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August 9, 2018

Rickie Fowler

St. Louis, Missouri

RICKIE FOWLER: Kind of get out and set a mark if you can. I'm sure that someone is going to either match that or potentially better it throughout the day, maybe this afternoon. I think the tough thing with this afternoon and tomorrow afternoon with the soft conditions, the greens may get a little beat up with as much traffic as we're going to have. Everyone's going to see it. Everyone gets a morning and an afternoon time.

I'm definitely happy about the start. Felt like I kept it very stress free, hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens. Just played within myself. Didn't try to do anything special or get anything extra up there today. I'm definitely happy with the start, and we'll see if we can keep that rolling. Because I know the last -- last few events we haven't exactly put together four consecutive rounds like we need to and want to. This is a different week.

Q. How do you harness the emotion like you did today and maybe turn it into a positive?
RICKIE FOWLER: Really the last few weeks, especially last week and this week, we've all been thinking about Jarrod a lot. So I was scripted to wear dark blue today. That definitely immediately changed last night. Last week I had the pin somewhere on the side. This is front and center.

You know, it's definitely tough, especially talking with some of the guys that knew Jarrod better than most out here. Guys like Scotty and Leish and a lot of the Aussies, obviously. You also think about it as far as Jarrod wouldn't want us out here feeling sorry for him or feeling bad or anything. You'd probably come out here and kick us in the butt and tell us to man up and go have some fun.

So it's a little bit kind of bittersweet. You're trying to go out there and keep living lifelike he did, but it's unfortunate that he's not here with us.

Q. Rickie, how do you compartmentalize the emotions of that to go out and play as well as you did today?
RICKIE FOWLER: It kind of -- it can help you. I feel like it takes your mind off of golf and trying to hit the shots.

Thanks, Jordan. Appreciate it. That's Jordan Spieth, guys.

But being able to focus on the shot or what's at hand there, and then in between, being able to think about Jarrod and family and everything they're dealing with and the impact he's had on everyone out here. And then go back and focus on golf and try and do the best you can do there. So it can be -- it can work as a benefit if you go about it the right way.

Q. Any surprises on the golf course?
RICKIE FOWLER: The greens were maybe a touch faster than the practice rounds, but it was -- but some of them were slower than others. Some were a little quicker. It just depended how much grass was on. I had some downhill putts today that I thought weren't possible to leave short and still did.

I think it's fairly simple. It's fairly straightforward out there as a golf course. It's got some length. It's not obviously playing short. You don't have a bunch of wedges. You get some mid irons. You get some long irons on the par 4s. You've got to ball strike your way around.

It's -- the golf course, after seeing a bit of it the last few days, it's really -- I mean, it played how I expected it to play.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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