Saturday, April 29, 2017

Fowler leads after major round for first time

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Rickie Fowler played his 100th round in a major championship Friday at the Masters.

For the first time, he leads at the end of one.

With a 5-under-par 67, the round of the day, Fowler moved into a four-way share of the lead at Augusta National.

Fowler said he relished seeing his name on the leaderboard.

“It’s a cool thing about Augusta, very old school, with the non‑electronic leaderboards out there,” Fowler said. “It’s a lot of fun to see your name up there. Hopefully, I can go ahead and keep it up on the big leaderboards.”

Masters Tournament: Scores | Live blog: Day 2 | Full coverage

Fowler, 28, a four-time PGA Tour winner, has six top-10 finishes in majors. He looked as if he was on the verge of breaking through to win one in 2014, when he was T-5 or better in all four of them, but he hasn’t had a top 10 in a major since.

Fowler, who won the Honda Classic last month, is riding a hot putter at Augusta National.

Through 36 holes, he’s first in the field in strokes gained putting. He needed just 23 putts in Friday’s round. He holed out a bunker shot from 35 feet at the second hole for eagle.

“Obviously, I’m going to still continue to focus on what I’m trying to do, hit fairways,” Fowler said.  “I need to hit some more greens. Luckily, the chipping and bunker play has been saving me.”

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