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January 4, 2018

Rickie Fowler

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

Q. Rickie, bit of an up-and-down day, but what a finish coming home.
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah. No, I had it going nicely, turned at 3-under and just a bad golf swing on 13, but rebounded nicely. Made two birdies and a little bonus to finish with eagle on the last. But made some good swings coming in, so off to a nice start.

Q. I followed you around your final 36 at Mayakoba. You played great, you played great at the end of 2017, are you licking your chops to get this season started this year or this calendar year started?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I'm looking forward to kind of getting back into a rhythm. We didn't play a whole lot through the fall, but it was nice to go to those tournaments fresh and ready to play and knowing that the game's held together nicely through the somewhat of an off season that we put ourselves in a position to have. Definitely looking forward to getting the West Coast Swing started. After this week we'll start up at Farmers Insurance Open, get things going from there.

Q. I love the shirt. Tell me about this shirt, because this is unique and you were absorbing and loving this atmosphere I'm guessing with this look.
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, we are in Maui, so I feel like this shirt was somewhat fitting. So, Puma's obviously always done a great job coming out with some cool, fun stuff, working alongside me on a few things and, yeah, I think the shirt, it fits here.

Q. Can you talk about the finish, first and foremost?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I had a little mishap at 13, but I've been swinging well and knew we had a couple opportunities coming in to get some. Had a couple putts that missed, but to finish with 3 at the last is a little bonus. But made some good swings coming home and nice to rebound after a little mishap.

Q. You touched on this earlier in the week, but can you talk about how the golf course sets up for you as far as it seems like guys can be more aggressive, fairways are open. Do you enjoy this kind of golf, or do you change your game?
RICKIE FOWLER: It's a fun course to play, especially when the wind's up just because you have to hit golf shots. And the ball may be above your feet and you're trying to cut the ball and the ball's below your feet and you're trying to hold it up against the wind, so you have to be very much in control of your golf ball. The fairways are fairly generous out here, which is nice. If there were narrow fairways, this golf course would be not fun to play. But, no, it is enjoyable and if you're on your game you can definitely score, but it will pick you apart if you're a little bit off.

Q. Finally the winds. You played here before, but these seemed to be a little bit different. Did they present a challenge?
RICKIE FOWLER: I think this wind was similar to I think the wind direction we had, I can't remember what year, I've only been here two times before, so. I know one of the years that we were here it was similar to this. Really, it can blow from any direction and it changes the golf course completely. And really you know where you're trying to hit the ball off the tee in certain situations. Yeah, there's some times where it's really downwind, you might be able to push it a bit more, but you just kind of take what the course gives you and use the wind kind of to your advantage. You can use it as your friend a lot of times, sometimes it doesn't quite work out that way.

Q. Everyone kept bringing up your shirt. You're never reluctant to maybe push the boundaries a little bit. Have they every given you anything that you didn't feel comfortable putting on?
RICKIE FOWLER: Not necessarily. Maybe some that I may not have liked the color combos or I wouldn't say anything that within reasonable boundaries that I wasn't afraid of going out and doing something different. I've always been different. I don't want to go straight down the middle of the fairway. I like to skirt into the rough a little bit, but at the same time obviously still be respectable.

Q. What was your reaction when they handed you this?
RICKIE FOWLER: I thought it was fun and definitely fitting for Maui. It's not like you can really bring out this shirt in many other places but on the island. So I thought it was definitely fitting for the start of this week.

Q. Did you notice anything with the greens, with the diseases in the greens? Did they affect the play at all out there at all?
RICKIE FOWLER: They're not, obviously the greens aren't as good as what they usually are here. They're still rolling okay, they're a bit slower than normal and a bit grainier than normal. But other than a couple greens that are maybe a little bit worse than some of the others, the ball's still rolling pretty good. Like I said, with them being a little thicker, a little grainier, it might catch a spike or something and it's going to bring up some more grass. Other than that, I made a few putts out there today. If you get the speed right and the line, like I said, they're still rolling pretty good, but everyone's having to deal with the same stuff. You hit good putts, they go in most of the time, but you just can't get too upset if you happen to get a bad break. That's just going to happen.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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