22 year old Rickie Fowler will take a share of the lead into the final round of the AT&T National, looking for his first career PGA Tour win. It obviously wouldn't quite be on the level of fellow 22 year old Rory McIlroy winning the US Open, but getting that first win would be a major feather in the Puma cap of Fowler.
And he'll certainly have the Philly area crowd on his side. As yesterday progressed, the gallery following Fowler grew to a size notably larger than anyone else.
"It definitely grew as the round went on and I moved up the leaderboard." Fowler said, "It's great to have some fans, some supporters out there, and to see them grow and see kids with my hats on and stuff like that, it's definitely nice to have people out there to watch me play and to root for me and keep me going. Gotta love the fans."
Fowler continued "one of my main goals is to get my first win on the PGA Tour." Doing so could certainly help to spark a rivalry between himself and McIlroy that could help drive interest in the sport for the next decade. Fowler was somewhat controversially named as the PGA rookie of the year over McIlroy last season and the hope was that the two would lead the next generation of great European and American golfers. With his win at the US Open, McIlroy has held up his end of the bargain, but so far, Fowler has not.
He admitted that this has been a somewhat disappointing season from a results standpoint.
"It has been a little frustrating. The game has felt pretty good this year. I haven't driven it as well as I did last year, which has held me back from hitting as many greens and having as many opportunities to make birdie. So that's held me back, kind of the lack of accuracy off the tee. This week I've driven it a lot better and confidence is finally coming around with the driver."
A win at Aronimink could certainly turn that around. And with a share of the lead going into today's final round, he's looking to not only turn his season around, but give the local fans something to cheer about.
"It seems like these Philadelphia fans definitely like to get loud a lot of times, so hopefully we can give them something to cheer for tomorrow."