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October 21, 2015

Rickie Fowler

Las Vegas, Nevada

AMANDA HERRINGTON: We'd like to welcome Rickie Fowler to the interview room here at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Rickie, just want to start off, you're starting the new season here in Vegas. Talk us through your decision to start your season here.

RICKIE FOWLER: Well, I felt like I started a little bit behind the 8-ball last year with not playing many events until the start of the real calendar year, and so with China being really the only one that I had planned on with it being a World Golf Championship, I wanted to try and fit at least one more in, and I've always enjoyed playing in Vegas. I lived here for a year, and just felt like it was a good place to come and be able to spend some time with Butch and a good place to feel like I could go play well, seeing that I had a good finish here.

AMANDA HERRINGTON: You're coming off a great season, two wins on PGA TOUR, one on the European Tour. Assessing last season, what are your goals for this year?

RICKIE FOWLER: I think the main goal is to win a major and to continue winning. Ultimately it would be nice to be a little bit more consistent. I didn't get off to the greatest of starts last year, but definitely capitalize when I put myself in position to win. A lot of positives, but still want to continue to get better, and like I said, I think consistency is the big key.

Q. The last two years your game has improved noticeably. What were the major improvements you felt you've made that allowed you to kind of reach where you wanted to be at this point of your career?
RICKIE FOWLER: I feel like with the golf swing I know what I'm bringing to the course. Things are efficient, a lot less feel-oriented. If I'm not hitting it the way I want to, things are easier to fix. It's minor changes. But I think that's a big part of it, and then with playing well last year, building a lot of confidence and then with the wins, that's built even more confidence on how I feel coming down the stretch.

Another big thing is being healthy. That's been a positive. So continue to stay healthy, and Butch will keep pointing me in the right direction.

Q. Is there a maturity factor involved, as well, in your growth, learning how to handle things off the course, travel, rest? You say eating right, being healthy?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I think always learning. I don't think you can ever perfect it. Even Phil kind of still changes his schedule around. But time management is a big part of playing well out here, when to play, when not to play, and how much off course to do. So last year was the least I've played throughout the year, so still kind of tweaking my schedule year to year. I'll probably play a little bit more this year going into the '16 season, but yeah, the time management side is big. You don't want to play too much but you don't want to play too little.

Q. Where would you say your game is at after a long season, Presidents Cup, a little time off before you start things up?
RICKIE FOWLER: I definitely don't have my best stuff. I didn't play great at Presidents Cup. I played nice the first round there, and I enjoyed getting to spend some time with friends. My best friend got married the week after TOUR Championship, and you know, coming here, got to spend a little bit of time with Butch, gotten to spend some time with friends, so I'm looking forward to this week, a place that I've played well at, to hopefully play well.

I wouldn't say -- like I said, I don't have my best right now. I'm looking forward to trying to get some confidence going here. I played well in China, and looking forward to really working on things through what we would call an off-season, not that there is. We don't really have vacation time in a way, so -- but I know there's some things that Butch and I really want to work on the next two months to get things going and ready for January.

Q. Actually I had two questions. One, you're coming off the best of your career. You mentioned winning majors being the big thing. Do your expectations or goals other than winning majors, does it change at all when you come off a big year like that, and the second part of the question was did you do anything during the brief off-season? I heard that you were kind of the life of the party in the post-Presidents Cup celebration.
RICKIE FOWLER: I think I had companions in that, in the celebration on Sunday night. It was fun. Both team rooms were really close there, and we all spent time together, and it's almost a celebration of the end of the year, not so much a winning or losing side. Everyone is good friends. So we all had a good time there, and it was just fun to kind of celebrate together. Like I said, it's almost an end of the year, all right, we're done with that, we're going forward.

What was the first one?

Q. Just the expectations, winning majors.
RICKIE FOWLER: I don't think the -- expectations don't really change or goals don't change. I feel like my confidence and belief in how -- not easy but how I can go about accomplishing them, that may change, with winning this year and how I played in the majors last year, that only helped me believe more and build more confidence to how I'm going to figure out a way to accomplish my goals. But my goals have always been to win, to be in contention, to win majors, to ultimately be the best player in the world. But over the last two years I've just built more belief and confidence in accomplishing those.

Q. Your association with Puma has really kind of gotten that brand back in the public's eye. I'm old enough to remember when Walt Frazier endorsed the sneaker back in the early '70s, and it really helped Puma's brand. How has that relationship helped you and helped them?
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, it definitely has gone both ways. I feel like I've helped them grow the brand, but they've also helped me be my own and kind of stand out in a way, so it's been a great partnership. Puma Golf is still very young. They've only been around for, I think, just right around 10 years. They originally started with just a golf shoe and then branched out and kind of started from there. It's not a very old golf company in a way. Obviously Puma as a full company being involved in Europe and Asia, it's a large company, but Puma Golf in the States and then growing internationally, it's been really cool to be a part of it and see the growth over the past six years really that I've been with them.

Q. When you see young kids come to tournaments wearing your gear and everything, what kind of feeling does that give you? Is there a sense of pride or is it just -- do you think, hey, that's pretty cool this 11-year-old kid thinks enough of me to wear my stuff?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, a sense of pride to very humbling, puts things into perspective, whether I'm having a good day or bad day out there, seeing young fans or any fans in general wearing the Puma gear and showing support. It just makes me realize and appreciate what I get to do and what I am doing, but also, yeah, it's cool to be in a position where kids do look up to me and I have a chance to be a role model and potentially have a chance to have a positive influence on kids' lives.

AMANDA HERRINGTON: Rickie, thank you for your time today.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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