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IRVING, Texas - PGA Tour rookie Rickie Fowler will have one eye firmly fixed on world ranking points when he competes in this week's Byron Nelson Championship at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas.
A top-five finish here would lift the Californian into the world's top 50, thereby earning him automatic exemption for next month's US Open and the July 15-18 British Open.
"I knew I was going to have to play well coming into this week. to try and get in the top 50 in the world," the 21-year-old Fowler told reporters at the TPC Four Seasons on Tuesday.
"That would take two qualifiers out of my near future, for the (US) Open and the British Open, so that's kind of the main thing on the agenda: to play well and get that out of the way."
Fowler lies 54th in the world rankings and he decided to skip last week's Texas Open in San Antonio in order to be well rested for the Byron Nelson Championship.
"I wanted to have a fresh week coming to these tournaments, the Colonial and Memorial, but focusing on this week to play well," he said.
"Now I know I need to finish (in the) top five. We'll try and block it out but it will certainly be in the back of my mind."
Fowler, who turned professional last year and earned his PGA Tour card by tying for 15th at the qualifying tournament, has performed well this season after taking a week's break. - Reuters