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August 31, 2017

Rickie Fowler

Boston, Massachusetts

MICHAEL BALIKER: We'd like to welcome Rickie Fowler, our 2015 Dell Technologies Championship winner to the interview room.

You're right in the mix in terms of the FedExCup standings, currently sixth. Just talk about this week coming back to a place where you've obviously had some great success.

RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, definitely excited to be back at a place that we've won. Like you said, in a good spot in the FedExCup points, coming into the second Playoff event.

I think the ultimate goal is to make sure that we're inside the top five going into Atlanta so we can kind of control our own destiny there. Ultimately, like to continue to play well. Get ourselves a win to make sure that we're really inside of that and potentially near the top. The higher you can get, the better chance you have at Atlanta.

Q. Coming into the week at a place you've won before, do you approach it differently because you're more comfortable on the course or how does that kind of change things?
RICKIE FOWLER: I definitely think versus last week, playing a place we haven't played before; coming here, where we've had a handful of tournaments, and to have won here, coming in here with a lot more confidence knowing that we can play well here.

So relaxed and confident, with the way I've been playing this year; consistent and kind of doing well all throughout the game. You know, nothing's necessarily struggled. Everything's been pretty solid.

But like I said, yeah, it's nice to have that little extra confidence, and being relaxed, as well, knowing that we can go play well here.

Q. There's speculation this tournament could drop by the wayside because of the reordering of tournaments that was proposed last month. Given that you won here a couple of years ago, would you be disappointed to see Boston fall out of the loop, and what is your thought on the whole reordering?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yes and no. I mean, yeah, I'm always going to have great memories here, having won two years ago. But I know there's been talk of the Playoffs potentially going to maybe three tournaments.

I think it's a good thing. I think from my point of view, I've thought that, you know, maybe the Playoffs should go to less guys getting in and make it, you know, more like playoffs of other sport, as well. You don't see all teams in the NFL going into the playoffs. You don't see all the guys going in October in MLB.

We'll see. I know it's a work-in-progress. Is it ever going to be perfect? Probably not. But I know the big thing with the talk not going up against football, you know, to where we can try and push the TV ratings and making sure that we're getting as much visibility as possible. Because I know it can become a little bit tougher towards the end of the Playoffs, especially when you have guys playing for the FedExCup; and then you're competing against football, it becomes a bit tough.

So if we can make it to where we're "the" thing to watch on TV at the end of our season, I think that's the main goal.

Q. The re-designed 12th has become a discussion point this week. Your thoughts on that hole?
RICKIE FOWLER: I had forgotten that they are doing that up until my caddie had mentioned last week that he was going to be getting here earlier to walk, and then ultimately check out 12 and 13.

It's a lot harder hole for the most part; it's an easier drive. Just a lot longer second shot. I thought 12 was a great hole before. You had to hit the fairway to the right pins.

It is a more generous tee shot depending on what you're trying to do. I didn't see it today where you could push it up the left side because it was into the wind, so I had to hit driver, 5-wood; whereas, before, into the wind on the old hole, might have been a 6-iron at most.

So yeah, it is harder. It will be interesting to see how it plays this week. I know we're supposed to get some wind out of the north the next two days, and then there's southeast and then west, southwest. We're going to see a little bit of everything. Typically we're a southwest-ish area, this tournament, but unfortunately we're going to have to deal with a cold front.

Yeah, like I said, we'll see how it plays through the week. Gil actually came out on the 12th fairway when I was out there, asking me my opinion. It was the first time I had seen it. I hit it down the middle of the fairway. I hit a 5-wood to six or seven feet and made birdie, so I like it; if we can just kind of keep doing that, that would be great.

My caddie told me before the round, it's a hole right now where, kind of hit it out there, try and make four fours through the week and you'd be happy with that.

It's a tough hole. There's no question about it. It will be, like I said, interesting to see how it plays through the week and if there are any tweaks after this week.

Q. In 2015 when it came down to pretty much you and Henrik Stenson, it was a pretty good final round. We have a good history of finishes here, but can you match your play on that and other wins that you've had down the stretch? Can you name a couple of other, nice, exciting finishes you had other than what happened here in 2015?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, it was definitely a fun battle and a good battle between Henrik and I going into the back nine. I think I remember making birdie on 11 and really putting myself in a good position to kind of chase him down. He was a few out front. Really came down to the last few holes. So it was a good, fun battle.

It worked out okay for Henrik, as well. He went on and won The Open the next year. I don't think he, you know, held that loss too bad. I would have switched him; that would have been nice (laughter). It was a great win. But for me, there's not really any that come close to or compare to the PLAYERS, and kind of the come-from-behind and get myself in a players and ultimately to get the job done there on 17.

Q. You've been to Liberty National a few times. Have you ever had a Statue of Liberty moment where you have been able to take a step back at that course and kind of just enjoy the fact that it's so close to the Statue of Liberty?
RICKIE FOWLER: I mean, yeah, from the first time I went there, I think we played there in 2013. You really have views of the city and the statue almost the whole way around the course. There's only a couple holes where you can't see something of some sort of view.

It's a special piece of property. I've enjoyed playing there. We went and played Sunday before Northern Trust last week. I'm really looking forward to the event there.

Definitely a few times, I remember one time I walked up the wall on 18, I think someone ended up snapping a picture of me as I was walking up the wall there. And then we flew in via helicopter from the Hamptons that Sunday morning, so when we flew in, kind of fly right over the Statue of Liberty and into the course.

The stands are already up over there. I was with my girlfriend and J.T., and they had not really seen it that way. I had flown into the city before with my sister, kind of the same flight. But it's a little different view. It's not your normal view. That was pretty cool.

MICHAEL BALIKER: Rickie, thanks for the time and best of luck this week.

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