ST ANDREWS, Scotland (Reuters) - British Opens throw up a variety of weather conditions, sometimes all in the same day, and Rickie Fowler believes the key to being successful on a links course is to have fun and embrace the elements.
The young American goes into this week’s major championship as one of the hottest players in world golf, having won the prestigious Players Championship in May and triumphed in the Scottish Open at Gullane last Sunday.
Fowler said his caddie once noticed the way a five-times British Open champion responded to being buffeted by the rain and it provided a useful insight into how the great players cope with difficult conditions.
“The thing that helped me a little bit was my caddie saw Tom Watson go out and it looked like he was having fun and kind of soaking it in and trying to make the best of it,” the 26-year-old told reporters on Tuesday.
”There are probably some guys in the field that may look down on it and may think it’s going to be harder than it should be.
“I just try and go out and have fun. It may not be the warmest weather or the driest weather but you’ve got a tee time, go tee it up and make the best of it.”
Fowler has twice finished in the top five in five previous British Open appearances, including tying for second behind Rory McIlroy at Royal Liverpool 12 months ago.
He clearly loves his annual pilgrimage to golf’s oldest major and is always well prepared for what he is about to receive.
“I think what helped was getting to play in bad weather back in Stillwater when I was in school at Oklahoma State,” Fowler said.
”I used to play when it was pretty cold, I think the coldest I played was probably 27 Fahrenheit...so below zero.
“I would try and go out and have fun. Over there you would get some crazy wind so that helped my wind game,” explained Fowler.
“You’ve got to bundle up (in clothing). You can’t pack it in, you’ve got to figure it out.”
Editing by Ed Osmond