PINEHURST, N.C. - At this stage of his career, Rickie Fowler finally would like to be known more for what he shoots than what he wears.
He made a big step in that direction Saturday, when he shot 3-under-par 67 and moved into a tie for second place at the U.S. Open. The 25-year-old, whose identity revolves around bright color-coordinated outfits, said his game has improved over the years since his lone PGA Tour win, the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship. "It's definitely a lot more mature," he said. "I'm hitting it harder. I'm older. I'm definitely more in control of my golf swing and more in control of the golf ball."
And he still can make a fashion statement, too. He touched many people when he showed up for the first round Thursday wearing plus-fours, a tribute to the wardrobe of the late Payne Stewart, who won the Open here in 1999. But today, it is all business. He plans to wear his customary orange long pants and hopes to shoot for red numbers on the leader board.
Kapur looks ahead
Shiv Kapur prefers to go his own way. The son of a stockbroker in New Delhi, India, his parents wanted him to attend Harvard, but he chose Purdue because he thought it would benefit his golf game. He was an All-America and won the Volvo Masters of Asia in Bangkok as a pro rookie in 2005.
He now plays on the European Tour and qualified for the U.S. Open at a sectional event in England. On his way over, he didn't come directly to North Carolina. He stopped on Long Island to practice at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton because he was told that the rolling greens there would help him at Pinehurst. The preparation sure didn't hurt him Saturday. For a good part of the day, he was the only one on the course under par. He finished at 1-over 71, which was a good score in the third round. He is 4 over for the Open, which he called his favorite tournament.
"To be realistic, the way Martin [Kaymer] is playing, winning is a little out of the realm of possibility," he said. "My number one primary goal is to shoot a solid round [Sunday] and play myself back into the U.S. Open for next year."