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February 26, 2016

Rickie Fowler

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Q. Impressive, no bogeys for two days, you're the only player in the field. You must feel pretty good.
RICKIE FOWLER: I do. I've been swinging well. It's nice to hit fairways, hit greens, especially in places like this where it's very demanding tee-to-green. So got a couple putts to go today, which was nice, to kind of keep the round going, and also some birdies there at the end. So definitely pleased with the first two days and looking forward to the weekend.

Q. I think most people know you as a California guy, but you've lived out here and played a lot of golf out here, so you're comfortable in these kind of conditions and these kind of greens, aren't you?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, growing up at home in California, I got to play in the a lot in the wind growing up, ten to 15 miles an hour and playing the two years I did at Oklahoma State, got to test out some stronger wins, and I've been living down here for over five years.

As far as conditions, the wind, the grass types and how the courses play here, I've had plenty of time to get used to it.

Q. Tell the listeners about your round with Michael Jordan, you played Tuesday. That had to be really cool. I know you've played with him before, but what did you pick up from him?
RICKIE FOWLER: We play all the time, whenever we're both home in town, any time he's in town, he plays every day, 36 holes, he takes Sunday off.

So when I'm home, I get to play with him a bunch. We have a lot of good games with guys from both Bear's Club and Medalist and Floridian, some friends that are our normals or usuals in the game. Just a bunch of guys getting to play with one of the greatest athletes of all time, seeing how he handles himself in a sport that isn't his profession, but he definitely can play well. He's got a really good short game. He can putt well and he's tough to beat.

It's always a fun game. And to see how he can kind of pull through in pressure-packed situations, if he needs to make a putt or make an up-and-down, to see how clutch he is, just shows you how good of a competitor he is. Definitely learned a lot on how he handles himself in those situations.

Q. Maybe he'll be out here in your gallery this weekend?
RICKIE FOWLER: Maybe Sunday because it's his day off. He'll be playing. I don't know, we'll see. It would be nice to play well this weekend and we'll go from there.

Q. Brilliant 66 to open this Honda Classic. Bogey-free, that's impressive around this golf course.
RICKIE FOWLER: I'm definitely pleased about that. Got a nice break on 1 to kind of continue that. But yeah, I kept myself in it with some did up-and-downs, made some good putts, and then continued to move forward. Made a couple birdies coming in, so it was a little bit of a bonus there at the last. Definitely pleased with the way I played the first two days.

Q. Four wins in the last 20 worldwide starts, obviously a lot of confidence and a lot of belief. There was a little bit of a miss-step at Phoenix. This has to give you a lot of confidence coming right back in the thick of things?
RICKIE FOWLER: Nice to put together a couple good rounds after Phoenix. Obviously I played really well there and played well down the stretch, just didn't go my way.

Excited to be back in contention here. With the way I've been playing, and how I feel on this golf course, I feel comfortable here putting together some good rounds and good rounds in the past. Looking forward to this weekend.

Q. Playing alongside The Ryder Cup captain, Davis Love, he had to be impressed with the show that you put on. Did that play in your mind at all, playing with Captain?
RICKIE FOWLER: I've always enjoyed getting to play with Davis. He's someone that I've always looked up to, and the way he's played and the career that he's had, so hopefully I earned myself a chance to get to play for him later this year.

Q. Another great day for you, get some comments overall on your round.
RICKIE FOWLER: Just happy to go bogey-free. That's a big accomplishment around this golf course. Not just one day, but the two back-to-back. So pleased with how I've managed my game around the golf course. I got a nice break on my 10th hole today, 1, where I was kind of able to salvage par there.

Every once in awhile you need to get a little lucky and nice that we were able to take advantage of that, continue to move forward, make some good putts coming in. Something I can take from that, and continue to swing well and make more putts this weekend.

Q. The dinner last night, what did you take away from it?
RICKIE FOWLER: Just having a chance to be with the Americans that are playing the best right now, obviously in points, for Ryder Cup, and being there with Davis, obviously I got to spend a lot of time with him the last two days, which has been a good time. That's always fun. And to be around both Jack and Barbara, who I feel like I've continued to grow closer and closer to over the few years down here, Barbara is like a mom to me down here.

So it's pretty special to have that kind of relationship with two people that have had a pretty big impact on the golf community on and off the course.

Cool to have Jim Furyk drive down, Tiger to be there, Phil always a key part. It was just a good time. It's fun to hang out and be around those kind of people and to hear some stories from Jack, it was special.

Q. What were some of the stories that stood out from Jack? I've heard preparation, pressure, that kind of thing. What did you take out of it?
RICKIE FOWLER: I think some of it was just learning a little bit more of his prep work, kind of how he went about things, and then the confidence and belief that he had going into a tournament once he had that preparation done. He knew he was ready to play on Thursday. And I feel like I've begun to learn a little bit more what he's talking about the past couple years, where Thursday I'm ready to go and know what I'm bringing to the golf course and know what I'm capable of. It was cool to kind of hear a little bit more of his background and he's in a position now where he can kind of share that and he's not giving away any secrets.

Q. What does it say about him holding that dinner last night in February and the Matches aren't until September. What does that say about the USA's commitment?
RICKIE FOWLER: Jack obviously always enjoyed The Ryder Cup, The Presidents Cup, and getting to play for the country. I think something that all the guys look forward to, having the opportunity to wear red, white and blue and go play for the U.S.

It's kind of cool to hear him say, certain situations, obviously he will always feel the pressure, feel the nerves, in Ryder Cup or in a major, just looking back and knowing all the preparation is taken care of and kind of how you manage the situation.

Q. How much did you eat?
RICKIE FOWLER: Enough to play well today.

Q. Did any of Jack's words ring true today as you were playing?
RICKIE FOWLER: Just thinking back about the preparation, and just knowing that I've been playing well. I've played well here at this golf course, living down here for over five years now, I know how to play down here. So I just had to go out there and just kind of stick to what I've been doing, trust it, play with confidence.

Worked most of the time. Only made a couple bad swings, so worked out all right.

Q. Is it true that you had back-to-back course records at Floridian and Medalist last year?
RICKIE FOWLER: This is true.

Q. So you shot 60 at the Floridian --
RICKIE FOWLER: I shot 66 the day before at Medalist and shot 60 at the Floridian.

Q. What did you shoot at Medalist?
RICKIE FOWLER: 66 the day before.

Q. Tied the course record --
RICKIE FOWLER: No, I broke mine.

Q. Oh, you broke yours? Okay.
RICKIE FOWLER: Because Medalist, the course is new. They just opened in November. Yeah, I broke my own there, and yeah, then went and broke Justin Thomas's at the Floridian, which is a pretty good accomplishment.

Q. What is it like to play 17?
RICKIE FOWLER: It's been nice the last few days with it being downwind. Makes the hole play a lot easier. Yeah, a little quieter this morning. It will be rowdy tomorrow for sure what we go through there in the afternoon.

I enjoy it. It's fun. It's a great atmosphere. It's quite a bit quieter than 16 at Phoenix. Feels pretty mellow after coming from there a few weeks ago. It's fun. Obviously being that I've lived down here for awhile, I feel like I've got a good following and good fans down here. It's a cool atmosphere, it's turned into a great hole.

Q. Second straight round of 66, second straight round going bogey-free around here, how did this one play out on Friday?
RICKIE FOWLER: Definitely pleased about it. I felt like I didn't hit it as good as yesterday, but I hit some really good drives through the middle through the end of the round. Made a few more putts, which was nice.

Got one good break out there on my 10th hole, 1, to kind of give myself a chance to continue without any bogeys. So it was a good, solid day, nice step in the right direction and really looking forward to the weekend.

Q. What's it like playing a course like this challenging enough and just continuing to hit good shots and finding a way to post a score?
RICKIE FOWLER: It's not easy. It takes a lot out of you, that's for sure. I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep with obviously a quick turnaround from yesterday afternoon. Rest up for the weekend. I think it takes a lot more out of you mentally.

I know I can hit the shots but it's kind of about getting yourself in the moment with committing to it and then trusting what you're trying to do, especially on a course that you've got to be spot on with the wind and sections of the greens that you're trying to hit it in. There's a lot of trouble out there, and it will jump up and bite you quick.

Q. Both you and Sergio playing well and having a good time while you're doing it. What is it about the relationship and the good golf that it worked the first two days?
RICKIE FOWLER: The past few years, we've been paired together quite a bit. Not as much last year but the two years prior to that, we were, it seemed like every couple weeks, we were playing the first two days together and have a chance on the weekend. We've always played well together. We hang out on and off the golf course, good buddies and we enjoy playing together. It's fun to get off to good starts and I think we were able to feed off each other a bit and push each other. I think that's what it's all about, having fun out there.

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