WGC-ACCENTURE MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP

Fowler's style on the course, and off, a driving force in life

PGA Tour's top rookie from 2010 is a big fan of match-play format
2011-01-19T00:00:00Z 2014-09-15T09:43:30Z Fowler's style on the course, and off, a driving force in lifeRyan Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 19, 2011 12:00 am  • 

Rickie Fowler discovered his two passions, golf and motocross, when he was just 3 years old.

Now 22, he's tearing up the fairways as if he's riding a dirt bike.

The PGA Tour 2010 Rookie of the Year is among the 64 golfers who will play in next month's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain. Fowler is ranked 30th in the world.

"I want to keep playing well," he said. "I want to get my first win out of the way."

On and off the course, Fowler - a native of Murrieta, Calif. - is delightfully different.

The former Oklahoma State star sports Justin Bieber-hair and wears his caps backward. He has his own line of clothing, made by Puma, and a reputation for being one of the world's most dashing dressers.

Fowler recently painted his garage bright orange.

"And it looks good," he said.

The Star talked to Fowler on Tuesday about his style, season and Match Play:

On the match-play format: "I love match play, although I haven't had as much success as I would have liked to in match play. Between U.S. Juniors, U.S. Amateurs, Walker Cups and recently the Ryder Cup, match play is pretty exciting. You don't see us play it very much, and for the most part, all you're seeing is stroke play."

On what makes match play great: "What's pretty cool about this event, and what I look forward to, is the one-on-one, head-to-head matches. It's do or die."

On the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain course: "I played nine holes the last two days, and I had a lot of fun out there. I was basically just kind of hitting shots and going to see the course. There are some long holes, and some holes that play a bit short."

On the course's famous undulating greens: "I look at it as kind of a challenge. They're different than what we're used to seeing, but the greens seemed to be sectioned off pretty well to where they might be pretty big, but you're going into a small area. … Maybe a guy has a 50-foot putt, and another guy has a 40-foot chip; the guy with the chip's in a better position."

On visiting Match Play at the tournament's old home, La Costa: "I remember going down there and watching some of the guys play. As a kid, I wasn't one of the ones that love to go tournaments; I'd much rather go out and play on my own. But there were a few occasions where we'd go down, because it's only an hour from where I grew up. So that was one of the only tournaments that I grew up going to as a kid."

On his style: "You know, I'm basically dressing by who I am. I grew up in a motocross background, grew up riding and racing dirt bikes and started playing golf at the age of 3, so I had a bit of a different upbringing than most PGA Tour players these days. … I've liked to always stand out in my own, wear different clothes than most people."

On being branded part of a new generation of golfers: "It's pretty cool to see those comparisons, because those are the guys I grew up watching, and they were playing when I was a kid. Having the chance to be able to play against them, and possibly beat them at times, it's a pretty cool feeling … When you go out and you play against the best players in the world, you want to beat them. Doesn't matter about their age."

If you go

• When: Feb. 21-27

• Where: The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain

• Tickets: Visit worldgolfchampionships.com or call the Tucson Conquistadores at 571-0400.

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