How Tom Brady may have helped Rickie Fowler’s putting game

How Tom Brady may have helped Rickie Fowler’s putting game

Different players prepare differently for major championships. Some spend morning, noon and night at the tournament course practicing and playing holes.

For Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler, part of their preparation for this week’s U.S. Open at Shinnecock has been to play some of the spectacular golf courses in the area other than Shinnecock.

Mickelson and Fowler played on Tuesday at nearby Friar’s Head, with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in their group.

Mickelson has told The Post in the past that Friar’s Head is his “favorite golf course in the world.’’ Before the 2016 PGA at Baltusrol, Mickelson took a helicopter with some friends from New Jersey to Long Island to play Friar’s Head for a day.

McIlroy has been on Long Island for the last week playing Friar’s Head, National Golf Links and Garden City Men’s Club.

“The last couple days have been nice to get away from how busy the U.S. Open is,’’ Fowler said. “A big part of being ready for the week is being rested mentally and physically as well. So being able to go out and play and get away from kind of the hectic scene of the U.S. Open, I think can be very beneficial.

“So we were at Friar’s Head (Tuesday) and the highlight of my group, Joe (Skovron), my caddie, he actually played kind of nice because I think he was pretty nervous playing with Tom Brady, and Jimmy Dunne, who’s a legend in the golf world. Phil joined on the back nine.

“So it was just a fun day with the guys hanging. My fiancee, Allison, was walking around, hanging out. So we all had a good time. I’ll tell you what, Tom Brady can putt. So if I can take that into this week, I think that’s one thing I took off of him that will help me.’’

Fowler said he flew to Long Island with Justin Thomas last Wednesday.

“I played National a couple of times, played Friar’s Head, went in closer to the city and played Garden City,’’ McIlroy said. “I’ve never played National or Friar’s Head before. I was looking forward to playing Friar’s Head. It’s one of the best I’ve played. Not just for the design, but just for the setting and the scenery.

“I think 14 and 15 are two of the prettiest golf holes I’ve ever seen. It sort of reminds you of a Cypress Point. It’s just been fun. It’s not a bad place to spend a couple of weeks in the summer.’’

McIlroy said the social rounds of golf are relaxing to him, and a help to prepare for a tournament.

“I would say for maybe five or six years, I never played fun golf,’’ he said. “It was all to do with getting ready to play tournaments. I didn’t understand people that went out and played a lot (away from the tournaments).

“I think it does put you in a different frame of mind. You’re relaxed out there, and maybe that sort of bleeds into your mindset whenever you’re here in a big championship. It’s no different. I think that’s the thing. If I’ve got a shot that I need to execute under pressure here this week, it’s no different than playing that shot when I’m out there playing with my dad or my buddies or whatever it is.’’

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