sport

Fowler up for the fight

Rickie Fowler is up for the fight as he tries to overhaul his big friend Rory McIlroy’s huge six-shot advantage during the final round of the Open at Royal Liverpool.

The pair will play together in Sunday's final group, but the American will have a massive gap to bridge after a four-under round of 68, the same as McIlroy, saw him sitting in second on his own on ten-under.

Fowler had drawn level with McIlroy during the third round, but two closing eagles from the Northern Irishman and a wobble from Fowler saw the gap remain the same as it was at the start of the day.

"I'm definitely satisfied with my game. I got off to a great start today through 12 holes. I was playing very solidly and I'm looking to draw on that tomorrow,\" said Fowler. "Being six back is the same position I was in today.

"If I'm able to go out and get off to a good start, maybe I can put a little bit of pressure on him, because he's definitely in control of the golf tournament right now."

The pair of 25-year-olds know each other well having played against each other since their teens, most notably in 2007 they were on opposing sides in the Walker Cup.

"We first played against each other at the Walker Cup in '07 and it's kind of gone from there,\" Fowler added.

"So I'm looking forward to it tomorrow. It's going to be a good time. We're good buddies but at the same time we both want to beat up on each other as bad as possible.

"We'll have fun throwing shots back and forth and it will be fun to see if I can go out and put a bit of pressure on him and make him earn it a bit, and see if I can get myself in the mix, and maybe we'll be able to throw some blows back and forth."

Fowler admits he is a bit behind two-time major champion McIlroy in developing from young star of the future, but after also being in the final pair in the US Open he is now becoming a major force.

"In '07 you're never really sure about what's going to happen in the future, but he was definitely the young star over here and I was one of the young stars from the US.

"In the past couple of years, seeing what he's been doing, obviously he has two majors already. He's a bit out in front of me right now.

"But it was just a matter of time before the two of us found a way to sneak into a final group together.

"If I can go out and learn from what I did there at the US Open and try and get off to a bit of a better start, maybe I'm able to put a bit of pressure on Rory."