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April 9, 2024

Rickie Fowler

Augusta, Georgia, USA

Quick Quotes

RICKIE FOWLER: This is a place you don't want to miss. Sitting on the couch is one of the few events that you would watch as a fan and professional golfer, but it's a lot better when you're a part of it and actually playing.

Q. What did you see out there that's a little bit different since the last time you were here?

RICKIE FOWLER: Obviously there's a few changes. I know they made a few tweaks here from year to year, but with 13 being back and the resurfaced 2, 4, 6, and 6 they've made both top and right a little bigger, small little things.

But probably one of the best conditions I've seen the place as far as how it's playing early in the week, greens having a hop. But we'll see if we can get through this storm tomorrow night into Thursday. The golf course is playing really nice right now. I was here a week and a half ago, and probably the best I had seen it going into the tournament I would say, although some of the trips have been maybe earlier in the year.

If we can somehow dodge a bit of the storm, it's set up in a great spot.

Q. How nice is your game for this nice golf course?

RICKIE FOWLER: It hasn't been great as of late. I haven't been driving it well, and that's something when you're not driving it well, you're kind of starting from behind the 8-ball. I feel like we're starting to get that sorted, and excited to be back in a good spot.

I've been kind of making progress and heading the right direction. It's nice to be at a place that I've had success and love playing. It's one of my favorites.

There is a little more room off the tee, which compared to last week can be a benefit. I'm looking forward to that and seeing if we can get something going and get something sparked.

Like I said, I play this golf course well. I see it well. I love being here. There's a lot about how you feel at a place that can definitely help you play well.

Q. Is there something about coming back here that you have to recover shots you haven't used in a while, different shots that you don't normally play?

RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, you're hitting ball above your feet, below your feet, downslope, up slope. You get a lot of different situations that you don't normally see on other golf courses, or very rarely.

And knowing maybe, whether it's second shot into 10, there's guys that may like to cut it in there. I don't like to fight the slope. It's kind of an odd shot with the ball above your feet and downhill. It does set up for a cut, but it's hard to do with that slope.

There's a lot of shots that are very particular to this golf course, and like I said, it's fun to be back. I've hit a lot of good shots around here, but I think some of it is not trying to be too aggressive at times or also too perfect. Just kind of go with what the golf course gives you.

Q. How do you replicate the shots here back home?

RICKIE FOWLER: Sometimes it's tough to find areas to be able to do that. Some of the sidehills you can find some similar, but I would say it's hard to find a spot where -- No. 9 or No. 10 with the kind of severity of the downslope and then ball below your feet or on 10 with the ball above your feet. So you can simulate a little bit, but it's a little different when you're out there on kind of the sights and the visuals.

You can find a downslope with the ball below your feet, but then the visual of looking up at 9 green, that changes a lot of kind of mental side of it and kind of being able to hang in there and actually make a committed and trusted swing on what you're trying to do.

Q. Is that why this is pretty much the only course of the year to make a scouting trip two weeks in advance or is it an excuse to come here and play?

RICKIE FOWLER: It's a little bit of both. Like we talked about, you don't get a lot of these shots at other places and they're tough to replicate, so it's nice to get on the grounds and hit some of them.

But at the same time, it's Augusta. You don't really have to convince people to go play. I was able to bring my dad and my grandpa here a week and a half or two weeks ago, and part of that was to see the golf course but to have that experience and share it with them.

Q. Was that the highlight of your kind of relationship with this place is bringing your dad and your grandpa here, and what stands out from that trip?

RICKIE FOWLER: I mean, it's definitely up there. I'm lucky enough to have some pretty cool memories here, but to be able to bring them, especially my grandpa getting older -- I wish I would have done it a little earlier. He doesn't quite hit it as far as he used to, but to be able to be here, play the par-3, play the big course twice, stay onsite and get dressed up and do dinner, definitely fun.

We had a great time. It was more for them. I was just here to let them have a good time.

Weather was looking a little iffy for us at one point, but couldn't have worked out any better. Nick Evans hosted us, who I've known for a long time, and it was a great trip. Hopefully that's a good sign to how this week will be.

Q. There's no dinner menu, right, when you have dinner here?

RICKIE FOWLER: Dinner there is. Breakfast, figure out what you want.

Q. A lot of the amateurs lately are making some notable impacts in professional events. What have you seen out of the amateurs the last couple years that's maybe a little different than 10 years ago?

RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I would say from when I first turned pro and came out on Tour, I'd say the average age continues to get younger and younger. Just shows you, one, the depth of the game and the quality of junior golf and amateur golf and college golf.

I think we've seen a steady progression, like I said, with that age kind of getting younger. When I got my card at 21, that was a lot younger than it is now. Then that was very young, and there was a lot more guys -- I would say the average age was more towards the 30s. We've got quite a few guys out here that are in their 20s.

It just keeps getting younger and younger. To see that transition over the last 15 years, it was heading that direction.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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