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August 18, 2016

Rickie Fowler

Greensboro, North Carolina

RICKIE FOWLER: Just had to stay patient out there today. Didn't really have the putter going early. Was hitting a lot of fairways and greens. I think I missed two greens today and hit a poor chip on the 7th, my 16th hole and then that kind of set-up No. 8, my 17th hole to go ahead and pitch one in.

Q. Playing the first 14 holes, all pars.
RICKIE FOWLER: No, not at all. I mean it was very good tee to green out there. I had some decent looks and hit a lot of good putts, couple misreads, couple speeds a little off but nice way to finish up with 3 birdies and off to a good solid start.

Q. What do you think of the golf course?
RICKIE FOWLER: I really like it. There's a lot of good variety here. Hit a lot of different clubs off the tees, anywhere from hit 4-iron, I have a driving iron, 3-wood and driver. Used all of them today off par-4, par-5s. Good variety there.

Obviously the greens have a lot of slope. You put it on the wrong side of the hole you're playing defense for sure. So, it's a course you have to think your way around.

Q. Keep doing that for three more days.

Q. Rickie, how was your first round today, your first competitive round here? What did you think?
RICKIE FOWLER: Definitely enjoying the golf course. I like it. I mean, it's a good golf course and, a bonus, it's in perfect shape. The greens here roll great. Get on the wrong side of the hole and you're playing defense.

But off to a good start. No bogies which is nice and three birdies to finish off the round in the last few holes. So, happy about that.

Q. Finishing with a birdie is always a positive thing. What kind of momentum does that give you for tomorrow?
RICKIE FOWLER: It was kind of a bonus. I made two a few holes ago and get one on the last at the 9th hole, two good shots into the green, hit a good putt. Give me -- it will make this afternoon working out and doing some activities like that, it will make it a little easier to do.

Q. What can you do better tomorrow?
RICKIE FOWLER: Really just putting better. I had a few misreads, speed was a little off. Other than that, I felt like I played good, well tee to green. I only missed a couple greens.

Q. Rickie, there's a few Olympians on the leaderboard. You're carrying the momentum from there.
RICKIE FOWLER: Obviously we enjoyed being down there and the big thing coming from there up to here is not how much of a time change, there's only an hour back. That makes things a lot easier.

Once you start traveling, hopping over to Europe and stuff like that the travel can become an issue but playing -- continuing to play gives you a chance to kind of build momentum and get in a good rhythm.

Q. It took you a little while to decide to play there. What's your perception now afterwards?

Q. Yes.
RICKIE FOWLER: I don't think anything has changed. Definitely one of the best experiences of my life.

Q. I mean prior to going.
RICKIE FOWLER: I mean I knew it was going to be a really cool experience and it was something that I always wanted to go down there. One of my main goals leading into this summer and with the last couple of months going down into it I wanted to be on that Olympic team and wanted to go have an opportunity to be at the Olympics and be in Rio to play, walk in the opening ceremonies, go to the events.

I knew it would be a great experience leading up to it. But I don't think, you know -- I didn't think it was going to be that good. I don't think words can really describe how special it was being there those ten days.

Q. Rickie, let's talk about today. 13 straight pars, two-putt pars to start the round. Is that frustrating or is that just good, solid play to keep it going?
RICKIE FOWLER: It was good, solid play. Tee to green I was playing pretty well. Can't always hit it close to the hole. Hit a lot of good putts. Some misreads, speed was a little off.

Nice to finish up with three birdies in the last few holes. So, happy about it. Ball-striking has been in a good position. Just be nice to continue to keep that putter up a bit.

Q. Talk about the putting. I know you commented earlier this week it's been awhile since it got hot.
What are you doing to try to improve things?

RICKIE FOWLER: The good thing, I'm hitting putts where I want them to. Sometimes it's just been speed, been a little off or misreads. I can deal with, you know, misread.

I need to tighten up the speed and if I can get the speed to be a lot more consistent it will obviously help, you know, hitting putts and giving them an actual chance. Hitting bad putts, you don't know where you're starting it and can't really read a putt from there. At least I'm starting them where I want.

Got to be tightened up a bit. It was nice to have a 3rd Round last week where I made some putts and nice to make a couple coming in today.

Q. The travel from Rio doesn't seem to have bothered you at all. No worse for wear. No jet lag, nothing like that?
RICKIE FOWLER: No. We were lucky enough to be able to fly down privately both down and back and I mean the big thing, there's only an hour time change. You're not dealing with any of that and the body clock. Everything is pretty simple from that standpoint. But, yeah, it definitely makes a big difference when you're able to fly privately as well.

Q. When was the last time you were actually at home or spent some time relaxing at home?
RICKIE FOWLER: I was at my house for maybe three days before the Olympics and then I was there for about 15 hours Monday night and Tuesday before coming up here.

Q. It's been a whirlwind. Are you excited about what lies ahead with The Playoffs? You've been playing a lot of golf.
RICKIE FOWLER: I'm excited. We took some more time than we would have off earlier this year, a couple more two week breaks than normally. Lot of that was because of how busy we knew the summer would be, especially with the three Majors kind of back to back to back and the possibility of being in Rio and then obviously right into The Playoffs.

So, this was a late addition that we made a decision on a few weeks back and obviously for Ryder Cup trying to get some points, but I'm looking forward to -- the game has been very close the past few months and just trying to play our way into playing some really good golf.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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