Golf

Rickie Fowler: The Anna Kournikova of the PGA

LA JOLLA, CA - JANUARY 29: Rickie Fowler hits his tee shot on the fifth hole during the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open on the South Course of the Torrey Pines Golf Course on January 29, 2012 in La Jolla, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Pamela DawesContributor IFebruary 29, 2012

Every success in professional sports should be measured by achievement. Why is it then that there exist a few who seem to get by on hype and looks alone?

The best example was the comely Anna Kournikova. A Russian blonde with physical beauty unmatched by her physical talents, she was one of the most commonly Googled names at the height of her fame. This, is in spite of the fact that she never won a WTA singles event. Her moderate success in doubles, with the more talented Martina Hingis, led to the self-titled moniker of "The Spice Girls of Tennis."

Under the category of "where is she now?," Ms. Kournikova remains one of those athletes who gained far more notoriety for simply being famous.

On the PGA tour, no one fits this description better than the young Rickie Fowler. An inexplicable choice for the Ryder Cup team, Fowler has yet to win a PGA event, but he is the focus of advertising, articles and television time. Good marketing? Or is it an attempt to lure the younger fans? Are Justin Bieber's legions of adoring teens longing for a golfer to call their own? Certainly the hair style fits the bill, but it seems the lime green and orange popsicle colors might be the draw.

Having begun his young professional career following a No. 1 ranking as an amateur, Fowler was selected as Rookie of the Year over Rory McIlroy. He won once on the One Asia Tour in 2011 defeating the aforementioned McIlroy but his biggest claim to fame seems to be his video, "Oh, Oh, Oh" with fellow "Golf Boys," Ben Crane, Hunter Mahan and Bubba Watson. Maybe they could be "The Spice Boys of Golf!"

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