Rickie Fowler didn’t possess, or hadn’t showcased, the ability to close. It’s one of the most damning criticisms of an elite athlete, and a growing narrative for Fowler in recent years. His proponents called it perception. Except that Fowler himself conceded as much at this year’s Masters.
Brad Faxon is an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour and a two-time Ryder Cupper, but it was a much more recent round playing from the member’s tees at Trump National in Jupiter, Fla., which garnered an inordinate amount of attention.
The challenge of a U.S. Open sectional qualifier isn’t confined to the physical and mental grind of 36 holes in a single day. For some players, major champions, specifically, there is the taxing duty of stuffing your ego inside your golf bag and accepting the challenge.