How much do players miss Tiger Woods on the PGA Tour?
“A lot,” according to Rickie Fowler.
“It was great to have him at the Presidents Cup, just to see how much it means to him and how excited he is about the game, how much he still loves it and always has. He’s just fun to be around. He’s a golf nerd like all of us. He just happened to be a lot better than anyone really has been … He’s got the bug. He’s itching to get back playing, but his health is his main focus,” Fowler said Saturday, via Scott Wright of newsok.com
Fowler spoke as he returned to the Oklahoma State campus this weekend to serve as grand marshal of the OSU homecoming parade. He met with member members before OSU’s 59-16 rout of Baylor.
“The game of golf is only helped when Tiger’s around. He’s done so much for our game. The global awareness, bringing more TV, more fans, the growing of our purses, the growing of our game in general.” Fowler sai. “What he was able to do from the late ‘90s to the early 2000s, I don’t think anyone’s moved the needle that much, and no one moves the needle as much as him still.”
Fowler adds that Woods makes those around him more comfortable.
“He likes to give everyone a hard time back and forth. He won’t let your head get too big, and we try to bring it back down to where we’re at, too. I get to spend time around some pretty cool people.”
Fowler often plays with Michael Jordan. Last week, Jordan said he tries to play 36 holes almost every day.
“Guys like that, it’s cool to see what they’ve done and try to learn from them, whether it’s how they carry themselves, the confidence they walk around with. Playing with Michael Jordan and seeing his competitive side. I’m not gonna be able to hang with him on the court, but we can go and I’ll give him some shots and we’ll have a competitive game. Just to see how much of a gamer he is, it’s cool to see him get in the zone if he has to try and get a ball up and down or make a putt. You can definitely learn from a guy like that.”
Fowler addressed multiple topics. Here’s a rundown of some of other highlights:
What’s it like to represent your country, like in the Presidents Cup?
“Anytime you get to throw the red, white and blue on, playing for your country is pretty special … From the Ryder Cup to the Presidents Cup to the World Cup last year, the team events are fun. It gets you thinking back to high school golf, to college golf here, being on a team with guys.”
Arnold Palmer died last year. What was it like getting to know him a little bit?
“Arnie was a special man … He’s definitely someone I looked to and learned from. I was honored to get to spend the amount of time that I did with him, and to be there at his memorial service. It was a good way to finish it off and try to keep his legacy going.”