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December 4, 2010

Rickie Fowler

Jamie Lovemark

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Good evening to members of the media. We appreciate your attendance. Earlier today, the PGA TOUR announced Jim Furyk as the 2010 PGA TOUR Player of the Year. Jim had a press conference earlier with Commissioner Tim Finchem following his round at the Chevron World Challenge.
Tonight, the TOUR has named Rickie Fowler the PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year and Jamie Lovemark the Nationwide Tour Player of the Year in a vote by their peers. Both Rickie and Jamie are on the phone with us today. Gentlemen, congratulations, first and foremost. I'd like to start with some brief opening comments from both players.
Rickie Fowler had seven Top 10s this past year, including two runners up, and finished 32nd in the final FedExCup standings, and at the age of 21, he's the youngest Rookie of the Year since Tiger Woods did so in 1996 at the age of 20. So Rickie, you're in pretty good company there with Mr. Woods, so if we can get some comments from you about being named Rookie of the Year.
RICKIE FOWLER: It's pretty cool. I guess I'm one year behind Tiger, but looking to try and make up some ground. It's been a lot of fun.
Basically kind of started since Jamie and I were in the Playoffs last year, and we've both gone on to do pretty well. It's been pretty cool the first year out, and looking forward to the 2011 season, and for Jamie to finally join up with me out there.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: And if you wouldn't mind making a quick comment, too, about Jim Furyk, one of your peers on Tour, being named Player of the Year. He's 40 years old and first time he's been named Player of the Year. Something for you and Jamie both to shoot for now that you guys are established big-time players.
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I've had a couple opportunities to play with Jim, once as my partner at the Ryder Cup, a few times in tournament play. And he was the guy I voted for, so I thought he was well-deserving, and it was pretty cool to see him get that Player of the Year Award.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Now Jamie Lovemark, who at the age of 22 is the youngest ever winner of the Nationwide Player of the Year. He led the Nationwide Tour Money List and totaled nine Top 10s with a victory at the Mexico Open.
Jamie, if you'd maybe make a few comments about -- you obviously had some great TOUR experience last year being in a playoff with Troy Matteson and Rickie at the Frys.com event and nearly got your card, but certainly did a great job this year on the Nationwide Tour. So maybe some comments about your honor.
JAMIE LOVEMARK: Yeah, well, Rickie and I, like you said, were in the Frys.com and we both finished second. I took a little bit different path than Rickie did, and he obviously had a great year. And I spent one year on the Nationwide Tour, and it's helped develop my game, my personality, and my -- just all what it takes to be a professional golfer.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: And kind of as far as maybe a comment about Jim winning Player of the Year. You've played some TOUR events and certainly that's a good career to model yourself after.
JAMIE LOVEMARK: Yeah, it's pretty amazing to win three times in a year, win the FedExCup, have a good Ryder Cup. It's very impressive. You know, he's been winning every year for over a decade, and it's really impressive, and it's fun to watch.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: At this time we can take some questions.

Q. Rickie, can you tell us a little bit about how your time at Oklahoma State helped prepare you for the PGA TOUR?
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, it definitely had a role in why I'm where I am today. The two years that I got to spend there, great guys on the team, great coaching staff and a great atmosphere there at Oklahoma State. Oklahoma State, with the history that it has, we get to play one of the best college schedules throughout the year, and those opportunities to play against the other best college players in the nation definitely helped my game. You know, Oklahoma State was definitely a steppingstone to help me be where I am today.

Q. Also, you're only the second OSU player to ever be named PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year. How does that make you feel?
RICKIE FOWLER: It's pretty cool because the Oklahoma State golf history is pretty packed. It's tough to get mentioned in there, and I'm trying to etch my way into some of the walls at Karsten Creek and make my way up onto some of those wall papers. We're off to a good start, and hopefully we can keep that going.

Q. What are your expectations now looking ahead to the PGA TOUR next year? You've already had 17 PGA TOUR starts. You've had some success out there and now you've got a full season ahead of you. You're fully exempt. What are your expectations with this year behind you on the Nationwide Tour?
JAMIE LOVEMARK: I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to starting the year in Hawaii, have a great year, try to win, maybe make The Presidents Cup team, stuff like that are my goals. I definitely want to play consistent and try to get a win, definitely.

Q. Do you have any sense as to how many tournaments you might play?
JAMIE LOVEMARK: I'm not sure yet. Obviously, if I play well in the beginning of the year it might open some doors for bigger events. Upwards of 30 events probably, give or take a few. I think -- Rickie, how many did you play this year?
RICKIE FOWLER: Overall, with doors that were opened, I ended up playing over 30. So like Jamie said, it kind of depends on early in the year.

Q. What about THE PLAYERS Championship, Jamie? That's right here in Jacksonville. It's an event that you're now in. I'm not even sure if you're played TPC Sawgrass. Do you have any thoughts looking ahead to that big event?
JAMIE LOVEMARK: Yeah, it'll be awesome. A lot of people consider it the fifth major. It's a great -- probably the best field all year, big purse. It's a great course, and a lot of the best moments in PGA TOUR history have come on that course, and I'm looking forward to kind of putting up a good week definitely.

Q. During the Winn Dixie event, some of the guys slept over there and played some of the holes, maybe even a full 18. Did you have a chance to do any of that?
JAMIE LOVEMARK: No, I didn't. I stayed up late flying across the country and just played the Valley course.

Q. So you'll be seeing it for the first time then competitively?
JAMIE LOVEMARK: Yeah, first time.

Q. What are your two schedules looking like early in the season, not necessarily specifically but just maybe generally, where are you going to start your seasons and kind of what are you looking at early in the year as far as accomplishments?
RICKIE FOWLER: I'm looking to start my year a little bit later. I'm going to start at San Diego. My year ran pretty late with as much as I played later on in the year. I wanted to get a little bit of an off-season, let myself recharge, and get some time in the gym. So start at San Diego and play a little bit of a lighter schedule.
Like Jamie said, with what happened for me last year, I played well early and that opened some doors. So this year it'll be nice, I'll be able to pick and choose some events that I'll be able to play, and it'll be nice to be able to play all the majors and the WGCs. So looking forward to maybe a less hectic schedule but being able to play in some of the big events and playing against a lot of the guys who are Top 50 in the world.
JAMIE LOVEMARK: For me, I'll probably start at the Sony. It's a pretty fun place to start in Hawaii. I might probably end up taking my next event at San Diego, too. It's a pretty quick turnaround from Hawaii to the Bob Hope, make sure I'm ready for San Diego especially being in my hometown, and I know the course quite well.
And after that, it just depends how I play. If I play well, I'll end up playing more events, bigger events, maybe international events. If I play poorly, I'll stick to the U.S. and try and maintain some kind of consistent play.

Q. Both of you guys, now living in Jupiter. We talked a little bit about fishing. Have you had a chance yet to do any fishing with Mr. Jack Nicklaus, who also lives in that area, or maybe get a chance to do that down the road sometime?
RICKIE FOWLER: I haven't been out with him.
JAMIE LOVEMARK: I've seen Mr. Nicklaus a few times up at The Bears Club, and he's always talking about fishing, and his son Gary Nicklaus is a very, very avid fisherman. Seems like most of the Jupiter population, you know, they love to fish, and that's one of the reasons I think we both live town there, not to mention travel, but definitely the outdoor world is pretty nice in Jupiter.
RICKIE FOWLER: It's a fish and golf community.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Gentlemen, I appreciate your time, and members of the media that were on the call, I appreciate your time, and I hope everybody has a great Saturday night. Thanks for working a little bit overtime.

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