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June 1, 2017

Rickie Fowler

Dublin, Ohio

Q. Just some opening thoughts on your day. Obviously an exclamation point there at the end?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, nice to get a bonus on the last, for sure.

I feel like I made a lot of good swings out there, other than the tee shot on 2. It was in a way a blessing to have a mishap happen early. I still had a lot of golf to play, all the par-5s in front of me.

This golf course does -- it can yield a lot of birdies, but you have to hit the fairway and put yourself in the right position on the green. I was able to take advantage of that. My goal after being 3-over through 4 was to try and get back to even at the turn. I was able to one better that. Really could have got it to potentially four or five, just had a couple of slide by, late bogey. I'm happy with the way I was able to fight through it after a tough start. And like I said, having the bonus on 18.

Q. When you get off to a good start, birdie, and then you get to 7, how hard is that to put behind you?
RICKIE FOWLER: You can't really dwell on it much. There's nothing that I can do to change that other than to try to go make some birdies, and get those black numbers off the boards and get it back to even and ultimately under par.

I was saying this golf course, if you play it correctly and hit the shots, you can make a lot of birdies. As you can see, bogeys and doubles and others can pop up on the card quickly, too.

Q. On a scale of one to ten, the difficulty level on 18? I see some play it back on the fairway.
RICKIE FOWLER: As far as a doable bunker shot, that's up there as a nine or a ten. Yeah, it's one that Joe actually had brought up. We were in that position, I'm not sure how many years ago, maybe five or six, and I wasn't -- it wasn't the kind of bunker player I am now.

And I think he said I had mentioned to him. I don't know how I can hit this shot. I don't think I can keep it on the green without trying to get too cute. So Butch and I have done quite a bit of work, more so a couple of years ago. And now I feel like I'm very comfortable in the bunkers, I have a lot of confidence. That was one I took a little bit of a risk. The face was wide open. I rolled the toe open as much as I could on the way back. And I think I might have closed my eyes at some point around impact hoping I didn't blade it at all. You're cutting hairs at that point. The face has to be perfect and just catch the sand right and just have the ball slide with sand across the face.

And you could see, that's about as good as I could hit it. The spin that was on it, it basically checked twice. And I'm glad it didn't stay short, there's no way you can hit that bunker shot short.

Q. The U.S. Open a week after next, are you on course? Are you on track for the next major?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I feel good. My whole thing is I never really play, at least the last few years is I don't play more than three weeks in a row because I feel like -- it's not so much the physical side, it's being on top of the mental game.

And I feel like where I've had a lot of my success in majors is playing my way in. The reason why I played -- I've played Houston a lot going into Augusta. The reason I'm playing next week. The one time I played Memphis I finished, I think, I want to say I finished 8th, it might not have been that good, I don't know. I had a good week there and went on to finish second at Pinehurst or tied for second with Eric Compton.

But I think there's a lot of good that can come of playing the week or -- this time two weeks leading up, where I can make sure the game's heading the right direction. Like you said, I'm still focusing on playing well this week and trying to win this. But I can continue to monitor the game and know exactly what needs to be worked on to trend the right direction for two weeks from now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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