Augusta - Rickie Fowler didn't slip on a green jacket on Sunday, but his runner-up finish at Augusta National had the 29-year-old
American looking forward hungrily to the remaining majors of 2018.
Fowler insisted his one-shot loss to Ryder Cup team-mate
Patrick Reed wasn't just another major disappointment, in a career that has
seen them piling up.
"Obviously I want to be the one standing on top after
the four rounds, but this is, if anything, a step forward," he said.
"I feel like this is a year to knock off our first."
Last year, Fowler began the final round of the Masters one
shot off the lead, carded a 76 and finished tied for 11th.
He has had six top-five finishes at majors in the last five
seasons, and in 2014 he became the first player to finish in the top five or
better at all four majors without winning one of them.
"It feels a lot different," said Fowler, who
carded a scintillating 65 on Saturday to put himself five shots behind leader
Reed going into the final round.
"I think the big round for me was yesterday. I didn't
feel my best. I felt like I had to just really stick to my game plan and kind
of fight through a few times.
"So I'm ready to go. I'm really looking forward to this
year and the three majors that are left."
Certainly there was no last-round let-down for Fowler this
He birdied six of the last 11 holes, rolling in a
seven-footer at 18 to cap his closing 67.
He was pleased to "keep P-Reed honest" and also
pleased to keep Ryder Cup teammate Jordan Spieth at bay.
"Solo second feels and sounds better than tied for
second, so it was nice to edge out Jordan on the last," said Fowler, who
admitted this week that seeing Spieth claim three major titles by the age of 24
had been a big motivator.
He had his eye on him on Sunday, too, Fowler well aware that
Spieth was surging up the leaderboard to threaten overnight leader Reed, firing
nine birdies before ending with a bogey at 18.
"I saw Jordan was off and running today," Fowler
said. "I knew I needed a good back nine ... I knew what I needed to do.
"I'm definitely happy with the week, but, at the same
time, not happy that we finished second.
"Obviously I want that green jacket and this is a step
in the right direction."