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July 20, 2018

Rickie Fowler

Angus, Scotland, United Kingdom

Q. Would you say you ended up on the better side of the draw when you look at it?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I would, but I don't see there being a huge difference in the sides. I mean, it's tough going out and playing in the rain. It was cool this morning, but as far as I think, when you look at the scores, I don't think there was a huge difference. I'm definitely very happy that I was on the dry side.

Q. Have you ever ended up on the bad side? I should know that but can you give me an example?
RICKIE FOWLER: St Georges. And then played Saturday on the bad side of that morning.

Q. You shot 68 in bad conditions, yeah.
RICKIE FOWLER: It was one of the best rounds I've ever played. But, yeah, I was definitely on the bad side to start Thursday, Friday. And then in the nasty stuff Saturday morning. I think in my first Open at St. Andrews, I was on the bad side. I think Rory went out and shot 62 in the morning. Wind picked up. Actually, I had a decent round going and then made a couple bad swings.

I had a decent round going and made a couple bad swings coming in, shot 79, and then went out Friday morning in the wind and shot 67 to make the number.

So I luckily played well on the bad side. It's just unfortunate, when you look at it, thinking, man, if I played that well on the good side, where would I have been? St Georges, finishing fifth.

So I do like the tough conditions. I'm looking forward to this weekend. Hopefully, I would like to see the wind pick up a little bit and get this course back to playing firm and fast like it was yesterday. But we can't control that.

Q. Rickie, after the birdie on 18 yesterday, did that set some momentum for you coming into today?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, it was nice. Any time you can finish with birdie or just even good swings like I did today on 18, same thing. Ultimately, in my head, I made birdie. I hit a great drive, great 8 iron about 12 feet left of the hole, and I hit a good putt, and then it decided to bump on me. And it still almost went in. In my mind, it went in. I made the putt I wanted to.

It is nice to always -- you know, make good swings and finish the round off that way. It will make dinner taste a lot better tonight, that's for sure.

Q. You've had eight top-fives in majors. Does it feel any different each time you're in this position?
RICKIE FOWLER: I would say it just continues to feel more and more comfortable. Just like anything, the more you do something over and over, it starts to feel like routine in a way, but in a good way. This is where we all want to be. Everyone wants to perform at their best at the majors, find a way to get in contention and have a chance come Sunday. So that's the plan. We'll see, like I said, what the weather has to offer over the weekend, but I'm looking forward to it. We're in a great spot with two rounds left.

Q. Rickie, you said at Augusta that that was the first time you knew you could do this. Before, you thought you could. What was the difference?
RICKIE FOWLER: I think just the way I executed and played Sunday, especially after not doing that the year before and got off to a bit of a shaky start and had a rough back nine. This year was able to stay patient, hang on, make a couple of key putts or swing, and then made a lot of really good swings and executed the back nine nearly perfectly.

So it was just a big difference in how I felt inside and mentally and ultimately physically in making the swings when I really needed to.

Q. So you knew it after that round, not necessarily going into that round, but that round is what convinced you?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, that was a big round. Obviously, playing at the highest level, you have to believe in yourself. I feel like everyone out here that plays this on a weekly basis, they believe they can go out there and win. But having that belief and then ultimately building that confidence and absolutely knowing what you're capable of, there's a little bit of a difference there.

Q. Playoff beard going on?
RICKIE FOWLER: I'm not sure what it is. It started over the week of 4th of July, and just kind of kept it rolling. Played decent last week. It won't be around long. There could be some variations. I don't know.

Q. Competing with J.T. here?
RICKIE FOWLER: No, I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. We're all in the house together. So it's just fun. We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.

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