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July 13, 2017

Rickie Fowler

Ayrshire, Scotland

Q. Great start, bogey-free, as well. How sharp did the game feel?
RICKIE FOWLER: It felt good, but it's fun to go out on links and for me to hit shots and don't necessarily have to be spot on. It's kind of about managing the game and hitting shots and working your way around the golf course and putting yourself in the light position and avoiding bunkers.

I felt like I did a good job of hitting fairways today, staying on the right side of the hole and made a couple of birdies, and it's always nice to have a clean card.

Q. We know what links golf means to you as you alluded to there, but just this event, as a former winner a couple of years ago back at Gullane, what does it mean to come back here and compete?
RICKIE FOWLER: It's a lot of fun to be back here at The Scottish Open. It was unfortunate I had to miss it last year with the schedule and the Olympics being part of the summer, and just didn't allow for me to be over here the week before The Open.

But excited to be back, like you said, having won here in 2015 at Gullane, I think it's a great way for me to come over and get ready for The Open, but also to play somewhere where I know I can play well. I love playing links golf. It's a great week.

Q. I sense a lot of enthusiasm for you about this two-week stretch. How excited are you given this form we've seen from you this season?
RICKIE FOWLER: It's been a good year so far, very consistent. A few missed cuts but that's going to be happen. Can't be perfect.

Having the win at Honda and continuing to play well, being in contention the first two majors; it's not what I wanted on the Sundays there, definitely the Sunday at Augusta; was better at The Open. Just didn't get anything to go and Brooks played a hell of a round there to win the tournament.

I'm looking forward to here this week and getting myself in contention and being in a good spot and ready to go next week in The Open at Birkdale.

Q. Very well played, five birdies, no dropped shots. You must be very pleased with your opening day's work?
RICKIE FOWLER: Definitely. Thursday is all about getting off to a good start and did a great job of that. Felt like I made a couple of good putts for par to keep the round going. Just a clean card is always a good thing.

So I'm happy about it and looking forward to cleaning things up a little bit swing-wise and making sure that we continue to improve through the week and get ourselves in contention here and ready for next week, as well.

Q. How did conditions change as you went through the round today?
RICKIE FOWLER: I felt like it was pretty similar through the day. Maybe the wind picked up a little bit throughout the round. Stayed fairly similar. It started to cool off a little bit with the cloud cover. I know there's some rain coming this afternoon.

Didn't necessarily play easy out there but it was scorable if you drove in the fairway.

Q. Talking about golf being consistent, you've been top five in your last two events. How nice is it to have that kind of momentum with a major coming up next week?
RICKIE FOWLER: It's big. I feel like it's been a fairly consistent year. There's been missed cuts but those are going to happen. Outside of that, there's been the win at Honda and a couple of top-five finishes, and it's been fun.

I feel like I've been in a lot of good positions, being in contention the first two majors. That's the plan; to get back into contention this week and ready for the same thing next week.

Q. As a former winner of this event, how nice is it to come back to Scotland?
RICKIE FOWLER: It's definitely pleasing to come back here to Scotland and play well the first round, get off to a good start. I love playing links golf but it doesn't mean it makes it easier for myself. Just have to go out and play well and score.

Love the two-week trip over here, we're off to a good start and we'll keep it rolling.

Q. How important is it for you to play links golf the week before The Open?
RICKIE FOWLER: I don't think it's necessarily important. Some guys may like to get practice in at home. For me, I like playing the week before. No better way to prepare than to put yourself on a course that's going to be somewhat similar condition; and playing over here, same time zone, put yourself in position where you're hitting the shots that you'll be hitting next week; and just how much the wind can affect the ball over here, playing the ball on the ground and just adjusting a little bit to those numbers.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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