And to think his hard work is just beginning.

A fourth-place finish in the NCAA championships in West Lafayette, Ind., followed a few days later with a U.S. Open qualifier in Columbus, Ohio, and then on to Sunnehanna Country Club in Westmont.

It’s a lot of traveling for a golfer who just finished his first year at Oklahoma State University.

Of course, this isn’t the first go-round for Murrieta, Calif., native Rickie Fowler, it’s just the latest one, and it gets even more intense Thursday, when he tees it up at the U.S. Open in San Diego.

Despite the incredible demands physically and mentally, the 19-year-old kept it all under control this weekend, becoming only the fourth golfer to claim back-to-back titles at the 55th Sunnehanna Amateur Tournament for Champions.

Just like a year ago, Fowler shot an 8-under-par 272, but he had a little more breathing room this time, finishing five-strokes clear of the field.

Dan Woltman, who will be a senior at the University of Wisconsin in the fall was the runner-up at 3-under 277, a shot better than Nathan Smith of Pittsburgh, who had his best finish in seven trips to the Amateur.

“It has definitely been busy, coming up here for this event,” said Fowler, the top-ranked collegiate golfer in the country. “It was kind of nice to get here and I got to sleep in here with some later tee times.

“I played 39 holes (last Monday during the qualifier), then had to get up Tuesday at 5:30 a.m. and tee it up at 6:45 to play two holes, then drive here. That was probably the longest two days right there.”

Fowler needed to play early Tuesday to finish a playoff for one of the final automatic qualifying places in the Open, which will be held at Torrey Pines Golf Course, about an hour southwest of his home in Murrieta.

But Fowler didn’t actually qualify for the Open on that Tuesday earlier this week. He finished the qualifier as the first alternate, and learned he made the field on Wednesday, after Shaun Micheel withdrew.

Now he’ll have another solid tournament at Sunnehanna under his belt as he heads west.

“It’s great. I’m definitely not going to be looking back at this week and thinking, ‘What could I have done better?’ ” Fowler said. “I came out on top, hit the ball well. I played the last five holes good and it’s going to be a nice confidence builder.”

Fowler planned to fly to Oklahoma later Sunday, then head for San Diego today.

“I won’t get to go home until, hopefully, next Sunday night,” Fowler said. “I am excited to get out there and spend some time with some friends that are coming down. I have my caddy back home that usually caddies for me most of the time on the bag, so I’m pretty happy about that.”

Fowler decided last week that he was going to play in the Amateur, even if he had qualified straight out of Columbus, preferring to get some tournament play instead of extended time preparing for the Open.

It proved to be a good decision in the end, and isn’t likely to hurt Fowler too much, especially since he’s played Torrey Pines a few times, the most recent coming a little more than a year ago.

“If I drive the ball well, it’s going to keep me in the fairway most of the time,” Fowler said. “That’s going to be the big thing, driving the ball well and then hitting some good iron shots.

“It’s just hitting to the middle of the greens out there because the greens aren’t that big. I feel I just need to stay patient and play that game. From what I’ve heard, its playing pretty tough out there and scores could be high.”

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