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August 10, 2017

Rickie Fowler

Charlotte, North Carolina

Q. How was the course and the greens --
RICKIE FOWLER: These are the best surfaces you can have as far as they hold up in the day. The afternoon, you're not going to get the best surfaces, just because of how many people have been on the grains. But these probably hold up the best from what I've seen.

So it's nice to see the course dry out a bit and have some drier fairways than what we had in some of the practice rounds. I thought the course played great. You have to drive it in the fairway. That's definitely key. I feel like I did a pretty good job of that, other than one hole. Happy about the start.

Q. Can you tell us how you handled the shot to 5? Did it put you in any different mode?
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, I mean, I got off to a great start, just making birdies on 3 and 4. Made a lot of good swings to start. 5, I just kind of -- a little mental mistake, forgot a swing cue I usually think of and missed the drive. Made a -- kind of compounded from having that mistake. Like I said, I got off to a good start. Made a lot of really good swings. Just have to put that behind me and move on.

Q. What does it say about your game that you're right in there with a triple-bogey?
RICKIE FOWLER: It would be nice not to have it. It's good. I've been swinging well. I had a great week Saturday, Sunday last week at Akron.

It's been a good year kind of all across the board. Kind of going through and keeping an eye on stats and making sure that everything is continuing to get better or kind of figure out what needs to be tighten up.

I just need to continue to do what we've been doing. I feel like right now we've been making really good swings short, mid-iron. Just see if we can put ourselves in the short grass as much as possible so we can go ahead and do that.

Q. With your history, how much does that firm up the mind-set when you approach playing Quail Hollow?
RICKIE FOWLER: I've definitely had a lot of good finishes here. Getting my first win, and then being in contention a couple years ago. This golf course has a great look to me. It suits my eye. I've made a lot of putts here. Obviously being on some different surfaces and some of the greens are different.

I feel like we did a good job of that on the putting surfaces today. The big thing for me is continuing to drive it, as good as I did today, if not better. That can be tightened up a little bit. If we do that, it will be a good week.

Q. How much faster are the greens from when you played Wells Fargo?
RICKIE FOWLER: I wouldn't say they are any faster, at least not today. This was always one of the tournaments that when they had control of the greens, when they weren't too wet, they get firm and fast, and I don't -- I didn't necessarily notice them being any quicker today but they can speed them up if they want.

Q. Were there parallels between your round and Rory's round in that you both played pretty well and had that one bad hole?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I mean, the good thing with mine was that it was early enough that I had plenty of time in front of me to kind of make up for it. With Rory having a rough hole kind of later in the round, kind of -- it's kind of a shot in the gut in a way. You do all that work and have a pretty solid round going and then you don't have much time to make up for the mistake there.

So yeah, it just shows you kind of the difference, when you do have something happen early, it can go one of two ways, obviously, but it gives you more time to make up for it versus something that happens late.

Q. Seems like you had fun out there, also, with Jon Rahm. How important was that for you?
RICKIE FOWLER: It's a great pairing. I've gotten paired with Jon a few times, and Rory and I have played quite a bit of golf together over the years. So I was looking forward to getting out with those guys. Yeah, hopefully we can push each other a little bit tomorrow morning and get moving in the right direction.

Q. Did you agree to wear same trousers' color?
RICKIE FOWLER: No, that was just coincidence. I thought we looked good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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