OWASSO — Rickie Fowler was introduced to Major Dan Rooney by former Oklahoma State golf coach Mike McGraw. Fowler and Rooney formed a bond that will last a lifetime.
Fowler has played in Rooney’s Patriot Cup golf tournament the first five years. Folds of Honor is based at Patriot Golf Club, an organization that raises money for scholarships of military members injured or killed while serving their country.
One of Fowler’s favorite memories with Rooney was three years ago when Colonel Scott Brooks, one of Rooney’s friends, gave Fowler a ride in an F-16 jet.
“We’ve done a lot of fun stuff, but that day was special,” Fowler said. “To get to fly in an F-16 and spend a couple of hours at his house with his family baking cookies was one of those fun days you never forget.”
For his efforts supporting Fold of Honors, Fowler received the Corporal Brock Bucklin award at Sunday night’s pre-tournament banquet.
“There are so many people that are more deserving or as deserving,” Fowler said. “For Dan to see that in me, it’s a pretty special honor.”
Folds of Honor has raised more than $38 million and has awarded more than 5,000 scholarships.
“Folds of Honor is doing something great,” Fowler said. “A lot of players show up from the PGA Tour and Champions Tour. The reason they keep coming back is they see how great this organization is and believe in what Dan believes in.”
Fowler, 25, already has earned nearly $12 million on the PGA Tour since he turned pro five years ago. He was the 2010 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.
He owns only one PGA Tour win – the 2012 Wells Fargo Invitational in Charlotte, N.C. – but he has posted 26 career top-10 finishes. He also won the 2010 Kolon Korean Open on the Asian Tour.
Earlier this year, Fowler notched his best finish in a major. He finished fifth at The Masters, matching a fifth-place finish at the 2011 British Open.