Rickie Fowler defeated Ian Poulter 2&1 in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Fowler will face fellow American Jimmy Walker in the second round tomorrow.
Fowler started fast against Poulter, going 3-up through the first seven holes. Poulter hung in tough against Rickie with birdies on eight, eleven, and fourteen, but he was unable to overcome the early round deficit. Fowler made it difficult as well by playing relatively steady golf, including an eagle on the thirteenth hole.
Fowler has been working full time with swing coach Butch Harmon since November, and he feels he has been swinging well despite missing the cut in the last three tournaments. The only thing Fowler would like to get going is his putter, “Hopefully, I can get the putter warmed up, and make some putts, because I’m going to need them tomorrow.”
Fowler wished Jimmy Walker well in tomorrow’s match, but would like to play a tad better than his buddy:
Jimmy and I spent some time together…since I’ve been on Tour. He’s a great guy, both him and his caddie, Andy, they’re a lot of fun to be around. It is tough playing your buddies. And with him also being with Butch, [we have] quite a bit in common.
It will be tough, but hopefully we both play well, and see who comes out on top tomorrow.