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July 12, 2018

Rickie Fowler

Gullane, Scotland

Q. Your thoughts on an opening 6-under and that fast start?
RICKIE FOWLER: The front was playing easier than the back and getting off and getting under par makes it a lot easier to hold on or try to get a couple extra on the way in. Feel like I can a good job of that, 5-under through six. Got a couple early in the back and would have been nice to keep it clean. After the bogey, maybe make a couple more birdies coming in.

But the back nine is playing tougher with where the wind is, and looking at the weekend, I think the wind is going to switch back, so it may switch around to where the front may play potentially harder than the back.

Q. You talked about drivable greens here yesterday, and you took advantage of one of the par 4s with your eagle.
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I hit a great drive there yesterday, as well, and tried to duplicate that. Had about 20 feet for eagle. Bit of a bonus there, so that was nice. Like I said, you kind of had to take advantage of the golf course early because it did give you a handful of opportunities to make birdies if you put yourself in position.

Q. That fast start that you had, is that down to you're quite relaxed or your preparation? Did you feel like you were going to get off to a strong start here?
RICKIE FOWLER: After yesterday and seeing the golf course in the same wind that we're seeing today, I knew it was out there to get a few in the first six to nine holes, and at the same time, you've still got to hit fairways, hit greens and make putts.

So it was nice to go out and execute early and would have been nice to get a few more on the back. The back was playing tougher coming in and could have presented some trouble but I feel like we did a good job of avoiding that.

Q. It's a course that seems to suit your eye. What is it about Gullane that you love?
RICKIE FOWLER: For me, I feel like it's right in front of you. Yeah, there's blind tee shots as far as you can't see the ball land. I feel like here at Gullane, they do a good job of the bunkers or something that you can see that helps frame the hole. So you always have some sort of reference. It's not like you're hitting over a hill and completely blind, not that I'm ever against that.

I love playing links golf and being able to use your imagination and hit different shots. I feel like this golf course, you go around and you hit pretty much every club in your bag. You hit driver quite a bit. It's just fun. Especially once the wind starts to blow a bit.

Q. Would you say this is ideal prep heading into Carnoustie next week? Different courses, of course, and different challenges, but it's still links golf.
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I think it's probably the best prep that you can get, playing competitive golf leading into a major, especially similar style of golf. I think Carnoustie is probably maybe a little firmer or faster than here right now, but this place could dry out over the weekend. I think it's great prep just to be over here, playing on similar ground, feeling how much the wind does affect the ball, whether it's crosswinds, into the wind, downwind, and just getting acclimated and relaxed over here.

Q. I remember speaking to you three years ago, you loved Gullane itself, didn't you, going into the pub, having a beer and two and just mixing with the locals?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, it's always nice to get to go to new places, whether it's Gullane or down the road at North Berwick.

Q. You know the place now?
RICKIE FOWLER: It's a good area. After the win in 2015, having a bar named after me in the clubhouse there, it's cool. It's definitely a place that we feel very welcome and it's a great golfing area, and Gullane has obviously been great to me.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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