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February 5, 2017

Rickie Fowler

Scottsdale, Arizona

Q. You shot your best round of the week. 65 today. You started off 7 behind the leaders. By the time you holed this putt at 16, you were within 2. What was going through your mind?
RICKIE FOWLER: I just missed one on 15. I had a good look there. I really was trying to birdie my way out. A little bit of a misread. I thought that the putt was going to go right on 15.

I remembered this putt on 16 and had to hit it online. Finally made one.

Q. Nice to take revenge on 17. This one cost you the tournament last time.
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, completely different pin. It's a different strategy on the way you play the hole versus last time. Back section, it slopes away from you. Hit the 3-wood to stay short of the green and give myself an angle and open up the back of the green. Played it perfectly.

Q. Haven't started this year as well as you ended last year, but obviously this result is a turn in fortunes. Only two bogeys all week.
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, it was a pretty clean week. The two bogeys, one Thursday, one Friday, had a clean weekend. I wish I would have made a few more putts on the weekend. That would have been nice. But a clean card back-to-back days is nice. Two bogeys for the week is pretty solid.

Q. 65 today. You were 7 back going into this last day. (Off mic.)
RICKIE FOWLER: May not go anywhere, but I figured they wouldn't come back at all. -16, I knew I had to probably at least get there.

Didn't get off to too hot of a start. It was nice to make a couple of birdies. 2-under on the front. Wish it would have been a little better, but it was nice to get a few more on the back and had some good opportunities that slid by.

A good, solid day. Nice way to finish off the tournament.

Q. I know you took on the water there in the church pew bunkers there on 18. It was so close. What if you had carried the bunker?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I actually mishit it quite badly. I have been hitting driver there all week. Just kind of cut it off of that bunker. And yesterday I had 94 yards. Today just hit a little bit off the heel and didn't quite have the speed on it.

Still a good swing. Just caught the lip of the bunker. Would have been nice to be playing out of the fairway, but hit a great shot in there. Still gave myself a look. Nice to finish it off, I think four birdies in the last six holes.

Q. We love you in Phoenix. Keep coming back. I know it's going to be yours very soon.
RICKIE FOWLER: It will. We will keep knocking at the door. We will get this one at some point.

Q. Bogey-free today. Nice way to finish. Does that give you momentum for whatever comes next for you?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, it was a good day. It would have been nice to make a few more putts. I had some good looks out there. Played solid. Definitely played nicely over the weekend. Didn't may a bogey.

Yeah, nice to do that after missing the cut last week. Always play well here. I feel comfortable here in the desert.

Looking to some time in my own bed. I actually get to go to Augusta on Tuesday, doing a shot with Mercedes there on Wednesday. Won't be some bad times there. Always nice hanging around Augusta.

Like I said, some time in my own bed, some workouts, and just get ready for Honda.

Q. Where do you assess your game? Augusta, two months out. Where do you assess where you are?
RICKIE FOWLER: Game is good right now. It was nice this week. Didn't make very many mistakes. Two bogeys over the four days, which is nice.

I think one was a 3-putt and the other I missed another putt. I mean, I could have avoided them and could have went bogey-free for 72 holes, which would have been pretty nice. Would have been nice to add more birdies, but it was a good, solid week. I felt like I managed my game well.

Joe and I communicated well. Got through the week very good. Definitely looking forward to going from here and on to the coming tournaments.

Q. This might be the seventh time in eight years the winner has come from behind on Sunday. What is it about this course that lends itself to that?
RICKIE FOWLER: The back 9 here, there is so much that can happen. It can be tough playing out front, because this golf course allows you to be very aggressive, and playing from behind, if you drive it well, you're going to have a lot of looks at birdies and have potentially three looks at eagles.

You can shoot 5-, 6-, 7-under on the back 9 pretty quickly. If you get through the front 9 a few under par and catch up with some guys, it's kind of a shootout till the finish.

Q. How much do you embrace the crowd and the vibes here? Do you kind of channel that and use that?
RICKIE FOWLER: I love it. You know, it's a lot of fun. You hear a lot of stuff throughout the course, and it's louder throughout the rest of the course than other tournaments. Once you get to 16, it's a completely different story.

Q. Why do you think Hideki plays so well here? He just took the lead.
RICKIE FOWLER: He drives the ball well. If you do drive the ball well here, you're going to have a lot of looks at birdies and you can score on the par-5s, as well.

He obviously has something figured out. I have played well here too. He just got the best of me last year, and looks like he may have a shot again this year.

Q. What was the read on the putt on 18?
RICKIE FOWLER: 18, just because kindly gently breaking left the whole way, I mean, it's not a putt that you're always looking to make but obviously trying to give it the best run I could.

I was taking kind of a high line. That's why it was kind of dying at the hole. It was a little downhill, but it was probably -- I probably played it about a foot out and just needed to be a little less.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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