Golf-Open-Striking orange bears fruit for Fowler

ST ANDREWS, Scotland, July 18 Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:09pm BST

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ST ANDREWS, Scotland, July 18 (Reuters) - There was no missing Rickie Fowler at the British Open on Sunday as the American's electrifying golf was matched only by his head-to-toe bright orange outfit.

"Not many people wear orange so it's a good way to stand out a bit," the 21-year-old told reporters after signing off for a five-under 67 at the Old Course to finish four-under for the tournament.

With his hair peaking out from underneath his cap, Fowler was a vision in orange. Baseball cap, shirt, belt, trousers, shoes, even his watch did not escape the visual overload.

But there is so much more to the Fowler game than his dazzling wardrobe.

Reality bit hard with an opening 79 at St Andrews but he soon got to grips with the nuances required for success here and signed off with a stunning four-birdie run in the last six holes, a feat matched by few this week.

He prompted one of the biggest roars of the day on Sunday when from the front of the 17th green he drained a 120-foot putt for a rare birdie at the revered 'Road' hole.

"That's the longest putt I've ever made," he grinned.

The world number 37's flowing hair was even tinged with a hint of orange, but his outfit was a tribute to his old school rather than a fashion competition with equally colourful fellow American John Daly, who sported stars and stripes trousers for his final round.

"I played college golf at Oklahoma State, school colours are orange and black," Fowler said proudly, though you had to look hard to find the darker colour.

"I guess there's a little bit," he added, showing part of his shoes to reporters.

Fowler, who turned pro last year and is in his maiden PGA Tour season, is within reach of an amazing Ryder Cup debut in October if his good form persists.

"That's my main goal right now," he said of the Oct. 1-3 match between the United States and Europe in Wales which Fowler's compatriots will be defending after their 2008 triumph.

"When I first turned pro I wasn't thinking about the Ryder Cup but then it started to get into the back of my mind.

"It can't be a long list," he added when asked how many players have made their debut in the famous biennial competition so soon after turning pro.

Fowler made the giant leap last year and in 2010 has racked up two second-place finishes and five top 10s to leave him 17th in the Ryder Cup standings.

The top eight are guaranteed a place, but if his good outing at St Andrews is anything to go by then Fowler should save U.S. captain Corey Pavin a headache and qualify by right.

(Editing by Miles Evans; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

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