Tiger Woods' neck is still in pain.
Phil Mickleson's putter is still streaky.
Justin Rose is still searching/praying for a victory.
But Rickie Fowler—well he's just chillin' at the top of the leaderboard.
After two highly competitive rounds of play at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Course in Dublin, OH, 21-year-old Rickie Fowler leads the event after two brilliant rounds of 65-66 for a record tying 13-under par score through 36 holes.
Maybe it's the vigor of finally being legally of age that has Fowler pulling off trick shots and draining putts. Or perhaps it's the spectacular conditions of the golf course, which was designed by the Golden Bear himself, Jack Nicklaus, with a constant, watchful eye.
Fowler's game has been compared to Lanny Watkins; a fast, loose, and aggressive player.
PGA Tour announcers Kelly Tilghman and Nick Faldo called his last two rounds the ultimate symbol of "youthful confidence."
Call it what you want, but I'll just say this—Fowler is the real deal.
—Finished outside of the top-50 just once all-season, at the Shell Houston Open.
—Ranked 5th in Top-10 finishes (4 total): T8 at the Verizon Heritage (low round: 67 on Sunday), 6th at the Quail Hollow Championship (low round: 67 on Sunday), T5 at the Farmers Insurance Open (low round: 67 on Thursday), 2nd at the waste Management Phoenix Open (low round: 65 on Thursday).
—Ranked 15th in Total Driving; a combination of his average driving distance (293 yards) with his Driving Accuracy (61%).
—7th in Fairway Proximity (The average distance remaining to the hole for all approach shots hit from the fairway, or the tee box on a par three).
—Scoring Average: 70.92 (Ranked 81st)
The stats Fowler has accumulated over the span of this season are nothing short of incredible for a rookie on Tour, let alone someone who no longer has to ask for their Pina Colada to be "Virgin."
Rickie's four top-10 finishes—undeniably his most imposing stat—illuminate his dedication to consistency and places him in the company of major winners like Ernie Els and Retief Goosen, who have 5 top-10s.
Reminiscent of a young Tiger Woods, Fowler has a stern, concentrated gaze on the golf course, paired with a sheer cut-throat and relentless attitude.
With two rounds in the history books, Fowler is not only three shots clear of his closest competitor, Justin Rose (10-under par), but he is also ten shots in front of Woods and eight shots in front of Mickelson.
This doesn't mean Fowler is a better player than Tiger or Phil—but it sure means he can keep up with them.
Rickie Fowler is a pioneer in a youth movement galvanizing the world of golf.
Guys like Ryo Ishikawa, 18, Rory McIlroy, 21, Michael Sim, 25, and Dustin Johnson, 25, let alone the prodigal 16-year-old Jordan Spieth who came out of the woodwork at the HP Byron Nelson, are redesigning and revamping the face of the PGA Tour.
Not only is Fowler a California kid, which will undoubtedly give him a leg up on the competition and Pebble Beach layout, but he finished tied-27th at the AT&T National Pro-Am held at Pebble in February.
In that event, Rickie captured a few key stats that could make him a great Fantasy pick or choice for your local US Open pool.
—He tied for 1st with the most pars, accumulating 55 in his four rounds.
—He was No. 22 in Driving Distance; length is crucial in the windy, sloped conditions of Pebble.
—He tied for 8th in Greens in regulation, meaning he was constantly putting himself in a position to make birdies and rarely getting into trouble.
—On a course littered with sand traps, Fowler tied for 19th in sand saves.
If I could hit the ball like Fowler, I'd wear just about anything too.
But considering I can't, Rickie needs to look in the mirror before leaving the house.
I understand the orange on Sunday.
Having pride in one's college (his being Oklahoma) is a good thing and Sunday can be used to flaunt that.
But his golf attire is, uhhh, noticeable, and uhh, HEINOUS.
It seems like Hal Habib got it right in the Palm Beach Post when he said in regards to PGA Tour golf attire, "A revolution in golf, this is not. Evolution is more like it."
"Where once was a sport in which pros competed in jackets and ties today is one where an Ian Poulter may show up in all pink, a Rickie Fowler may make viewers rue HD TV with orange pants, an Anthony Kim may go 1-up on Camilo Villegas in a belt-buckle shootout or where a Jesper Parnevik might throw up his hands and wear black and white to stand out."