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September 15, 2017

Rickie Fowler

Carmel, Indiana

AMANDA HERRINGTON: We'd like to welcome Rickie Fowler to the Interview Room after Round 2 of the BMW Championship.

Rickie, 6 straight birdies yesterday, six birdies today and an eagle. You're in the 6th spot for the FedExCup Standings, looking to get into the Top-5. It's a great statistic for you to far.

RICKIE FOWLER: We're off to a good start this week for sure. Back-9 has been great. Just got off to shaky start yesterday. I felt like I got off to a nice start today, had some great looks. Didn't make anything on the front-9. Could have been a really low one.

But nice to kind of rally and make another run coming in to put myself in a good position for the weekend. Really regardless of what the guys do out there -- I know Marc was at 13 last I saw and he could get to 16, 17, who knows, but kind of took care of our business and nice to get off to a good start here.

I think for me I try to kind of cram some work in, got a round in over the weekend and cram some stuff in earlier this week. The hurricane kind of threw us for a loop.

Obviously Justin talked about how having to evacuate. So, obviously praying for everyone down in Florida that's had to deal with some of the stuff. But, yeah, nice to be up here in this good weather.

AMANDA HERRINGTON: We'll take some questions.

Q. What did you find yesterday on that back-9 and how much of that momentum were you able to carryover into today's round?
RICKIE FOWLER: Really just the swing I made with 9-iron on 12, front left pin and wind out of the left, had to start it kind of left side of the green and just made a perfect swing. Hit my number and hit it in there about three and a half feet.

That swing kind of got me going on the iron side of things. I had already made some good putts. Unfortunately, they were for par on the front-9. Made some good up and downs and driving it well. Kind of getting the short iron, mid-iron swing to kind of getting going to give myself some more looks and that was probably the swing that got things going.

I got off to a nice start today. My only bogey was the 3-putt and just didn't make anything on that front-9. So, still solid two days.

Q. Rickie, when you're on the course and you hear a roar, does that throw you as in the case with Jason Day, does that throw you for a moment, do you just -- is it like you never hear it?
What's your reaction on something like that?

RICKIE FOWLER: If you're a rookie you might start looking around or wondering or might throw you off, but I mean we hear it week-in and week-out so it's motivating at times.

You want to create your own roars. You want to send that message across the golf course to other guys. But, no, doesn't necessarily throw you off. It's good to hear.

I think us, as players, we like playing golf courses where you can be aggressive and show off your offense of it.

Q. You talked about the putter getting hot on the back-9 as well. Did anything else change in your approach on the back-9 today maybe from how you started the round on the front-9?
RICKIE FOWLER: Not really. With a different wind direction today some tee shots change a bit. Really just stuck with what we would normally do, stayed aggressive.

Some of these pins out here it's worth pushing it up and not necessarily having to play from the fairway but I feel like we executed well. Probably the best swing of the day was on 17, 6-iron to the right pin. Not much room for error there.

No. I think the big thing was we executed our game plan well.

Q. Rickie, since you've lived in all regions, is it more unsettling to live in earthquake country, tornado alley or a hurricane zone?
RICKIE FOWLER: I'd say the toughest one -- well, at least you know a hurricane is coming and somewhat predictable as far as where it's going to be and stuff like that. Tornadoes, you don't know and earthquakes, you don't really know.

I would put tornadoes up there and probably the scariest. You don't know -- you can kind of predict them but it's within a few minutes and then they kind of have a mind of their own, whatever they want to do. Yeah, there's no real safe place.

Now, Oklahoma has got earthquakes, too. You're not really -- it's not a whole lot of benefit. I love Oklahoma. I'm looking forward to going back. Want to be there for homecoming this year. It's a special place. Tornadoes and earthquakes won't keep me away from there.

Q. Do you go to basements? Where do you go in a tornado?
RICKIE FOWLER: Tornado, either basement, some sort of storm shelter, bathtub, closet. We actually had a great kind of underground basement that was built into the bottom of the clubhouse kind of into the hill that was all concrete. So, there's I think a couple times we were there.

One of the big things is kind of parking your car under some sort of shelter because the hail that comes with the storms, protection with that.

Q. On a lighter note, I see scores of people out there, especially kids decked out in blaze orange wearing the Puma logos.
How does it feel to have this legion of fans out there dressing like you, wanting to be you and what message do you have for them?

RICKIE FOWLER: It's great. I feel like we've seen it kind of continuously grow from when I came out as a rookie. It wasn't anything that I was trying to come out here to be someone that I wanted kids to necessarily follow, just happened to be that way.

And to be in a position where I've turned into someone that gets to be a role model, someone the kids look up to, it's pretty cool.

I definitely remember when I was younger and looked at guys that I looked up to and either tried to emulate or be like or carry myself similar to them.

Like you said, it's cool to be in a position that I'm someone that parents allow them to do so.

Q. Who did you look up to?
RICKIE FOWLER: Guys I watched growing up in golf, Tiger, Phil, Payne Stewart, Freddie, Davis, Ernie, there's a handful of guys. I grew up in the X Sports World, motocross, Jeremy McGrath was one of my heroes growing up. So, cool to be able to be out here now playing with guys I look up to.

Q. Rickie, now I understand the Wanamaker is in your safe currently. Is it going to be hard to give that back to Justin and, also, the second part is, what do you think has clicked for him this year and what has he discovered to kind of have the year that he's had?
RICKIE FOWLER: He doesn't know the code so if I want to keep it I can (laughter). Yeah, he'll get it back. He's starting to rack up a pretty good trophy collection and to see him have success or the amount of success over the last couple of years with multiple wins, it's been pretty cool to see.

It's motivating for us other guys, close friends from Jordan to myself and down the line because it is great to see your friends play well, but those are the ones you want to beat the most, have the bragging rights.

Currently, I'd say Justin and Jordan kind of have those bragging rights getting those last two Majors.

But, no, Justin, he's not scared of the moment, he's not afraid to play aggressive and to hit the shots. The swinging shot he hit on 17 on Sunday and then to make the putt on top of it but the swing there, that wasn't an easy golf hole that day with the wind off the left. Cool to see.

Q. Rickie, Jason talked about feeling a difference this week more relaxed, mental frame of mind.
How much of a difference do you feel like that can make for guys like you at this level and how much of a difference do you sometimes see in his game when he got things clicking like he does this week?

RICKIE FOWLER: You definitely can't play this game I would say for a long period of time stressed out or not being relaxed just because of how much we do play, how much pressure there can be.

It's not just going out and playing golf. Lot of people I think look at our sport sometimes and think just play Thursday to Sunday and just 18 holes a day.

They're thinking of playing the afternoon round with the buddies, taking the cart around, maybe a couple beers. That's easy.

It's a bit different when you're playing day-in and day-out. Have friends that will come up to tournaments and come and they might be out walking for the day and they're passed out in the afternoon on the couch just because it takes a bit more out of you than people really see or think.

The more you can be mentally relaxed or rested, it takes a lot of stress and kind of pressure off of your game.

Q. Rick, did the tees going forward on 15 give you a good yardage or awkward yardage?
RICKIE FOWLER: 15 was a great yardage for me. We had I think 250 front, roughly 275 hole. Downwind, little off the right.

Ball was going a little bit further because of the warmth and just maybe lighter air. Figure my 5-wood is probably going about 250 and the help should fly about 260 or so. That's what it did. Perfect 5-wood. Flew roughly 260 and put me in a great spot to make 2.

AMANDA HERRINGTON: Any last questions? Rickie, thank you for joining us.

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