Did Rickie Fowler Qualify For U.S. Open 2021?

Published 06/08/2021, 10:51 AM EDT
Mar 18, 2021; Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, USA; Rickie Fowler stands on the green of the 8th hole during the first round of The Honda Classic golf tournament at PGA National (Champion). Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


Rickie Fowler was one of golf’s brightest stars. Right now, Fowler is looking to pick up on his game after a string of bad performances here and there. The 32-year-old had to get past final qualifying to book a spot at the U.S. Open for the first time since 2010. Did he succeed in his attempt? 

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Unfortunately, no. Rickie Fowler did not manage to get past final qualifying and as a result, will not be playing at U.S. Open 2021. It just adds to yet another disappointment in the golfer’s career. He’s been enduring a lot of failures over the recent years. 

Why didn’t Rickie Fowler qualify for U.S. Open 2021?

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Firstly, Rickie Fowler did not match any criteria to gain an invite to play at the 121st U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. The last time Fowler won a PGA Tour event was in 2019 and he’s dropped out of the Top 100 in the official ranking as well. 

So none of these things helped Fowler in gaining an invite to the U.S. Open 2021. However, he had the option of going through final qualifying to book a spot at Torrey Pines. So what happened there? 

Rickie Fowler competed at the Ohio qualifier in Columbus. He had to play a 36-hole qualifier as part of the schedule where the Top 16 stood a chance to enter the U.S. Open 2021 field. 

Jun 3, 2021; Dublin, Ohio, USA; Rickie Fowler hits his tee shot on the 15th hole during the first round of the Memorial Tournament golf tourney. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Much to everyone’s distraught, Rickie Fowler did not make the cut at his respective qualifier and missed out on a chance to play at Torrey Pines this year. 

The Columbus qualifier took place at two venues simultaneously. Fowler played the first 18 holes at Brookside Golf & Country Club and the remaining 18 at The Lakes Golf & Country Club. 

How did Fowler perform at qualifying and is there a second chance?

As for his first round, Fowler shot 1-over 73 at Brookside. He made two birdies and three bogeys en route to this score. An opening round 73 certainly smashed the hopes, but the California native managed to pick up the pace in the subsequent round. 

Fowler played well at the Lakes Golf & Country Club and completed a bogey-free round. He shot a 6-under 66 and made six birdies in the round which took his 36-hole score to 5-under. 

However, Fowler’s 36-hole score of 5-under was not enough to make the cut at the Columbus qualifier. There were only 16 spots to fill and Fowler missed the cut by just one stroke. 

Jun 4, 2021; Dublin, Ohio, USA; Rickie Fowler checks his yardage book on the 18th green during the second round of the Memorial Tournament golf tourney. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Rickie Fowler had a second chance to seal a berth into U.S. Open 2021. The Columbus qualifier also awarded two alternate reserve slots, and Fowler was eligible to be a part of the competition. 

But the 32-year-old failed to pick up either of the alternate reserve spots which were eventually won by Cole Hammer and Ben Taylor. Hence, Fowler has no other option to miss out on playing the U.S. Open for the first time since 2010. 

There is only one way left for Rickie Fowler to be a part of the field at Torrey Pines and that is if the USGA offers him an exception. The USGA awarded Phil Mickelson an exemption last month, but he doesn’t need it anymore since he’s the 2021 PGA Championship winner. 

Can the USGA transfer the exemption to Rickie Fowler and invite him to be a part of U.S.Open 2021? Just curious, and I’m sure a lot of Fowler fans are wondering the same well. Well, even Mickelson wants to give his exemption to Ricke! 

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Arjun Athreya

1943 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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