As Fowler carded bogeys at No. 14 and No. 16, McIlroy followed him with a birdie and eagle on those holes to take a commanding five-shot lead that he'd extend to six with an eagle on No. 18. Fowler birdied the 18th.
Fowler, who at 25 is the same age as McIlroy, shot to stardom as an All-American golfer from Murrieta Valley High at the same time his rival from Northern Ireland climbed to the top of the junior ranks. Now Fowler has to try to make up six shots again when paired with McIlroy in the final group Sunday.
"If I can go out and learn from what I did at the
Fowler, who is the only player with top-five finishes this year in the
"It doesn't feel like a big stage," said Fowler, who has not won a major although he tied for second last month at the U.S. Open. "It feels like I'm supposed to be here."
McIlroy, who won the 2011 U.S. Open and 2012