Rickie proud to be American

Rickie Fowler with his new hair style

Rickie Fowler with his new hair style

Rickie Fowler has dismissed accusations of brashness over his much-discussed Ryder Cup haircut.

The in-form American arrived in Scotland for this week's match against Europe at Gleneagles with 'USA' shaved into his hair.

United States captain Tom Watson hailed it as "terrific" but some observers have been more critical, suggesting it is a cocky display of jingoism.

But Fowler said: "I'm just myself. I'm not trying to be anyone else. I'm not trying to fit in any particular way. I'm not trying to hurt anyone's feelings or turn anyone the wrong way.

"I'm just proud to be from the USA and be over here playing the Ryder Cup. If people take it the wrong way, it's too bad for them, it's unfortunate.

"You've got to show some patriotism and spirit for your country. Like I say, I'm excited and it's going to be a fun week."

Fowler, who was speaking at his pre-event press conference, was inevitably also asked about his friendship and rivalry with world number one and European linchpin Rory McIlroy.

The two players, both 25, have known each other since their days on the junior circuit and now live close to each other in Florida.

Fowler pushed McIlroy hard for both the Northern Irishman's major victories this year, at the Open and USPGA Championship, in which he finished tied second and third respectively.

McIlroy last week announced his charitable foundation would host the 2015 Irish Open at Royal County Down and Fowler is among the players set to be sounded out to compete.

"I'm really trying to work that into the schedule," Fowler said. "Royal County Down is probably my favourite golf course in the world.

"Some of that is due to the 2007 Walker Cup. It's a special place and I definitely would love to go back and have a chance to play there next year."


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