Caddies often provide guidance and confidence for a player. But Rickie Fowler can thank his caddie, Ricky Romano, for a vital equipment change that has been a key part of his resurgence in 2023. Just before the American Express Championship in mid-January, Fowler, while playing a casual round in Florida, asked Romano if he could try his putter. The club was longer than Fowler’s normal flatstick and had an extended grip, but he rolled a few putts and instantly fell in love with it. That club has been in Fowler’s bag ever since, and he has seen his strokes-gained putting go from an abysmal 161st on the PGA Tour at the end of last season to No. 51. Through 36 holes this week at The Los Angeles Country Club, he’s made an astonishing 18 birdies, shattering a 36-hole U.S. Open mark that had stood for 31 years (Gil Morgan registered 14 in 1992 at Pebble Beach). Fowler’s 10-under total of 130 matches the 36-hole championship mark set by Martin Kaymer in 2014 at Pinehurst. Fowler enters Saturday’s third round with a one-stroke lead over Wyndham Clark, thanks in part to a very fortuitous equipment change.