home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


February 4, 2015

Rickie Fowler


ALEX URBAN: We would like to welcome Rickie Fowler to the interview room. Ricky is fairly local, just north of here, grew up in Murrieta, California. This is his third start of the see some. He has two top-10s in five starts at the Farmers Insurance Open. Talk a little bit about the golf course, please, and the week.

RICKIE FOWLER: The golf course, Torrey South is one of my favorite courses we play all year. Great memories here. I've played actually some junior tournaments on the North Course and I remember winning there, so great memories there as well. Being local, it's fun for me to have friends and family out and then obviously my partnership with Farmers, it makes it a very special week for me.

ALEX URBAN: We'll open it up to questions.

Q. How have things changed for you since last year and the success you had in the Majors? Has that changed anything either on the course or off the course?
RICKIE FOWLER: Definitely I'm confident in my game and last year had a big impact on moving forward and putting myself in contention and really feeling like I belong in those situations. So, going into this year, with the same goals being there in the Majors and getting ready for those four events, specifically getting ready it play a little bit more on a consistent basis when I show up to tournaments to be there and ready to go. Off to a little bit of a slow start this year, not as slow as last year, but really looking forward to getting off to a good solid start here this week and getting myself ready to go for Augusta.

Q. Did you notice any additional interest from advertise serves or whatnot? Any additional endorsement offers coming in or anything like that?
RICKIE FOWLER: I have some great partners and we have continued relationships and I wouldn't say I'm looking for anything more than what I have right now. I have great family, I would say, as far as my sponsors go and they take care of me and I feel like I've taken care of them pretty well. So, outside of that, as far as on course or obligations and stuff, good play creates attention, and it's been good, so I'm not complaining. It's been a lot of fun. Creating more fans, the more kind of people with interest whether it's the media or fans. Yeah, it's all been positive.

Q. Do you have any particular plan to peak for Augusta? Is there anything in your mind that you're working toward that or do you just play?
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, I feel like last year kind of the process leading up and game plan and playing the week before definitely helps out. So, obviously getting good work in with Butch it's nice having him out here this week and being able to really do a little fine tuning in and not exactly practicing a lot on a daily basis, but making it efficient and getting a lot out of the time that we do spend together. Outside that, obviously, Augusta is a little ways out, but I'm going to stick with a similar game plan as I had last year and most likely make a trip out to Augusta a week or two prior and then play the week leading up and use that as obviously wanting to be in contention and have a chance to win there, but use that as a time where I can kind of practice and go through my checklist and make sure that I'm ready to play the following week, instead of showing up the week of a Major and trying to find it then. That's, that doesn't work.

Q. You're playing with Tiger tomorrow, are you curious to see what's up with him, what's going on with his game?
RICKIE FOWLER: I think everyone's curious. I'll be focused on what I'm trying to do. I want to go out and get off to a good solid start, especially being on the North Course, that's a place where you can get off to a -- making birdies and you can go the right direction, but it's also a course if you're not careful where you can go the wrong way and having to make up ground on the South Course is not what you want to have to do. So I'm going to look forward to playing with Tiger, we always have a good time together, but I wouldn't say I would be paying attention to exactly what he's doing, I'll be focused on trying to put up a good solid number tomorrow.

Q. First of all, what is it that you think that you haven't been able to do at Augusta National that you do need to do at Augusta National to be successful?
RICKIE FOWLER: I did a lot of things well this past year. I think what's going to help me most is the confidence and feeling as comfortable as I did at the PGA. Coming forward to this Masters. With how I felt in the Majors from Augusta to the PGA last year was a significant difference and how I felt at Augusta as compared to pass Majors was a significant difference. So, as much as I learned last year being in contention every time and feeling more comfortable and more confident each time will just help me moving forward. I know I can play Augusta I've put up good numbers, I've putted well there, just have to go out and do it. I feel like feeling comfortable on that golf course and in the situation is the biggest key.

Q. Secondly, David Duval came out today saying that he thought the next Ryder Cup captain should be someone younger, someone that's more attuned to what players are, that are playing out here. I know that you have some responsibilities in regards to the Ryder Cup, but that being said, do you think that that's a good analysis of what's required?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yes and no. Like at the past Ryder Cup, I really enjoyed spending time around a guy like Raymond Floyd and just because someone's older or a little bit removed from this generation, doesn't really mean that they may not know a lot of the guys. I've really enjoyed getting to know a guy like Raymond. But, yeah, being relevant and being a guy that's played a lot with everyone that's out here, maybe still plays or is around that's someone that you know and actually have spent time with, I feel like that can have a difference and it's nice to have someone that you have competed against and respected as a player like that. So, obviously we'll see what happens going forward.

Q. Maybe you should run for commissioner?
RICKIE FOWLER: Maybe down the road.

Q. Could you pinpoint one thing that Butch made a difference in your game in and something that might be more suited for a longer course like Torrey Pines here?
RICKIE FOWLER: He made me more efficient. I was able to create more speed and hit the ball a bit harder. Probably my biggest gain last year for me being a little bit injured and 12 and 13, I believe it was I was injured, obviously I got into a few bad habits and wasn't getting the most out of my game and my swing. So I think last year on average I picked up seven yards or so on drives. So that's pretty significant. Seven yards isn't much but on an average that's decent. So I think that was the biggest thing was making the swing work more efficiently, less work for me, but more out of it.

Q. Considering where all the other Majors are being held this year, what is your overall comfort level with links style golf and what have you heard about Chambers Bay, which is the next site of the U.S. Open?
RICKIE FOWLER: Links is my favorite. So, I'm very comfortable. I love playing links golf. St. Andrews was my first Open and I'm really looking forward to that venue again this year. As far as Chambers Bay, I only heard a few things about it, I haven't played it, I know a few people that have and I know they have kind of tweaked it here and there and so I'm interested to see if. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to get up there any time soon, but I am going to try and be there at least one trip before the U.S. Open to get a look at it and it would be nice to play the course. So if I can find out the best way to play the course and play it better than everyone else, that's the goal.

Q. You like a lot of the younger guys grew up in this game following Tiger and seeing everything he did and you were all chasing that now. When you see the numbers that he put up like last week, granted it's only the second time out this year, but how eye opening is that for you and does that take you a back a little bit when you see how he's been struggling to find it?
RICKIE FOWLER: No, I know exactly how it feels, because I've posted those numbers, so. It's golf. Tiger's human. Golf, you never know what you're going to get. Yeah, you can be on top of your game and then the next day get a few things going the wrong way and especially out here, the misses are so fine, I mean it comes down to inches to one foot one way or the other in terms of turning a three into a five pretty quickly. So, golf's a tough game. That's all it is. I think it's maybe the first time we have really seen him put up numbers like that. Obviously that's the first, that's the highest he's ever shot as a professional, but, no, I've been there, I know. I know what those numbers feel like. There they're no fun.

Q. As a follow-up, he for so long was immune to those golf gods to kind of throw him a 79 or whatever, and now he's now he's not immune to that. That's got to be rare to see that?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, it is very rare to see that. I feel like you would see Tiger play a tough round or a bad round and it was somehow a 73 or 74 or 75. That was as high as the number ever got. But, no, everyone out here is human. You, whether people believe that he was capable of going 62 or 82, I mean, that just happens. Like you said, it kind of caught up with him a bit. But we all understand the struggles out here as far as good golf and bad golf and the ups and downs of the game. That's just part of the process if you're working on new stuff or just having a bad day.

Q. Not to make you feel old, but now there are these even younger guys coming up. Justin Thomas-type who seemed to have a world of confidence, almost right away. Is there attitude, some of these younger guys' attitude, do you think it's any different than when you came up not that long ago? Do you think things are changing even more with the guys getting younger and what they can do out here?
RICKIE FOWLER: Guys are definitely coming out with confidence whether playing on the WEB.COM and winning out there or having good finishes or coming straight out. Like Jordan Spieth, who played his way on and has had great success so far. I feel like some of the guys being that we have played against each other in the past, I know that JT, played a bit with Jordan, I didn't play a whole lot with Jordan, but I wasn't far in front of him. It helps seeing guys before you go out and play well and knowing that you have played against them and either kind of hung around or beat them sometimes or back and forth. It just gives you kind of a gauge like, hey, I just got to go out and play my normal game and that's good enough. So I feel like guys like JT and guys that are coming out right now, they have seen Jordan, me and other guys have success, and they know that they can play at that level as well, so they're coming out with that confidence and ready to go.

Q. Last week at Waste Management you were pumping up the crowd, handing out hats.
RICKIE FOWLER: I wasn't throwing, I was handing.

Q. Handing them out. I know this crowd is a little different but should we expect to see you playing with that same kind of enthusiasm and excitement this week as well?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, if I'm playing well, I like to get the crowd going a bit. I want them to cheer me on, but as far as letting the crowd yell and cheer and do whatever like 16, that probably won't happen here or any other tournament. That's a special place and it's one of the funnest holes we get to play all year because of that. But it really can't be duplicated. That's kind of a one hit wonder for the year. But for me, being here in San Diego is special just because I play in front of a lot of friends and family and a lot of fans that are here in southern California, so we'll see if we can get them pumped up again just from good play and we'll obviously have quite a large following being that we're playing with Tiger.

Q. You mentioned putting better last year. Did Butch make some changes on that or did anyone else make some changes and if you didn't make some tweak, what were they last year?
RICKIE FOWLER: Just on the putting side of things? Yeah, for me I went -- I've always done my putting and work on putting with Paul over at Scotty's. In the studio there. So, I went and saw him at the end of February of last year and it's always just fundamental check ups, setup and head position is a big key for me. My tendencies are for my head to get back and my shoulders to be shut, causing me to not see my line properly. So, with that one checkup and then using the mirror on the practice green to always keep an eye on where my eyes and my head are setup along with my shoulders, kind of put me in the right positions and doing that on a daily basis and before every round just as kind of a checklist really helped. Obviously you still have to go out and putt and make putts, but I've always been a good green reader, I always feel like I've been good with speed, but if you're in the seeing the line properly, then all that is out the window. So, it was nice to get that turned around and nice to be able it play in a place like Torrey where I grew up on poa annua and I feel like I can make a lot of putts here. So hopefully we can keep my eyes in the right spot and roll them in this week.

Q. Could you talk about reupping your partnership with Farmers.
ALEX URBAN: There is a special announcement coming about Farmers.

RICKIE FOWLER: We were about to get to that.

ALEX URBAN: We would like to welcome Mike Linton who is the Chief Marketing Officer for Farmers Insurance. If you would like to make a few comments and turn it over to Ricky, that would be great.

MIKE LINTON: That was such a great question. Thank you. Fantastic. Beautiful. So, we're proud to announce a three year extension of our partnership with Ricky today. And we have known Ricky for a long time too through the partnership here at the Farmers Insurance Open and the tournament and we like this partnership for two really big reasons. First, it's great for our brand. I mean you got a charismatic, dynamic golfer who is really, really good at golf, but the second thing that's really important to us is we think Ricky shares our core value of giving back to the community. And we have done a lot of things together with Ricky and he has made a big difference for us in terms of giving back to the community. I'll give you a couple examples. One, he was with our agent at Sea Bright when we rebuilt houses there after Super Storm Sandy. He also made a huge difference in Oklahoma after the tornado and raised the spirits of the community with how he connected with the golf team there and then this morning or yesterday you saw him with Tee It Up For Kids, and also at that time he was there when we launched our Thank America Teachers Thank America's Teachers Initiative which we're going to give a million dollars to teachers across America this year. And we let America vote on how that money gets distributed to teachers. So you can help us there by going to thankamericasteachers.com or visiting the very, very cool school bus we have on the 16th hole. So, that's it for the announcement we're proud to have this relationship and looking forward to another three more great years and wish you all the luck.


ALEX URBAN: Ricky, if you would like to make some comments.

RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, like you said, we have had a great partnership to start out and continue looking forward to continuing that. We have done a lot of great things. One of the things I look back to is probably the most fun and one that's impacted me was Jake Reddington and bringing him out here last year for the tournament and hanging out for the week, walking around during the pro-am and first, first of all we went to, into Oklahoma City, being close to Moore, and had a bunch of golf teams local golf teams from the Moore area that came out and hung out for a little bit of a clinic. Unfortunately, it was indoors because of weather issue, but we had a good time and were able to announce to Jake and invite him out to the Farmers Insurance Open and continue the relationship. He's been out to a couple other tournaments since then where we stayed in touch and he wanted to come down and yeah, no, it's, now I have a friend in Jake and obviously it's through Farmers and the whole process from sending him to the texted after he was in the tornado to meeting him and bringing him out to Farmers and now we stay in touch via texted and get to come to other golf tournaments. So, I'm looking forward to doing more things. Whether it's like we did at Sea Bright -- I need to work on my building skills, but I can work the saw maybe hammer a few things in, but I'll leave the finishing work up to the professionals. So I'm excited about the three years coming up. Obviously the tournament here is at Torrey Pines is close to me, being close to home and it's perfect to have a partnership with Farmers, so thank you.

ALEX URBAN: Does anyone have questions for Ricky or Mike, we'll also open it up for questions. Okay. Thank you everybody.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297