Golf

Rickie Fowler playing Texas Open to prepare for major bid at Masters

Rickie Fowler believes playing in the Valero Texas Open is the perfect preparation for him in his bid win a maiden major title at the Masters.

Fowler made four starts in consecutive weeks from the WGC-Mexico Championship to the Players Championship and has sat out of the last two PGA Tour tournaments to rest, with the 30-year-old trying to balance his schedule to give him the best chance of Augusta victory.

“I like playing competitively if I can [in the week] leading up to majors or some big weeks,” Fowler said in a pre-tournament press conference. “I played Houston in the past leading up to Augusta and I typically play the Scottish Open into the British.

“Sometimes into the US Open or the PGA it can be different, it’s a little tougher with schedule, but when I can, I definitely have seen it be beneficial to play the week before.

“You’re not far coming off competition when you tee it up Thursday morning in a major and it just makes me feel more comfortable and more confident.”

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The American finished runner-up to Patrick Reed at the Masters last year and has registered nine major top 10s during his career, with Fowler remaining upbeat of his hopes of soon winning a maiden major title.

“I’ve won The Players, which is the strongest field we play in,” Fowler added. “I know I can win and beat the best players in the world.

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“Obviously timing has to be right and you have to play well at those right weeks. I keep feeling more and more comfortable in majors.

“Augusta last year, after not having the Sunday I wanted the year before, went out fighting my way through the front nine and putting together a back nine where I really thought I was in a position to really go and win the event.

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