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August 27, 2016

Rickie Fowler

Farmingdale, New York

MARK WILLIAMS: Thanks for joining us. Bogey-free 68, 3-under, leading 9-under, The Barclays, by one. It's your second bogey-free round in a row, and I don't think you've made a bogey since maybe No. 9 on the first day. Good, good, good playing. Just give us an overview of what the day was like today.

RICKIE FOWLER: It was a fun day. I knew it was going to be tough. I knew the golf course was going to start to play tougher, being later in the afternoon. I got to see it dry out a little bit yesterday afternoon. I knew it would continue to do the same today.

So just had to keep swinging well and it was nice to make some of the up-and-downs today and see a few putts go in. Successful day and I'm looking forward to getting out there tomorrow.

Q. Are you more impressed with 9-under or 54 holes, one bogey?
RICKIE FOWLER: More so the no bogey, I mean, for the most part, just having the one on 9, which was a serious lipout.

So yeah, basically looking at it as I hit a good putt there, and thought I made the putt. So it was basically like going 54 holes, no bogeys. Around this place, I'm happy about that. It's been very close to having the game be where it is right now.

Q. That one-bogey-54-hole stat, is that a result of any particular part of your game plan coming in or just the overall?
RICKIE FOWLER: It's a little bit of the putter starting to show up a bit. I've always been a very good putter. I mean, you have to have the confidence and belief in yourself to be a good putter for sure.

I enjoy that part of the game. It's fun. Especially when you are making putts and it's been bad, the past few months, just seeing myself hit good putts and not go in. To see it starting to come around, it's definitely helped out the rest of the game. And when you aren't making putts, it kind of tightens up the rest of the game. So it has a big impact on the way you play.

To have a few putts go in, to be able to be getting up-and-down for par and saving those shots to keep the momentum going, it makes all the difference.

Q. Could you talk about the save on 17, and also the crowd, got a little loud out there today.
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I hit a good bunker shot. I just happened to have a little bit different bottom than I was expecting, so it came out a little quicker. I got to see it roll a little bit past the hole and knew about what it was going to do. I hit a great putt and it tried to wiggle on me at the end. Luckily it just broke back in and caught the right lip.

Big save. Those are big putts. I mean, the crowd was loud. Especially getting back to this side of the golf course where you get to kind of 15, 16, 17 and 18, it's a lot of fun to play in front of loud crowds. I don't in a way react too much to what's going on out there, because I have a job to do and I'm focused on taking care of that.

No, we definitely appreciate all the fan support and the amount of people that have been coming out to The Barclays and being here to support us.

So with that, I mean, like I said, we're out there and we're going to take care of our business and hopefully I'll give myself a chance to celebrate with them tomorrow late.

Q. Speaking of saving pars, your scrambling has been really good this week. Is that a byproduct of how you're putting?
RICKIE FOWLER: A little bit of both. I've hit some good shots where they have been tap-ins are close and then also I've had some tough ones where I've had to make some putts. But also, if you're making a couple putts or rolling them where you want to, it doesn't put as much stress on the short game that you have to hit it to gimmie every time, so it will free you up. Just like I was talking about with the golf swing, it frees you up and doesn't make you feel like you have to stack one to make a birdie.

Q. You and Patrick in the final round tomorrow, you spent a lot of time with him at the Olympics. Maybe some Olympics karma coming through tomorrow?
RICKIE FOWLER: We're going to have some fun. I saw him on the putting green before I left the tee since he was playing behind me. Told him to have a good one and let's go get in the final group tomorrow.

We've done that, and it's going to be a lot of fun. Him and I, we spent a lot of time together growing up. We played junior golf growing up, AJGA, traveling around the country, and college golf with each other.

Yeah, we've been around each other for, what's that, 12, 13 years or so now. So it will be fun. I'm looking forward to it. He's fun to watch and he's going to be tough to beat tomorrow.

Q. I think this is your best position since you had a chance to win in Phoenix, maybe Quail Hollow. How long did that maybe linger with you, that loss in Phoenix and so forth? And secondly, how important do you feel like a win is? I know you had the win in Abu Dhabi, but do you feel like because it's been -- or hasn't been kind of the results you've been looking for since Phoenix.
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, you know, Phoenix, I did everything I wanted to do. I made the swings that I wanted to down the stretch and just didn't work out.

You know, Quail Hollow, I felt very good going into the final round. I had been swinging well and took care of everything I wanted to take care of. Then had a mud ball on 7 and it kind of put me in a tough position to really get things going.

Still obviously ended up with a decent finish but not the at the top where I wanted to be. So since then, the putter hasn't worked, and like I talked about, it bleeds into the rest of the game and makes things tough when you feel like you have to hit it that close to make birdies.

So yeah, a win tomorrow would go a long ways. It would take care of a lot of things.

Q. This is a U.S. Open course, and maybe I'm just saying this because I'm looking at your scorecard, but are you taking a type of approach you would at a U.S. Open course, where par is a good score, especially as the course has gotten a little dried out at this point?
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, it's definitely a true test of golf out here. It is a major venue and it's one of the biggest venues we play at.

You can't fake it around here. You're going to have to pull off some magic here and there to save some pars like I've been able to, and then also you're going to have to ball-strike your way around here.

So no, it's been fun. I definitely enjoy tough tests of golf where not very low is going to win. Obviously tomorrow, if someone plays very well, it could get to, you know, 13, 14, 15 (-under). But with everyone being in basically single digits, this is a real test, and yeah, pars a lot of times are good, and you've got to take care of a couple par 5s. It's fairly simple, but you have to be patient -- what you talked, about par is a good score.

Q. What's going to be the keys for tomorrow if you want to get over the hump and into victory?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, biggest thing tomorrow, I need to drive the ball well. I didn't drive it as well today as I have the first two days. I hit some really good ones, but I hit some poor ones. The biggest thing will be putting myself in good position off the tee, and it's going to make things a lot easier from there.

It's a lot more fun when you're putting for birdie than having to make putts for par. So I'm looking forward to it. We'll make sure the swing and the game is where I want it to be when we get out here and go through the warm up. Looking forward to it. It's going to be a tough test but it's going to be a lot of fun.

MARK WILLIAMS: Thanks for making the time for us, always appreciate it. Good luck tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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