LOS ANGELES – As Wyndham Clark headed down the hill toward Los Angeles Country Club’s par-3 11th green, Rickie Fowler remained on the tee box, crouched by his golf bag. His caddie, Ricky Romano, handed him a couple of metal SmartWater bottles before Fowler tore open a packet of electrolyte powder and mixed it all together.
A few shakes, and Fowler was off.
It’s been a familiar sight not just this week but all year: Fowler walking down fairways while lugging a large, sticker-covered canteen. But this isn’t coffee for wellness, or some marketing play. It’s not a comfort thing, either, like Linus’ blanket.
It’s Rickie for hydration.
“The real reason,” Fowler said, “is I drink more water and electrolytes when I carry it. … It’s also heavy when it’s full, so I don’t want to necessarily throw that on Rick, my caddie, to tote that thing around.”
Fowler is clearly staying hydrated as he co-leads this U.S. Open after 54 holed with Wyndham Clark, but does the canteen, or its stickers, have any extra meaning? The stickers, Fowler says, are all special in the sense that they represent friends or connections that he has.
One is a cartoon, backwards hat-wearing Fowler.
Another is a skeleton trading card that represents the coffee company, Sump Coffee, in St. Louis.
And Fowler’s favorite: “There’s a little lightbulb logo, it’s kind of a cool logo for a cool brewery in St. Louis called Side Project.”
There is room on the canteen for another sticker or two. Perhaps an LACC flag if Sunday goes according to plan.