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August 7, 2014

Rickie Fowler


Q.  Talk about your round.
RICKIE FOWLER:  I mean, looking back, pleased with the start.  Still have a round of golf.  Obviously you can't win on Thursday, but you can take yourself out of it.  Pleased with the way I got it around.  Came back from a rough start and lot of good swings out there.
I don't think I really hit a putt off line today.  I hit a lot of good putts with good speed, so that's definitely pleasing.  I can take a lot from today and improve on some stuff tomorrow and see if we can get ourselves in a good position for the weekend.

Q.  What was the toughest part about it?
RICKIE FOWLER:  I'd say the toughest part today were the pins.  The course is in scorable condition.  The rough is thick, but it's not that long.  It's playable.  But I think the PGA did a good job at protecting the golf course in a way with tough pin placements.
There's a lot of pins three and four off the edge.  They may have said four, but it didn't look like they were quite four.  So they made you kind of play away from some pins.  It was tough to get the ball close in certain situations.  With the greens being receptive, they kind of had to do that with the pins to make it where guys weren't going to run away.  I think they did a good job with that to separate and make it ‑‑ you had to play from the fairway and how to control your golf ball today.

Q.  Are you pleased with where you sit right now?
RICKIE FOWLER:  Yeah, I'm pleased.  Made a couple of rough swings out there.  All in all it was a good solid start.
Like I said, there's a lot of good things that come from today, but definitely some stuff I can improve on.  I wouldn't say I would want to have my best first day coming out.  I want to save it, not save it, but ultimately work to playing well over the weekend and see if we can get a good one in tomorrow and put ourselves in a position for Sunday.

Q.  Is it easier to be just off the lead and sort of stalking?
RICKIE FOWLER:  You know, there's so much that can happen from today onto Sunday.  I mean, personally, yeah, I would ten shots out front going into Sunday would be nice.  You just have to go hole by hole and go through your process and stick with the game plan and see where that puts me.
It's been a good year so far in the majors, definitely confident and feel good about my game.  Get a few things worked out and see if we can good a one in tomorrow and get ourselves in a good position for the weekend.

Q.  What about playing in a major gives you a lot of confidence?
RICKIE FOWLER:  Well, the years past, typically I had played Houston before Augusta, and I think that was‑‑ I mean, it was Akron before this, but adding the two weeks, Memphis and then going over and playing the Scottish Open, just being able to ‑‑ being in similar conditions for the Open, but playing the week prior where last week was a good test as far as it's one of the better golf courses we do play on a regular basis.  You're able to go through a checklist and see where your game is at and test it out in competition versus just practicing at home.  I feel like you can get a lot more out of that confidence‑wise, especially if you play well.  If you struggle, you know what to work on, what you can improve on.
For the most part I have been kind of able to go through a checklist, make sure I'm comfortable with the shots, my process before each shot.  Going into a major week where I don't have to prepare as much, I can go figure out my game plan on the golf course and not worry about my actual golf game.

Q.  What was the turning point in today's round?
RICKIE FOWLER:  Actually, I hit it pretty well all day.  I felt like I picked ‑‑ on 13 and 14, I just felt like I picked a little bit two of the wrong shots.  I felt likeI should have went with ‑‑ I was trying to take a little bit off the wedge on 13, ending up hitting the water, felt like I should have been more aggressive with the swing.
Next hole I felt like I was trying to take too far of a left line.  So it was just a couple of bad swings that cost me.  For the most part, I hit a lot of my lines.  I hit a lot of good shots today, made some good putts.  Actually hit a lot of goods putts outside that.
So turning point, probably making birdie on 15.  That was ‑‑ the pin was kind of tough there, along with all the other ones.  I was able to hit a good shot in there, good putt get moving forward from there.

Q.  (Inaudible)?
RICKIE FOWLER:  This year is definitely the most comfortable I've felt in the majors at Augusta with feeling comfortable on the golf course and it being a major championship.  It seems like each one from then I felt more and more comfortable, especially being that I have been in contention on the weekends and playing in two final groups.
I felt more comfortable playing with Rory than I did with Martin.  Nothing against Martin, we're good buddies.  It's just about being in that situation.  The more and more you do it, the more comfortable you can get and more confident.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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