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August 25, 2016

Rickie Fowler

Farmingdale, New York

Q. How much is The Ryder Cup on your mind?
RICKIE FOWLER: 100 percent, all of it. That's the No. 1 priority coming into the year. I'd say that's always one of the main goals for sure coming into a Ryder Cup year. Even in the off year, you're thinking about it. That was the whole reason playing last week, trying to get more points.

It would be nice to have a chance to make that team without having to get picked.

Q. Do you feel additional pressure from that, and if you do, is that a good thing to feel more pressure?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I mean, you'd be lying if you're saying there's not more. Yeah, I'm thinking about it. The other guys are thinking about it. So if it's even on your mind at all, not that it's pressure in a way, but it's more to think about.

I don't mind it. I've always liked kind of being put up against the wall in a corner and having that on me. Going out, I knew that getting off to a good start today was going to be key. I'm in a position where I'm kind of put in a corner where I need to either earn my way on the team, or at least prove that I should be there.

I was excited about getting out there. The game is very close to being really good. I've had some little glimpses of that with rounds here and there. Good, solid start, that's all we can ask for.

Q. How much tougher is this course going to play if we don't get any moisture?
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, they are going to have full control of it. I think they have got it pretty close to where they want it. I talked to a couple rules officials yesterday and they said after the Pro-Am, they were planning on letting it firm up a little bit and speed up the greens a little.

This afternoon, I would assume that it's going to dry out a little bit and it may be right where they want it. But if we don't get any moisture, they are going to have complete control on how they want this to may.

Q. You had a comeback at the Olympics after a poor round and a good tournament last week. What do you see in terms of your progress? Where are you getting better?
RICKIE FOWLER: The putting is getting better. I've been hitting it really well for quite some time and putting's been the only thing holding me back. Not making putts and not being able to get into a good rhythm and build momentum makes it tough. The three rounds down in Rio, there really wasn't a whole lot of difference except I made some more putts and it freed me up, and I hit a couple shots a little closer on Saturday.

I made some of my best swings on the start on Sunday down there. I 3-putted the first hole and missed some going out, and it changed the whole kind of rhythm and momentum of that round.

Q. Did that kind of whet your appetite even more for The Ryder Cup, playing in the Olympics? Is it the same level kind of a thing?
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, it's completely different. It's an individual event. But any time you get to throw the red, white and blue on and go represent your country, it's special. Like I said, Ryder Cup is my No. 1 goal and has been.

Q. Has it been more frustrating this summer to have a round here and there where things click but not have the consistency you need to get the result?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, it's been tough. I mean, personally, me knowing exactly how close it is, and it's a really fine like. Like I said, the difference between Rio Saturday and Sunday, I swung it better going out on Sunday; and I shoot 29 on Saturday and I'm over par. I can't remember what I shot but it was not 29. And that was just not make something key putts and putts that I should make. It changes kind of the whole outlook on the round and how much it can free you up and get you into a good rhythm.

Q. Can I ask you about playing with G-Mac today, and you know also he's up for a pick from Darren. Did you guys talk about that?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, it came up. I think he knows where he stands and I think obviously The Ryder Cup is always a top goal of everyone. I know he would love to be there. He didn't get off to the start he wanted to today. He didn't drive it particularly well. He's usually a very good driver of the golf ball, so I would assume it will be a complete turnaround tomorrow.

I love playing with G-Mac, he's a lot of fun, great ball-striker and we had a good time out there.

Q. Have you spoken to Davis at all lately, and if so, what's he said to you?
RICKIE FOWLER: I haven't. I don't want to bug him much. I know he's got a lot on his plate getting everything ready, and even the thought of starting to worry about picks on his end. I know what I need to do, try and take care of business, and I'm sure we'll be speaking at some point in the next couple weeks.

Q. I heard Hank Haney talking about you on the radio this morning and he was saying, people could say, you haven't won, but if you look at your stats, it looks like you're in a really good place right now. Do you feel like you're very deserving at this point?
RICKIE FOWLER: I mean, my stats have been very good, ball-striking, tee-to-green, everything's good. It's the putting that's been a little bit off. I feel like I've hit a lot of good putts and they are just not going in. That's the way golf is. Just kind of keep clawing and fighting with it. I got some good work early this week on Tuesday with someone I've always worked on my putting from since I was about 14, Paul Vizanko from Scotty Cameron. He happened to be out here.

It's close. I hit a lot of good putts today, some were just mis-reads. It was nice to make a couple and get off to a solid start.

Q. Does this place look any different to you than it did in 2009 and 2012?
RICKIE FOWLER: It played a lot harder in '09. We had rain. It was soft. The rough was a lot thicker.

No, it's set up really good right now. I think it's fair. The rough is definitely a penalty. You can get some spots where you can barely wedge it out to the fairway but you may get lucky here and there.

The golf course is great. I don't remember a whole lot from 2012. 2009 was something to remember for me, being a U.S. Open, I was first to tee off on 1, raining and into the wind. So I'm glad we didn't have that today. This place has always been fun. It's a big golf course and it's a good test.

Q. Most of the greens are pretty flat relative to other places you play; can that help you get your MoJo back putting-wise?
RICKIE FOWLER: Not necessarily. Making putts is making putts. Some of the hardest putts to make are the straight ones and the ones that don't break very much. A big thing is matching up speed and line. It becomes tougher on some greens with more slope, but I feel like this course has a good variety as far as there's some ones with slope out there and some that are pretty flat.

Other than that, just got to keep working on hitting the proper line and speed and be good to go.

Q. Your experiences in The Ryder Cup --
RICKIE FOWLER: I think The Ryder Cup speaks for itself. It's the greatest team event we have. It's arguably the best event we have all year, or every two years. The stage it is, U.S. versus Europe, 12 best from each side; it's like all the guys going to war.

We are all friends and stuff and it's fun, but it's fun to go try and beat up on each other and celebrate afterwards. Unfortunately I haven't been a part of a winning team yet, but it's a special event and something I don't want to miss out on.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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