On Thursday morning, Rickie Fowler stepped on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island for his first round of the PGA Championship.
It’s been a struggle for Fowler, who was once a top-10 player in the world. He entered this weekend’s tournament as the No. 128 player in the world – a far cry from where he used to be.
However, he put it all together with a solid round on Thursday afternoon. Fowler carded a one-under par, 71 this afternoon and sits just three shots back of the leader Corey Conners.
Following the round, Fowler credited playing against Michael Jordan for getting him back into contention. He told ESPN’s Bob Harig that playing against Jordan and his competitiveness was good for Fowler.
Here’s what he said, via ESPN:
“I was 7-under par through 17 holes [recently] and lost,” Fowler said. “And he’s not quiet about it. [But] playing against MJ is as good as it gets for prep.”
As for his play this afternoon, Fowler said he’s finally starting to feel good with where his golf swing is.
“I’m starting to feel pretty darn good,” he said. “The last few months, it’s been a lot more just go play golf and not play golf swing. Put a lot of time in prior to the last few months of working on swing and doing the stuff we kind of needed to work on and accomplish. Now it’s just go play golf.”
We’ll see what he can do in Round 2 on Friday.