DUBLIN, Ohio -- When Rickie Fowler holed out from the fairway in the first round of the Memorial Tournament on Thursday, he took the ball and casually flipped it to perhaps the biggest guy on the property.
"Here," Fowler said, "even trade."
After he finished up his second round, which left him six shots off the 36-hole lead, it all made a lot more sense.
The burly guy in question is Florida Panthers forward David Booth, one of the better players in the National Hockey League and a big golf fan. Fowler met him through a mutual acquaintance last winter at the ADT Skills Challenge, an unofficial competition in South Florida, where Fowler now resides.
Fowler attended a couple of NHL games in Miami this year and sat right on the glass, and Booth flashed him a fist pump at the 22-year-old golfer after scoring a goal just a few feet away from where Fowler was seated.
Booth came out and watched Fowler play at Doral earlier this year and the golfer flashed a few fist pumps back at Booth after birdie putts fell.
"Cool guy," Fowler said.
As for the ball, after one of the NHL games he attended, Booth had given Fowler a stick that he had used on the ice to score a goal.
So now they are even.