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Monday 5 December 2016

Rickie Fowler hopes patience will pay off at Whistling Straits

File photo dated 12-07-2015 of USA's Rickie Fowler tees off on the 1st hole during day four of the Scottish Open at Gullane Golf Club, East Lothian
File photo dated 12-07-2015 of USA's Rickie Fowler tees off on the 1st hole during day four of the Scottish Open at Gullane Golf Club, East Lothian

Rickie Fowler hopes to prove winning major championships is easy to complete an American clean sweep of golf's biggest events for the first time since 1982.

With Jordan Spieth winning the Masters and US Open and Zach Johnson victorious in the Open at St Andrews, Fowler is among the home players hoping to cement US dominance in the US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

And although Fowler saw how difficult it is to win majors when he finished in the top five in all four in 2014, the 26-year-old is looking to adopt the same approach as 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus.

Nicklaus felt half the players in each major were too scared to win, while other players ruled themselves out by complaining about the tough conditions.

"I don't know if I would say it's harder, by any means. There's just fewer chances at playing in majors and winning," said Fowler, who won the Players Championship and Scottish Open earlier this season.

"I looked at what Jack said in saying that they're the easiest to win. I'm trying to go with that outlook and go out there and just focus on sticking to my game plan and taking care of the business that I need to take care of out there. And ultimately putting myself in a position going into the weekend to be in contention.

"So I don't look at them as any harder to win, you just really have to be patient and not push any harder than needed."

Europe's Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke insists the current American dominance is not a cause for concern ahead of the 2016 contest at Hazeltine, but added: "If you ask me the same question at this time next year, then I may be a little more concerned.

"But it does not make our task any more daunting. It's a very, very tough task that we have in front of us regardless. There's a new breed of American players coming through, highlighted by Jordan Spieth, obviously.

"For us to be the away team on American soil, we're under no illusions how hard it's going to be. But thankfully I'm of the opinion that we're going to have a very strong European team as well, which will only make it be a wonderful event. But we would be the underdogs as it stands right now."

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