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May 18, 2010

Rickie Fowler


THE MODERATOR: I would like to welcome Rickie Fowler to the media center. Rickie is making his first appearance here at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, although in 2006 he won the HP boys' Junior, American Junior Golf Association event, so maybe there is some fate at play here, and also Rickie needs a top-5 this week to qualify for the U.S. Open. Rickie, if you would talk about playing your first event here and any goals that you have coming into this week.
RICKIE FOWLER: Definitely pretty pumped to be here in the Texas, Dallas area, obviously went to school at Oklahoma State so cool spot to be around. Mingle for the week, just try and get in the top 50 in the world. That would take two qualifiers out of my near future, which would be for the Open and the British Open, so that's kinda the main thing on the agenda is to play well and get that out of the way.

Q. How has the season gone for you as far as first full year out here? Any surprises, just kind of assess how you've done so far?
RICKIE FOWLER: So far it's been pretty good. We've had some top-10s, some missed cuts, that's going to happen but working on getting a little more consistent. Hasn't been any big surprises yet, nothing crazy and it's been a pretty smooth transition.
I was fortunate to get some spots as an amateur through my years at college, with a few different starts, and that definitely helped out with getting prepared to play well as a professional.

Q. Can you talk about the mind-set knowing that you need a top-5? How do you handle that? Do you try to block it out?
RICKIE FOWLER: I didn't know until he mentioned it, so now I know. I knew I was going to have to play well coming into this week. I took last week off and there was that option of playing to try and score points to get in the world top 50, but I stuck to my plan of what I wanted to do. I wanted to have a fresh week coming to these three tournaments playing here, at Colonial, Memorial but focusing on this week to play well. Now I know I need to finish top-5, so I guess that's what we'll try and do.

Q. Try to block it out now but --
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, we'll try and block it out! No, it will be in the back of my mind.

Q. How do you feel with a week off? Do you feel like you're coming in fresh and maybe ready to get that first win?
RICKIE FOWLER: So far with weeks off after coming back we've had some pretty good finishes, had a week off before Phoenix, I got second there; week off before Hilton Head, tied for 8th. Those were some of my better finishes. So I feel good coming in after a week off, rested, didn't touch a club a whole bunch, slapped it around a little bit, didn't focus or grind too hard.
I got out there today, the course looks pretty good and I hit some balls on the range and the swing started to feel good so looking forward to the week and pretty pumped, like I said, to be here in Texas close to Oklahoma State.

Q. Did you ever come down for this tournament and just be part of the gallery, part of the scene?
RICKIE FOWLER: No, I didn't. I followed it quite a bit, followed it last year when Dustin Johnson and Sabbatini were in contention, and Rory ended up winning, but this time of year when I was it the college it was postseason, coming off conference and going into regionals and then to nationals, so we were as a team usually working pretty hard and practicing so we didn't have much time to come down and watch.

Q. How big of a goal is it to break through this year and get the first win? Are there other bigger goals for you on your personal agenda?
RICKIE FOWLER: Winning is, I would say, the goal every week. I would say the long term goals for the year, I want to keep playing well and play with a little more consistency. I want to work on staying on top of the Fed-Ex Cup points, I want to play in the Championship at the end of the year, and ultimately a chance to play in the Ryder Cup, so if I try and block the top-5 out, and go out and have fun and play well.

Q. When you were laying out your schedule what was it about this tournament that made you want to include it as opposed to this being your week off?
RICKIE FOWLER: I've always heard good things about this tournament, there is a lot of history with it, obviously with the name, Byron Nelson and with HP. I won a junior event that was sponsored by HP, so hopefully that works for me, and the Byron Nelson and the Colonial are always ones I wanted to play, so this along with the Memorial being my stretch for the three weeks, playing great courses, and like I said this is the stretch that I've looked forward to.

Q. It used to be that when Byron was alive he would be out there hustling to get people to come in. Is there much buzz on this TOUR, guys wanting to be here because of the name?
RICKIE FOWLER: Because of the name, the history, a lot of guys play it, and it's a great field, and from what I've heard it's a great event; guys like to come back. I would say for the most part it's been in a lot of the players' top-10 lists that they've told me and highly recommended to me.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, good look, Rickie.

End of FastScripts

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