ORLANDO, Fla. – Rickie Fowler managed only a 2-over 74 Thursday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, but he did make birdie after going driver off the deck on Bay Hill’s par-5 fourth hole.
Fowler, who birdied three of the four par 5s in Round 1, had 280 yards left to the front edge of the green with a clean, uphill lie. A 3-wood, Fowler said, “wasn’t going to have a chance.” That made driver off the deck, which typically flies 5-10 yards farther than Fowler’s 3-wood (and with more heat on it), the best option.
“I haven’t hit that in a while, haven’t had to,” Fowler said, “but it’s a shot I hit a lot. I’m not scared of it and I love doing it.”
Driver off the deck.
Birdie. #QuickHits pic.twitter.com/Tzwhwr5yvg
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 7, 2019
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While Fowler didn’t find the putting surface with his second shot, he did leave himself a 30-yard chip with plenty of green to work with. He chipped to 6 feet and made the birdie putt.
Fowler is making his eighth career Arnold Palmer Invitational start this week. He’s missed just one cut and notched three top 15s, including a T-3 showing in 2013. He was T-14 last year at Bay Hill.