a break.
Fowler is playing this week for the first time since the Ryder Cup, having taken the last four weeks off from competition. That respite meant the former Las Vegas resident had some adjustments to make once back inside the ropes, but he’s proven a quick study after rounds of 68-67 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Fowler made six birdies in his second round at TPC Summerlin, including three over his final four holes, and at 7 under he trails Abraham Ancer by three shots.
“Shaking some cobwebs and some rust off,” Fowler told reporters. “I feel like we’re off to a solid start these first two days. Like I said, after basically coming off not playing a whole lot of golf, I’m happy where we’re at.”
This marks Fowler’s first stroke-play start since wrapping up last season with a T-7 finish at the Tour Championship. He’s making his fourth career start in Las Vegas, and second in the last three years. But each prior trip netted a top-25 finish, and he’s in position to continue that trend.
Fowler struggled out of the gates in breezy opening-round conditions, playing his first six holes in 2 over. But he turned it around thanks to a pair of back-nine eagles to shoot 68 and now heads into the weekend in search of his first official win since the 2017 Honda Classic.
If nothing else, he should be able to clear a few more cobwebs before heading south for the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
“It’s nice to get some rust off. There’s still a little bit more that needs to get shaken off,” Fowler said. “I’m happy with where we are. Get some putts to go in and we’ll be in a great spot for Sunday.”