Miami: Whether or not Rickie Fowler clinches his maiden PGA Tour title in this week`s Disney Classic at Lake Buena Vista, the 21-year-old American can reflect on a golden rookie season.
Six top-10 finishes in 27 starts have made him a leading contender for rookie of the year honours while enhancing his status as one of the game`s most exciting young talents.
"I`ve had a pretty good year without the win," Fowler told reporters on Wednesday on the eve of the season-ending event. "Obviously if I`m in contention and have a chance on Sunday, it would be a bonus if I could get myself in there and win."
"That would be a great way to cap off the year and would definitely fill that empty space that is in there. But other than that, it`s been a great year."
Highly regarded by his peers well before he turned professional last year, Fowler has twice finished second on the 2010 PGA Tour, at the Phoenix Open and the Memorial tournament.
However he has been trumped by his main rival in the chase for rookie of the year, Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, who claimed his first tour victory at the Quail Hollow Championship in May.
"I know it`s kind of come down to Rory and I," Fowler said. "I haven`t really worried about it too much. I`ve been focusing on playing and I`ve been travelling a whole lot for me to think about it too much."
Fowler has been one of the most travelled players on the PGA Tour in recent weeks, playing six of the last seven events in countries ranging from Malaysia to China.
"I`m feeling all right and I`ve been catching up on a little bit of sleep the last couple of nights," he said.
"I`ve played a lot more this year than I`ve planned on. Playing well early got me into a lot more events that I wasn`t expecting to be in, so the biggest thing for me is making sure I`ve stayed rested."
Six previous winners of the Disney Classic will tee off in Thursday`s opening round on the hosting Magnolia and Palm courses, among them American Davis Love III and Fijian Vijay Singh.
Last year`s champion Stephen Ames of Canada is, however, a notable absentee this week due to a lingering back injury.