This week, Rickie Fowler, one of the most popular young players, entered the tournament on the heels of having been maligned by unnamed fellow players as being one of the two most over-rated players in the game. He not only ignored the insult, he played the best final nine holes in the history of the Players and stood tall in four playoff holes, with three straight birdies on the dreaded seventeenth hole.
He beat what is regularly advertised as the strongest field in golf. His performance was nothing short of magnificent. It was a great day for Rickie, and a great day for golf. I like to think the golfing gods were smiling on a fine young man who is a credit to himself and the game. His performance will become part of the Players' lore.
Not bad for a kid who some of his peers had the nerve to accuse of being over-rated as a player. This kid is not just style, he's got substance. I had written earlier today that it would be cool if Rickie could win and extend a metaphorical middle finger to his unnamed detractors. Sometimes wishes do come true.
This win may not open the floodgates for Rickie, propelling him to even greater things in the game, but it's a helluva good start. Thank you, Rickie, for a fantastic display of golf; and thank you, golfing gods, for shining on this fine young man. Golf is truly a great game, and golf is in very good hands with a fine crop of young stars, including Rickie Fowler. The future looks bright indeed.