Near misses helping Fowler in pursuit of Masters glory

1 / 1
Near misses helping Fowler in pursuit of Masters glory

Co-leader Rickie Fowler is determined to stay out of the fast lane in his pursuit of a green jacket as he slows things down at the Masters.

Widely recognised as one of the most talented players on the PGA Tour, it has been a case of so close but yet so far in the biggest events for Fowler, who has top-two finishes at the U.S. Open and Open Championship, plus a T3 at the US PGA Championship and T5 at the Masters - all in 2014.

Fowler appears to be getting closer to breaking through after ending round two at Augusta as one of four players tied for first at four under, alongside Charley Hoffman, Sergio Garcia and Thomas Pieters.

He carded Friday's lowest round - a five-under-par 67 - to earn a share of the lead through 36 holes in Georgia.

After battling Mother Nature on Thursday, the 28-year-old American had four birdies, an eagle and just a solitary bogey to build momentum heading into what is shaping up to be a thrilling weekend.

Asked if he would apply the lessons learned from his near misses at majors, Fowler told reporters: "A lot of it - some of it's not just in majors. Other tournaments being in contention, getting the job done at Honda just recently and playing well in these last few events, really just sticking to our game plan and making sure we go through the process and really getting committed.

"On the weekends, I tend to try and walk a little slower, make sure we're taking our time. Because my tendency is to kind of speed up and go a little too quickly. 

"So the more that I can slow down thoughts, my walking, and make sure that I kind of think through everything and not get too quick out there, that's one of my keys."

Some big names are lurking at the halfway point of the tournament, with two-time champion Jordan Spieth and three-time winner Phil Mickelson both four adrift at even par.

However, Fowler is thriving under the pressure at the 81st edition of golf's iconic event.

"I love looking up and seeing the big leaderboards. 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, so hopefully I can go ahead and keep it up on the big leaderboards.

"Obviously I'm going to still continue to focus on what I'm trying to do, you know, fairways. I saw some of the stats over here, I need to hit some more greens.

"Luckily the chipping and bunker play has been saving me, which it's been doing through this year. But [if I can] hit some more greens and give myself some easier two-putt pars and knock in a couple birdies ... it makes for a good weekend."