Gullane, Scotland, July 17 (Reuters) - With his Florida sun-tan and Boy Band looks Rickie Fowler is the antithesis of the grizzled and wily warriors that can be found up and down Scotland’s golf course-strewn coastline.
Yet the 24-year-old American loves nothing more than battling the elements and whereas some of his compatriots will be hoping conditions remain calm, Fowler wants the winds start buffeting Muirfield when the Open starts on Thursday.
“Actually I would like to see the wind blow and hopefully it will stay up,” Fowler told Reuters on Wednesday.
“I want to see it blow maybe 15 to 20mph so the course can show its teeth. I always enjoy playing in the tough conditions.”
Fowler outplayed playing partner Rory McIlroy on a wild third day at Sandwich two years ago, carding a 70 despite atrocious conditions on his way to finishing tied for fifth.
That round marked Fowler down as a future Open champion and while he may not get his wish with the weather forecast this week, the world No.33’s ability to be creative and improvise makes him definitely one to watch.
“I love links golf, it’s my favourite type of golf,” said Fowler, who posted his second top-10 finish at a major at this year’s U.S. Open.
”There are a lot of options out there no matter where the wind is coming from the golf course is always playable, especially this week.
“Muirfield I‘m pretty impressed with it, it’s a fun golf course, it’s a good solid test and looks like whatever the weather is there are a lot of run-ups to the greens.”
Fowler will partner Italian 20-year-old Matteo Manassero and fellow American Hunter Mahan in one of the later groups on Thursday and says the key will not be too gung-ho.
“I don’t think there will be too big of an issue with the wind, but patience is always the key,” said Fowler, who has made the cut at his three previous Opens.
“I hope we get some wind but it looks like it will be a pretty memorable week as far as the course conditions are concerned so I‘m just going to go out there, stay patient and try put up some numbers.” (Editing by Ed Osmond)