Interview: Dominic Foos

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A normal day for Dominic Foos is waking up and heading to the golf course. After that, he will play some more golf and later, more golf. Rough life, I know. Dominic is not your average high schooler, traveling around the globe to play in some of the best tournaments for teenage golfers. The feats he has accomplished at such a young age is surreal. I was able to ask Dominic a couple of questions about his career thus far.

You are 15 years old and have won numerous tournaments throughout the world. There are videos of you up at 5 a.m. or earlier on the range or playing. What is your motivation?
I am just always to get better and better. If I want to play professionally, I will have to earn it.

With your early success, you have drawn comparisons to other child prodigies, such as Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. How do you cope with the pressure of such great comparisons?
I feel no pressure on that. Some people like to compare me to other players, and I have no problem with that. To me, I think of it as an honor to be mentioned with some of the greatest golfers today.

What does it mean to you to have such comparisons?
It shows me that I am heading in the right direction.

I saw you had a chance to play alongside Rory McIlroy in the Pro-Am in Turkey. What was it like playing with arguably the best golfer in the world? Today, what golfer do you look up to most?
Yes, I had a blast with Rory. Turkey was an awesome time. Tiger Woods is the player to whom I look up most. He has proved himself to be one of the best golfers ever and I hope to be in his position someday.

Foos alongside Rory McIlroy
Foos alongside Rory McIlroy

What was your experience like playing on the Junior Ryder Cup?
Playing in Chicago alongside Europe’s best junior golfers was a great experience for me. Afterward, I got to watch an incredible Ryder Cup at Medinah and most importantly, a European victory!

You were able to meet some of the European players at Medinah. What kind of advice did they give you?
They really just told me to keep up the hard work and to have fun with the game.

Since you were three years old, you have been golfing. Is there anyone specific you have looked up to? Who has influenced your game the most?
My Dad. He has had a major influence on my game and the progress I have made thus far.

Your website says you have been recruited by colleges throughout the United States. Some of the more notable golfers to leave Europe and attend schools in the U.S. are Graeme MacDowell and Luke Donald. Do you any desire to follow in their footsteps?
To play college golf is for sure an incredible achievement. Personally, I prefer to focus on my game in Europe and to play in more tournaments here. After that, I hope to make it to the next level and play professional golf.

What is your favorite golf course that you have played on and why?
Leopard Creek in South Africa, no doubt. Not only is it an impressive, challenging course, but the surrounding area is beautiful.

You were the first golfer to win the Audi Generation Award, you have been on the Junior Ryder Cup team, and the list continues. So far, what has been, in your mind, the greatest feat?
I am always giving my best on everything and I cherish the opportunities I have had. Every award is great, of course, but I am really looking forward to what the future holds.

Because you are such a great golfer, many forget you are just a 15 year old. When you are rarely not practicing or playing, what are some of your hobbies? Do you play any other sports?
Unfortunately, the time is limited, but I enjoy playing table tennis and basketball. Plus, I love going to see new movies.

Where is the coolest place you have ever been to? What made that destination so fun?
I have been able to go to so many places, but Miami, Florida, is a very cool place. I can play golf at incredible courses there and while being surrounded by nothing but entertainment.

What is the biggest goal you are looking to accomplish?
I will do anything and everything to get to the top of the world one day.

I would like to thank Dominic for his time. As he said earlier, he hopes to play professionally someday, and I would put my money on him accomplishing that dream. I wish him good luck and will be cheering for him in the future.

Drew Agnello

Ricky Fowler’s Emergence

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For the better part of the last 4 years, the PGA tour has struggled to attract new fans and gain popularity. Changes to the world golf ranking system, alterations in the Fed Ex Cup point race, and the demise of Tiger Woods have all contributed to this “dark age” of golf.

Golf, specifically the American golf culture, needs an American player to step up and help rekindle the enthusiasm and plight of the American golf fan. 22 year old Rickie Fowler might be just what the doctor ordered.

Fowler broke though with his long awaited first PGA Tour victory at the Wells Fargo Championship just 3 weeks ago, defeating D.A. Points and Rory McIlroy in a thrilling playoff. The win came at the most unlikely of times, as Fowler had missed 2 consecutive cuts in the weeks leading up to the Wells Fargo Championship.

Rickie has been excruciatingly close to winning on the PGA Tour many times prior to his win at the Wells Fargo, finishing runner up in 5 tournaments from his tour debut in May of 2010 to the end of September of 2011. In just his 3rd start on tour, Fowler entered the final round of Jack Nicklaus’s Memorial Tournament with a 3 shot lead on Englishman Justin Rose in 2010. Fowler, just 21 at the time, was attempting to become the youngest American winner on tour since Tiger Woods won the AT&T National tournament at the age of 20.

Fowler shot a final round 73, finishing second to Rose. However, Justin Rose had some powerful and telling words of his fellow competitor Fowler upon the rounds completion.

“Rickie is going to be a special player. He already is, once he finds the mindset needed to win a tournament, and he will, he could go on a serious roll. Unbelievably talented player,” Rose said of Fowler.

In September 2010, he was chosen as a captain’s pick for the U.S. Ryder Cup team. At age 21 years and 9 months when the matches began, Fowler became the youngest U.S. Ryder Cup player of all time, and only European Sergio García was younger when he made his Ryder Cup debut in 1999. On the final day of competition, with the American side trailing by 2 matches, Rickie birdied the final 5 holes to win his match against Eduardo Molinari. Fowler won PGA Tour rookie of the year, claiming the award over Rory McIlroy.

In the pouring rain and howling English winds at the 2011 British Open at Royal St. George’s, Fowler finished the tournament at even par, good for a top 5 finish, his best career finish ever at a major. He went on to finish in the top 25 in the Fed Ex Cup rankings.

2012 has been a special season for Rickie Fowler. A week after his breakthrough victory at the Wells Fargo, he finished 2nd alone at the Players Championship. A week after that in the Crowne Plaza Invitational, he finished in a tie for 4th. He is currently 8th on the money list and 6th in the Fed Ex Cup Standings. Rickie Fowler has finally arrived.

While Fowler’s play certainly speaks for itself, his personality really has helped draw fans back into the game. He wears loud clothes, something he says he has always done. He sports clad-orange pants, shoes, and shirt on Sunday’s representing his alma mater, Oklahoma State. He has the “it” factor people always talk about.

Fowler is one of four golfers in the “Golf Boys” group along with fellow PGA Tour players Ben Crane, Masters Champion Bubba Watson and Hunter Mahan. The Golf Boys released a YouTube video of the song “Oh Oh Oh” on the eve of the 2011 U.S. Open. Their goal in releasing the video was to “put the fun back in the game.”

After Bubba Watson was victorious at the Masters in early April, Fowler was there on the 10th green to celebrate his friend’s tremendous accomplishment. Watson and Fowler have always been close, and Fowler credits Watson with help molding him into more of a “fans player.”

People have been looking for the next big American fan favorite in the game of golf. With his bright outfits and very outgoing personality, as well as his success on the course, Rickie Fowler might just be the next big thing.

Tyler Howard