Rickie Fowler explains why he congratulates friends after winning (no matter what social media says)

Rickie Fowler is known as one of the nicest guys on the PGA Tour. He knows how to connect with fans, plays nice with sponsors and is always gracious no matter how he plays. Another element of his nice-guy reputation is that he always congratulates his friends coming off the 18th green after they win.

This act of good will is played out by many on Tour, but Fowler is by far the most consistent in the bit. It’s become so much of a custom for the 31-year-old that his post-win kudos have become a bit of a joke on golf Twitter. Fowler may be among the nicest guys on Tour, but that persona has earned him a fair bit of teasing on social media.

“It’s unfortunate the people or the so-called fans that want to talk trash on us,” Fowler said on a recent episode of GOLF’s Subpar. “But yes, there are people who hate on that.”

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A common criticism among detractors is that the nice-guy routine takes away from Fowler’s competitive edge. With just five Tour wins and no majors to his name, if there’s merit to the under-achiever argument, it has nothing to do with Fowler’s buddy-buddy relationship with many of his competitors.

“The people I want to beat most are my friends, because I don’t want them to have bragging rights over me,” Fowler said. “If I go out and congratulate whoever it may be when they win, I’m already done playing. I’ve done everything I can do. I can’t change or have an effect.”

No matter how you feel on the topic, one thing is certain: Fowler won’t be changing his ways any time soon. Listen to the entire episode of Subpar below as Fowler discusses playing Michael Jordan at his home course, hanging out in the Olympic Village and more.

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF.com, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and is the staff’s self-appointed development tour “expert.”