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September 19, 2015

Rickie Fowler

Lake Forest, Illinois

Q. We've seen a lot of low scores the first two days, not so much today. You were one of the guys who was able to post a low number. How were you able to attack the course?
RICKIE FOWLER: Definitely stayed patient early on. I was able to take care of a couple of holes out of the front nine, get off to a good start, made some really good swings out there today, finally got a couple putts to go in, which was nice. Unfortunately I hit one out of bounds on 12 which kind of cost me. I was able to salvage bogey there, which was good. I made a nice birdie on 17 coming in. I would have liked to have got one at the last, but like you said, good solid round today. Conditions were a little bit tougher than they have been, and nice to move up the board a bit.

Q. With what Jason was able to do the first two days, Jordan joked it was approaching stupid. How does that affect your mindset with 18 holes to play?
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, I mean, the type of golf is out there but you have to go play some almost-perfect golf. You kind of have to look at Jason as far as he's an outlier, don't have to worry about him, there's another tournament going on, and he's in control of whatever he's doing. If he happens to come back, then we may have a chance, but other than that, we'll see if we can take care of the rest of the group of guys and let Jason do what he does, and if he comes back, like I said, then we can have some fun.

Q. Today your 66 is the lowest round of the day. How difficult was it out there?
RICKIE FOWLER: It definitely was a bit more difficult, some tougher pins. The wind was from a different direction, a different we haven't seen yet. It's a little bit different golf course. There were some holes that played a lot harder back into the wind, and then some played a little bit easier. But overall as you can see, it was playing tougher today, and it was nice to be in control of my golf ball. I had one mishap on 12, hit a ball OB, but other than that, it was nice to save bogey and get a good, solid roundup today.

Q. How pure are these greens? Everything is going in it seems.
RICKIE FOWLER: The greens are great, especially with how much rain we've gotten. The way they're still rolling, they've been able to dry them out, and it was nice to, like I said, finally see some putts go in today. We'll see if we can get that going tomorrow, too.

Q. You mentioned the out of bounds off the 12th tee. Like all great players you recovered and made bogey. How do you do that?
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, I knew it was really a birdie pin if I hit a good drive, so I just happened to make birdie on the second ball. It's nice that it kind of feeds down into that hole. Definitely a little bonus walking away with bogey after going OB. It doesn't sting as bad, but still, not what you want to do.

Q. Playing alongside Jason Day after the first two days, how impressed were you, and how do you catch him?
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, there's not a whole lot of catching that's, I guess, doable unless he stays where he's at or comes back to us. Playing the way he is, there's not a whole lot we can do unless the tournament goes into seven, eight, nine, ten rounds. Really just trying to keep moving forward. That's what I did the first two days. It was tough because seeing the two guys play well, Jason, Jordan got things going after a rough start, so I just tried to stay patient, keep moving forward. It was nice to get a good round yesterday, good round today, and back in a good position. We'll see if we can get the best finish possible, and like I said, if Jason happens to say where he's at or come back, we'll have a chance, but I would imagine he's in control.

Q. After a slow start to the tournament, you've really got it going the last couple of days, a second consecutive 66. You must be happy with the way you're playing out there.
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, it was good to get a good score out there today. The wind was from a different direction today. The course played a little tougher, especially from a direction we haven't seen. Definitely pleased with it, hit a lot of good shots out there, made some putts today, so that was nice. Looking forward to seeing if I can post a low one tomorrow.

Q. Was the slowish start due to the hangover of the win at Deutsche Bank or just didn't get it going?
RICKIE FOWLER: Just didn't get it going. I just wasn't making any putts. I was still hitting it nice. I was watching Jason make a bunch of hits and hit it quite nicely, as well. I was just trying to stay patient, not move backwards by any means but continue to move forward. Nice to finally get a couple putts to go the last two days.

Q. You have certainly moved forward now into a share of second and you're also going to be projected second in the FedExCup. Just describe what Jason Day is doing because you witnessed the first 36 holes and Jordan came out and said it's stupid golf. What do you call it?
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, it's almost playing golf darned near perfect. He did make a few mistakes out there. I've got to throw him under the bus on that. But no, he's driving it well, driving it straight, and he hits it long. He's hitting his irons great, controlling his distances well, and I think he got up-and-down just about every time he missed a green. You put all that together, he's making a couple putts on top of that, it's tough to beat. If he keeps doing what he's doing, he's going to be tough to catch. If he gives us a break and stays where he's at or comes back, then we'll see if we can chase him down.

Q. So in reality will you look at tomorrow as trying to preserve your position going into Atlanta?
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, I mean, I'm definitely in a great position going into Atlanta. Definitely if I stay where I'm at. And yeah, to catch Jason, he's going to have to either stay where he's at or come back. You never know what's going to happen, but I want to go out and play the best that I can tomorrow to get ready for next week, as well, and to finish as high as possible here.

Right now it's almost like there's a secondary tournament going on, the guys that are at 8-, 12-under right now.

Q. Does it feel goofy knowing that tomorrow you could be eight, nine, ten back in second place? What's that do to the mindset? How much different is that mindset than normal?
RICKIE FOWLER: I mean, definitely going to still say motivated in a way as far as wanting to beat the rest of the guys in the field. Very similar to where I was in the position at the U.S. Open last year behind Kaymer. That was kind of definitely out of reach unless he came backwards. So going out and putting together a solid round of golf tomorrow, staying disciplined, going through the process and making sure that we're preparing ourselves as much as possible for next week, as well. Like I said, I still want to finish as high as possible and make sure the game is right where we want it to be to go win next week.

Q. How is the course playing? Four inches of rain in 48 hours; how much has it changed since round 1?
RICKIE FOWLER: It's definitely a lot different than round 1. It's very wet out there. Fairways are very soggy. Greens have been pretty good. They've been able to dry those out enough to where they're -- they're still rolling good. They are very soft and receptive, which is fun. You can play some aggressive shots in there. But yeah, unfortunate to get this amount of rain because the course was in great shape. Going into the weekend it would have been fun to see it firm up, but it's still a great test of golf.

Q. Do the current conditions make it harder to try to make a run at Jason?
RICKIE FOWLER: Not necessarily. I mean, it's a golf course where you can play pretty aggressive right now. But at the same time Jason gets to, as well. It doesn't really matter when you have a seven, eight-, nine-, ten-shot lead, you're in control of any golf course you're at.

Q. Does it boggle your mind at all that you've played what appears to be very good rounds the last two days and you're still about a touchdown behind?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, it was tough yesterday to put together a decent round and lose ground. I was right there in front of it watching, and I had to make birdies just to kind of stay with him. But it's also a lot of fun when you're playing with guys that are playing well. You know, when you're making -- when guys are making a lot of birdies in the group, you can get that momentum going. Everyone starts to kind of feed off each other, and so we had a lot of fun the last two days. I know Jordan and I both had fun watching Jason.

Q. Is it frustrating to play with a guy like that?
RICKIE FOWLER: It can be, especially if you're not playing well or you're not making putts. There were times where I did get a little bit frustrated as far as like I wanted to hole out a shot or I wanted to finally make a putt. But no, just had to stay as patient as possible, and like I say, it was nice to get some good rounds yesterday and today and kind of get myself back into a good position.

Q. You were with Phil Mickelson when he shot 60. How would you compare that round and what Jason Day was able to do on Thursday?
RICKIE FOWLER: Hard to compare. I mean, different golf courses, but you know, Jason the first two rounds was very much in control of his golf game. Really both very similar in a way as far as what Phil and Jason did. If you look at the rounds, you have to be on top of your game. You can't get around without making putts or without getting the ball up-and-down or without hitting great shots. It's just fun to watch when guys are on like that.

Q. From your perspective is Player of the Year on the line next week or is it kind of a done deal in your mind?
RICKIE FOWLER: I haven't thought about it or looked at it a whole lot. I'm glad it's not my decision.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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