(Reuters) – Rickie Fowler said on Tuesday he has enjoyed his time away from golf but is ready to get back to competition at this week’s Hero World Challenge and the Presidents Cup later this month.
The 30-year-old American has not played since the Tour Championship in August, taking a break before getting married in early October. He was due to return at last month’s Mayakoba Classic but had to withdraw due to illness.
Initially overlooked by Tiger Woods for the U.S. Presidents Cup team, Fowler was drafted in to replace Brooks Koepka after the world number one pulled out with a knee injury.
Fowler said he was thrilled to compete in his third Presidents Cup, which will pit the United States against an International Team at Royal Melbourne Golf Club from Dec. 12-15.
“This week is big for me, just getting some tournament rounds under my belt and getting back into the swing of things,” he told reporters ahead of the start of the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas on Wednesday.
“But it’s been really nice to actually have somewhat of an offseason. Definitely the longest break I’ve had away from tournament golf in September and October.
“It’s been nice to have that time off, but now it’s time to get back to the grind and put in a lot of work.”
Woods, who is both competing in and hosting the tournament in the Bahamas this week, said he was not worried about Fowler’s lack of tournament action.
“He’s been playing and practicing quite a bit at home, he’s getting his game ready,” Woods said.
“He’s won here before (in 2017), so he knows what he needs to do to get ready for this week and shake off a little bit of rust if he has any and be ready to go in two weeks.”
(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)