Fowler 'more ready than I've ever been' for Masters breakthrough

American star Rickie Fowler feels “more ready” than ever to finally claim his maiden major title at the Masters this week.

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. That has been the story of Fowler’s career, with the 30-year-old still waiting for his major breakthrough following last year’s second-place finish at Augusta.

Fowler – who was second to Patrick Reed 12 months ago – also has runner-up cheques at the U.S. Open and The Open, having tied for third at the 2014 US PGA Championship.

A five-time PGA Tour champion, Fowler – winner of February’s Phoenix Open – is confident heading into Thursday’s opening round in Georgia.

“Last year was big, just playing well on the weekend,” Fowler told reporters. “Like I talked about, executing that final nine and hitting shots when you’re under the gun and in that moment and under all that pressure.

“I also think that getting a win earlier this year at Phoenix, getting over all the stuff that happened there, yeah, this is ‑ I’m more ready than I’ve ever been.

“I don’t think you could ever say that you’re ‑ this is my time, I’m going to go win. You have to go win it and then say it afterwards.

“Compared to four, five, whatever years ago, I’m more ready than I’ve ever been. Not saying that I can sit up here and tell you I’m definitely going to go win, but I like my chances. I love this place. I know I can play well around here. For me, every time I get to play it, it’s fun. Like I said, I get to use my imagination around here.

“I mentioned it earlier, this place it never gets old. The tournament never gets old. I played a few holes with Larry Mize, and this is his 36th Masters. I said, ‘Well, with the few that I’ve played, I feel like it never gets old’. He said, ‘Yeah, same way’. So it’s still a special place.”