Fowler: First time I've felt ready to win a major
It was another case of so near but yet so far for Rickie Fowler as Patrick Reed reigned supreme at the Masters, but the runner-up insists he is ready to win his first major title.
Sunday saw Fowler finish second to maiden major champion and countryman Reed, who prevailed by one stroke with a 15-under aggregate at Augusta National.
Fowler is no stranger to near-misses, having finished second at the U.S. Open and The Open in 2014, while he was tied for third at the US PGA Championship in the same year.
And the 29-year-old - a four-time PGA Tour winner - added the Masters to his growing list of close calls following a five-under-par 67 to close out the tournament in Georgia.
Reflecting on his quest for an elusive major crown, Fowler told reporters: "I am ready to go win a major, but this was kind of the first major week that I understood that and [have] known that and felt that.
"I would say previously, still feeling the nerves and dealing with, you know, tough rounds and things not going your way, but I think the big round for me was yesterday [Saturday].
"I didn't feel my best. I felt like I had to just really stick to my game plan and kind of fight through a few times where I may not have felt comfortable and just trying to gut it out, and obviously you could see, with a 65, I was very pleased with that.
"So I'm ready to go. I'm really looking forward to this year and the three majors that are left. You know, Shinnecock [the venue for the U.S. Open] is one of my favourite golf courses in the U.S. It should be a very good major season."
Fowler played the final 10 holes in six under par, birdieing the last to leave Reed requiring a par to avoid a play-off and claim victory.
Reed stepped up and delivered, Fowler having to be content with holding off the fast-finishing Jordan Spieth - who rallied from nine shots adrift from the start of the day to almost complete the biggest final-round comeback in Masters history - for outright second position.
"It was a great week to get ourselves in the mix and to have a strong weekend, unlike last week," Fowler said. "I feel like we got the boxes checked that we wanted to last week in Houston coming into here at Augusta, and I was ready to go win.
"Unfortunately, [I came up] one shot short, but we were able to keep P-Reed honest out there, at least making him earn it. I mean, solo second feels and sounds better than tied for second, so it was nice to edge out Jordan on the last."