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October 31, 2018

Rickie Fowler

Las Vegas, Nevada

THE MODERATOR: We would like to welcome Rickie Fowler into the interview room. He is making his fourth career start at Shriners Hospital for Children Open; made his professional debut here in 2009. Rickie, just talk a little bit about being here at TPC Summerlin this week.

RICKIE FOWLER: Definitely glad to be back. First time playing since the Ryder Cup. Like you were saying, I made my professional debut here on the tour. Lived here for a year when I first turned pro just up the street actually, so definitely happy to be back.

Vegas is obviously a fun spot for a lot of people who make this a little vacation stop down on the strip. I've always enjoyed Vegas, Vegas golf. Been out here a little bit to work with Butch from time to time. Discovery has a new property that I'm a part of just up the road, Summit.

Good area, and excited to be back and looking forward to getting my '18/'19 season going this week and next week as well.

THE MODERATOR: I was going to mention you finished 17th in the Fed Cup standings last season. Assess your season for us and then what your goals are.

RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, it wasn't bad; wasn't great. Would've been nice to have gotten a win. Ultimately I think my playoff run was kind of dampered a little bit by the oblique injury. Had to sit a few weeks out. Still happy to make it to Eastlake. We gave ourselves enough cushion where a good week at ^ got us in there.

But healthy now. Of ready to get things going. I would say main goal going into this year is contend in those majors and go get one. I guess more coming after that.

THE MODERATOR: Awesome. Open it up to some questions.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
RICKIE FOWLER: I think looking at the consistency in the majors, obviously things could have been better. Yeah, I think golf you're always trying to look at the glass half full. If you just base it off winning and trophies, that doesn't happen very often. So wherever you're making -- kind of I guess moving forward, making things better, whether it's tightening up a certain part of you game or driving better, putting better, felt like I did a good job just being consistent throughout the year.

All of us want to win out here. Just doesn't happen a whole lot. I need to make it happen just a little bit more for myself.

Q. Would the 2009 Rickie that was here be happy with 2018 Rickie, what he's done?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I'm definitely pleased with where I'm at. I don't measure all my success just off winning. I feel like I'm having a positive impact on the game of golf and doing a lot of things away from golf to kind of help build a legacy in a way. It's not all about golf.

Yes, I want to win golf tournaments and majors, but there is so much more I want to do. Being able to leave my mark when the time is up, that's not just about trophies.

Q. How do you feel about Las Vegas as a golf market? You mentioned this is your fourth appearance here. I'm wondering what would be some suggestions or thoughts on trying to increase the profile of this particular golf tournament?
RICKIE FOWLER: I've always enjoyed this golf tournament. Like I said, happened to be my first start on the tour here as a pro. Played well here. I think tough kind of through the fall time. You know, with some guys playing Asia or overseas. I decided not to go over last couple years and kind of stay closer to home, not travel as much.

So it's more the kind of timing, guys making decisions on how they're going to piece their schedule together. I guess that kind of happens throughout the year. You know, unfortunately we can't play every event. Rest is a big part of kind of being prepared and ready to play.

So for guys to go and play some of those events overseas, then they'll come home and shut it down. I kind of did the opposite of JT. He went and played Malaysia, Korea, and he's taking time off until Tiger's. I took Asia off and playing here and next week. So it's more of a decision time with the fall and how you're going to spend kind of getting rested for the next season.

See a lot of new faces at these events with guys coming off Web and Web Q-School. So I look at it as kind of a fun time. I'm getting to see and meet a lot of new people, guys I haven't met before or really seen a whole lot; some old friends that are back on tour.

A lot of cool stories this week here in Vegas.

Q. As far as the majors go, you've seen what they've done at Augusta National over the years; every other major has their unique I guess flare about them. Do you see one that one that suits your style that you might be able to break through?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I've talked about it before in different media conferences. I would say the two that stand out the most to me, Augusta and the British. But really any of them work. If I'm playing well, doesn't matter where we're at, I'm going to play well. Augusta and links golf. Links golf is my favorite, and who doesn't like Augusta?

Q. You look at where golf is now with you and Jordan and Justin. Can you compare it to like Tiger, Phil, and Ernie? Is there a comparison?
RICKIE FOWLER: I would have to argue that it's probably the deepest when you look down the board of how much guys are playing at kind of comparable or higher level. Nothing against past generations or anything. Obviously there were some great players, great rivalries. I don't think anyone was really going to touch guys like Tiger in his prime, Jack in his prime.

But I would have to argue that right now it's probably the deepest professional golf has been.

Q. The last couple years you might've had a couple starts in the fall, but they've been really good ones and you banked points. How important is that to you to sort of head into January with a solid base?
RICKIE FOWLER: It's nice just to not get too far removed from competitive golf, not take too much time off. I kind of keep bringing up rest; rest is a big thing. We were going through a pretty busy part of the summer, and that's when my partial tear to the oblique happened there at Akron.

So making sure that you're healthy and ready to go. Everyone out here can play some pretty darn good golf, but if you're tired physically or mentally, it's that much harder. When you're playing against guys that have been maybe coming off two weeks off and you're on your fourth, fifth week in a row, you got to manage your time well, and make sure when you do tee it up you're ready to go.

Yeah, playing the couple events in the fall. I don't want to start January behind the eight ball too much. Few times where I maybe played one tournament. I remember one year I played over in China. Think I finished in Top 5. Close. 6th.

Finished 6th and I started the season -- it was good solid week, the WGC. I start in January 60-something on the FedExCup. So we play so much with -- now we're in the new schedule, but in the old schedule we played a lot through the end of September, early October.

A lot of us want to have some time off, and it's tough with the wrap-around season. You have to pick and choose. Like I said, there is some time management in there figuring out when to rest and when to play.

Ultimately in the fall if you do go late into the season with the FedExCup and whether it's a Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup, taking advantage of when you do play and making it count.

Q. Are you 100% now?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, no, I feel good. I think when we were doing the media launch for the new driver with Cobra we started swinging hard at some drivers there. That was the first time I really let every thing out; everything felt good.

So I hadn't really tried to stress it at all. I knew it was in a good spot. It wasn't bothering me. But I didn't -- I hadn't tried to t really put stress on the area like that. Most of the time when you're out playing tournament golf you're swing 85, 90%. You never really try and go for the long drive swing.

No, I'm good. I feel great. Just going to see if we can take advantage of these next two weeks.

Q. When was that when you really started going after it?
RICKIE FOWLER: That would've been two weeks ago, but it's just because I wasn't -- I didn't need to try to stress it. I was healthy and good to go for TOUR Championship and the Ryder Cup, and just been enjoying time at home resting up. Our mini off-season in a way.

Q. How bad was it? Couldn't brush your teeth? Tie your shoes?
RICKIE FOWLER: Oh, no, not that bad. It as a partial tear. Just more that I would feel it kind of middle of the downswing prior to impact. Just an interesting spot. What you don't want to do is have a partial tear turn into a full tear and then you're out for a lot longer time.

I felt like we did a good job of managing how much time we took off and made sure when we came back I was ready to go play. No, I'm happy with how the kind of second half of the season went.

Q. I was just going to ask you about Bryson's trick-or-treat costume out there. Thoughts on that?
RICKIE FOWLER: It was pretty good. Could have done better on the mustache. Artwork was good, but if you're going to do one, either got to grow one or go buy a proper mustache that you put on there. But I give it to him. I'll give him an A for effort.

Q. If you had to go as him, how would it look?
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, I got a better tan than him so I have to start there. He should have spent some time maybe down in the Bahamas and worked on than that and grown a mustache to get to me. I would have to maybe get some powder to lighten up a little bit. The good thing is we're both with Puma, so easy to make that happen.

Q. Aaron Wise just won Rookie of the Year; you're a former Rookie of the Year winner. What advice would you give him?
RICKIE FOWLER: I mean, he's a great player. Very happy for him. He grew up not far from where I grew up. No, very deserving. I think the big thing coming off your rookie year, I know he's hungry. He wants more. He wants to go win. There is a lot of the goals he has in front of him that he wants to take care of. So I'm not worried about that.

I think a lot of time younger guys maybe have success early. It's just keep pushing, setting new goals, and see how far you can take it.

Never settle.

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