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January 6, 2018

Rickie Fowler

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

Q. You flagged it pretty well today, no bogeys. You have to be happy with the position.
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, it was a good solid day. I missed a somewhat short one on 5 for a birdie early in the round. Kind of started off slowly, a bunch of pars, but it was nice to birdie 9. I played solidly on the back nine and, yeah, it would have been nice to have the one on 18 go in, but I feel like we put ourselves in a decent position for tomorrow. See where Dustin finishes up, but at least we're going to have a shot. So we'll see. It's about all you can hope for when you come to a tournament like this.

Q. Different ocean, different island, but you've been in this position here recently. Another run at 60 in the cards tomorrow?
RICKIE FOWLER: 60 will be tough here. I mean with a par 73, there would be a few more things that would need to happen. But I think we're going to be closer to the lead than we were at Hero. So we gave ourselves a shot going into Sunday, and any tournament you go to, that's the position you want to be in, to have a chance to win on Sunday. So it's going to take a solid round of golf on Sunday. Obviously we don't plan on D.J. coming back to us, we got to go out there and catch him.

Q. When you finish a year the way that you did, how do you rev it back off after a few weeks off to get in position where you are to try to win another golf tournament?
RICKIE FOWLER: Really just try to pick up right where we left off. It was nice to get some downtime this fall, not flying as much as we used to, not going oversees, just really -- just played at Mayakoba and Tiger's event. And so it was nice to rest up, relax a bit, and start the season here kind of refreshed, ready to go.

Q. Any floral patterns in the plan for tomorrow?
RICKIE FOWLER: I don't think there's any floral. There will definitely be some orange though.

Q. Can you touch on what you just talked about a little bit about you going head-to-head with D.J. before? How difficult he is to run down.
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, he's obviously the No. 1 player in the world and that doesn't happen by chance. He's one of the best, obviously right now, you look back at the past 12 to 24 months and he's the best player in the world, and he's off to a solid start here. So he's not someone that typically will come back, very rarely, in a 54-hole situation does he ever throw one away. A lot of times he takes care of the position that he's in, so it's going to take, from the guys that are a few back, we're going to have to play well to have a chance tomorrow.

Q. Is there something fun though about going after the world No. 1?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, for sure, being in a position where you're coming from behind, in a way nothing to lose, but the hard part is you can't necessarily make mistakes. And starting 3, 4, 5 shots back, you can't put yourself in a hole out of the gate going even further back. So another round like today, going bogey-free and then making some birdies, making a few more putts, that's what's going to have to happen. Like I said, I don't expect D.J. to come back at all. This is a golf course where you can -- it's not very demanding off the tee. He's probably the longest guy here and can take advantage of a few things, so I'm going to have to play well to go out there and catch him.

Q. Does the fact that he did give it up in China give you any hope?
RICKIE FOWLER: I don't expect him to necessarily do that again. Like I said, of all the times that he's been in a position to win and having a lead, he's taken care of that pretty well. D.J.'s a guy that forgets pretty quickly. I don't think he remembers China. So that's one of the reasons why he is the best player in the world right now. He quickly forgets, moves on. And he's a great player, a great ball-striker. There's not necessarily a weak part of his game, so I'm going to have to go play well if I want to go chase him down.

Q. What you did at Hero, does that give you confidence?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, definitely, coming off of getting that win a few weeks back. I think we were seven shots back and hopefully not that far back going into tomorrow. But no, it won't be easy. No. 1, someone's going to have to earn it tomorrow, whether it's D.J. or anyone coming from behind.

Q. Does it make it that much tougher, as opposed to other courses, particularly with respect to D.J.?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yes and no. I mean this golf course, yeah, it is pretty wide off the tee, but it can, with the winds, it will still pick you apart if you're a little bit off. And, yeah, it's no pushover golf course. You can easily go out and shoot 4-, 5-, 6-under, but you can easily go out and be coming to the last couple holes a couple over par. So I wouldn't say it's a whole lot different. Yeah, it's a little more inviting to the eye off the tee and the big fairways, big greens, but you start hitting it in the rough or missing greens, it's kind of tough to scramble your way around here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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