That’s not the opening Rickie Fowler had in mind.
Fowler, playing for the first time since his win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, turned in an even-par 71 during the first round of the WGC-Mexico Championship, a score that left him eight shots back of Rory McIlroy. Unfortunately for Fowler, that deficit grew by three following his adventures Friday on his first hole.
After his tee shot found the rough, Fowler’s second swing of the day sent his ball soaring right, way right, the product of the dreaded shank. Unlike Justin Thomas, who bounced back from his own hosel rocket last week to make par, Fowler’s ball went out-of-bounds, forcing a drop.
Unfortunately, it’s here where Fowler went foul again.
The new rules indicate a ball must be dropped from knee—not shoulder—height, and by instinctually letting his new ball go from above, Fowler was hit with another penalty.
Fowler was able to find the green with that approach, where he two-putted. But with the penalties for going OB and the illegal drop, Fowler left with a 7 on the card.
Again, this guy just won in his previous event. Proving if it happens to these guys, there’s no help for the rest of us poor bastards.