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February 5, 2015

Rickie Fowler


RICKIE FOWLER: Obviously tough to see him struggle with getting off to a tough start and it seemed like stuff started to bother him, I'm not sure exactly what it was, but obviously I enjoy playing with him and it's just tough not seeing him have his best, whether it's with his game or with his health.

Q. When did you take notice that there may be a problem?
RICKIE FOWLER: It was pretty early. I know that with the wait and the delay, I know he was ready to go for our original tee time, or after the first delay, the hour, it would be 10:20, and then when the second delay came in and we were about to tee off, I think that's when all of us kind of had to deal with some down time, just standing around waiting. So, I'm not really sure if he got warmed up the way he was before.

Q. Did he say anything to you?
RICKIE FOWLER: We talked a bunch out there. We weren't really picking apart what was going on.

Q. Did he complain about his back?
RICKIE FOWLER: No, he wasn't. Obviously, he was not able to jump around and do jumping jacks or anything like that, but he was ginger at times, but, no, he wasn't out there saying his back hurt or anything like that, trying to -- he was not making any excuses, he was out there fighting and grinding, you could see that. He chipped in at 11, our second hole, and he was playing fine and obviously it caught up to him and it's his decision, if he feels like it's the best to go and take some time off, not to continue to play, then he's got to do that for himself.

Q. Do you really feel for him now with the way he's been struggling, he's had his physical issues, it's a little bit of everything right now, as a player, as a friend, what are you feeling for him?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I mean it's tough to see. I dealt with some back issues and a lot of guys have dealt with injuries out here. It's hard to play when anything's hurting. I'm not sure exactly what it was that was bothering him today, I'm assuming it was back related, other stuff, but yeah, golf may not be an impact or contact sport but the body takes a beating. And if there is something that is bothering you, it could be a hang nail, and -- I'm dead serious -- that could turn into a big problem.

Q. To our eye it looks like Tiger was kind of all over the map, the short game was struggling. But Billy was saying a minute ago that he says, that his golf eye, which is obviously more trained than ours, that he sees a lot of good things. Can you relate to that at all? What are you seeing?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, he was hitting some good shots. There was some going off line. I hit some off line, too. But, yeah, if something's bothering you, physically, and you're not able to make the swing that you're trying to or that kind of causes a big problem.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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