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LOS ANGELES – Like most kids his age, Michael Brennan was a huge Rickie Fowler fan growing up.

In fact, the rising senior at Wake Forest dressed up as Fowler – decked out in orange Puma gear with a wig, of course – for Halloween when he was nine years old. Brennan’s father had a friend who works for Fowler’s agency and sent him the photo.

Fowler autographed and wrote the following on the picture: “To Mike. Look forward to playing a practice round with you at the 2025 U.S. Open! Keep up the good work!!”

On Tuesday, Brennan played a practice round with not only Fowler, but in a match alongside him against Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas ahead of the 2023 U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club.

“He’s an overachiever,” joked Fowler.

“I would still love to do it in 2025 as well, that means I’m playing in the U.S. Open,” added Brennan.

U.S. Open: Leaderboard, tee times, hole-by-hole

Fowler’s agent filled him in and pieced together the past, and then put the two in a group text when Brennan survived final qualifying for the third men’s major of the year.

“I wanted to try and make it happen. We were looking at maybe Wednesday and then I was playing with Jordan and JT on Tuesday, asked the guys if we have a fourth for Tuesday and they said no,” said Fowler. “I was like, ‘Alright, I got one,’ so it was it was cool to not only bring him to play with me and go full circle from taking a picture and signing that back in the day to him and I playing.”

Brennan didn’t just play with the three pros, he made a birdie putt on No. 9 to seal the deal and win the match for him and Fowler.

“Pretty cool. I don’t know how else to describe it. I played alright, but we had a good match, it was always close,” said Brennan. “Those are the guys that I watch on TV play golf all the time and I looked up to Rickie as a kid and wanted to get out here and play with him. He was able to make that happen and set up a great match for us, super grateful and pretty cool.”

“The week’s been unbelievable already and we haven’t even played a tournament round,” added Brennan. “So I’m just trying to soak it all in and hopefully compete well on Thursday.”

The story goes even further because when Fowler was a kid, he dressed up as one of his favorite players, as well.

“Yeah, throwback to when I dressed up as (Fred Couples), and then getting to be around Freddie quite a bit through team events and getting to play with him, sometimes when I’m in Southern California we’ll play at Big Canyon. It’s cool, especially when you look up to guys and get to meet them, get to know them and you end up even liking them more. I’m glad he got to spend some time with JT and Jordan, as well.”

Come the 2035 U.S. Open at Pinehurst, maybe Brennan will get to continue the tradition for the next generation.

More 2023 U.S. Open!

Watch: USGA constructs bridge for fans overnight at 2023 U.S. Open

Preston Summerhays is the first of two siblings to play in a U.S. Open this summer

2023 U.S. Open: A tight and tiny 15th hole leads our look at LACC’s spectrum of par 3s

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek

Read the full article here

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