The backing of the legendary Jack Nicklaus wasn’t enough for Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker as the United States came up short in their bid to win the golf World Cup at Kingston Heath.
The Americans railed with a six-under 66 during the best-ball format on Sunday, but their 16-under total failed to reel in champions Thorbjorn Olesen and Soren Kjeldsen from Denmark, who cruised to a four-shot win.
Fowler and Walker settled for a share of second place in the two-man teams event alongside France and China. “We didn’t get the win but I know Rickie and I would’ve liked to have played a little better, especially in the best-ball days. Alternate shot we paired up really nice,” said Walker.
Chasing a record 26th World Cup title for the US, Fowler and Walker were encouraged on Sunday morning by 18-time major champion Nicklaus, who formed a celebrated pairing with Arnold Palmer in this event in the 1960s.
“Arnie & I had a great run at @WorldCupGolf. Best of luck Team USA @rickiefowler @jimmywalkerpga and the rest of the teams “Down Under”,” tweeted Nicklaus.
Though the duo admitted a Cup win would ease the pain of skipping Thanksgivings celebrations in the US, Fowler said they’d made “great memories” in Melbourne.
“It’s been a good time coming down here. We had heard good things about Kingston Heath,” said Fowler. “It’s just a little short of what we wanted for a perfect week but definitely some good memories.”
World No.12 Fowler was glowing in his praise for the teams format, claiming it should be used at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“This is a great format and we’re going to be doing two-man teams at the (PGA Tour’s) Zurich Classic next year,” he said. “It’d be cool if there’s potentially a couple ways to earn an Olympic (Olympic) medal. You could have an individual medal and then have a team aspect after that. We’ll see.”