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June 3, 2010

Rickie Fowler


MARK STEVENS: We'll get started. Rickie, great 7- under today. If you'd talk a little bit about your round. Then we'll take some questions.
RICKIE FOWLER: It was fun. Had two fun guys to play with in D.A. Points and Kevin Sutherland.
We had a delay. We were out on No. 5 and started around and three-putted No. 2, which sort of set me back. Made a good putt on 4 which kind of let me know there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
Hit a good drive with the -- right before they blew the horn. And then went from there and topped off with a few more birdies and an eagle and then another birdie after that.
So it was kind of -- what was that, five-hole stretch that really made the round.

Q. Talk about your putting a little bit. It hasn't been the greatest early in the year. Is it coming around now or lately? Where does that stand?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah. Last week I rolled it well, other than on Sunday I struggled a bit. It's been up and down through the year.
Today it was nice to -- I told some of the guys out there, to see the ball disappear. Definitely, when you get a few putts to fall, it can definitely build a lot of confidence.

Q. Can you talk about how frustrating that's been? Given you made everything through college for a few years.
RICKIE FOWLER: Through Junior, college, Amateur golf, I felt putting was the strongest part of my game, saved some rounds through me. I putted well in the fall series, got my card through Q School and came out this year and was just a little off.
You can be misreading greens a little bit, not starting with online or bad speed. There's a lot of things that go into putting. Just a little bit off through the first start of the year, but hopefully this is a turn of events.

Q. Did you make any significant changes or just kind of --
RICKIE FOWLER: No, same old stuff. Working on starting the ball where I'm looking. You know, there was times where setup would feel a little bit off or the ball was coming out of a weird spot.
It's really similar to the golf swing, just getting it to where it feels right.

Q. You had played here in an Nationwide event last year, the year before?
RICKIE FOWLER: I played the last two years at the Nationwide event, which is at the Scarlet Course.

Q. And you finished second?
RICKIE FOWLER: I did. I lost in the playoff last year.

Q. Can you talk about just handling the -- there's been a lot of hype obviously. You've been on a couple of magazine covers here recently. And you come to a new stop every time, and people probably want to talk to you. How do you process all that to the point where it's not the same answers all the time? Is it difficult handling that?
RICKIE FOWLER: No, it's actually been a lot of fun. I try and just take it all in.
You know, this is what I've always dreamt of doing. I think I told my parents when I was seven I wanted to play on the PGA Tour. And finally getting to do it. So I'm just kind of just sitting back, letting it all soak in, and just trying to play the best I can.

Q. Is this week the first time you get to play here that you played here at any point?
RICKIE FOWLER: It's the first time I've been inside the gates. Tuesday morning I played 18. Played nine on Wednesday morning.

Q. What did you think of the course when you first saw it? And what do you think of it now that you've played a competitive round on it?
RICKIE FOWLER: I didn't see myself shooting 65 on it today. I saw this as being a pretty tough course, had to drive it well. The greens are pretty tricky.
So I'm pretty stoked to go out the first tournament round and put up that number.

Q. Reading some of your back stuff, when's the last time you've been on a bike?
RICKIE FOWLER: Last time I was in California, I stopped by for a wedding, but that doesn't count. It was half day. Over Christmas break time, hopped on and rode around a little bit. May hop on one next week or so just to kind of let loose.
I take it easy these days.

Q. Is there anything that -- your dad was a former rider. Is there anything transferable between the two sports?
RICKIE FOWLER: I think so. With riding, I mean, I like to be in the air. I can't do it as much as I would like to -- I mean, when you go up and hit a jump for the first time, you kind of roll over it, check it out a couple of times, and then you have to just go do it. The more you thought about it, usually the worse it would get.
So I kind of carry that over in golf. You don't see me taking too much time over a golf shot. Once I'm over it, it's pretty quick.
So I think it kind of transfers over it like that and kind of not having the fear.

Q. When's the worst you were hurt on a bike?
RICKIE FOWLER: When I was 15 over New Year's, we were out in the desert just messing around with one of my little bikes and broke my foot in three spots and blew out my left knee.

Q. At that point, as you've gotten older, I'm sure you can't quite have as much fun as you would like now, given your status in the golf world?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah. Well, after I did that, I actually kind of hung it up and really put riding in the backseat. It was always in the backseat to golf because I always loved golf more, but I had to put it back a little ways if I wanted to be out here playing.

Q. How did the caddie situation transpire this week? How did that come about?
RICKIE FOWLER: I kind of always wanted to have Coach Darr, Coach Bratton on the bag at some point. And Donnie let me know that he had a week off this week, and being that he lives here now. It just fit perfectly.
So I told Joe, nothing against him and I working together. I said, I just wanted to have Donnie on bag this week. So it's so far, so good. I always enjoyed having Donnie walk with me during college. So it's fine.

Q. You were okay with the Ohio State captain?
RICKIE FOWLER: It's all right. He's got some orange in him, but he has to wear the Ohio State now.

Q. You said you didn't see yourself, which I don't think anybody does, going out and shooting 65. But after -- I think there was over an inch of rain last night. The course was soft before this, but did it play easier today than it had in the practice rounds?
RICKIE FOWLER: A little bit. The only thing -- I mean, the fairways got so soft the ball was picking up a little bit of mud here and there. Early on, we had to deal with it.
Basically, if you have a solid golf shot, it wouldn't really affect it too much. It affected a couple shots of mine. I think it may have played a little easier in the practice rounds just because it wasn't too soft. It was still soft where you could be aggressive but wouldn't pick up mud balls or anything like that.

Q. Easier in the practice round, you said?
RICKIE FOWLER: I think it played a little bit easier.

Q. Okay if I go over a couple of birdies maybe. What's the most exciting birdies?
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, I holed out for eagle with a wedge on 7 from 90 -- no, it was like 75 yards. So that counts as one towards Chris Tidland in our chipping contest. So we said anything under 100 yards. I'll shoot him a text later on today about that.
Other than that, I made a good putt on 4, which kind of turned the round around. The par 3 made it about a 25-footer. Birdie the next hole, par 5. Hit a good shot made by the 12-footer on 6 and then holed out with a wedge.
On 8, hit a 7 iron to about eight feet.
MARK STEVENS: Maybe talk about your par save on -- was it 16?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I chunked an 8 iron.
MARK STEVENS: Yeah. It was a great save, though.
RICKIE FOWLER: Had an awkward lie on the fairway. Normally on the fairways you have good lies. The wall was kind of above my feet and downhill lie, and I was on a bare spot. So basically no grass.
It was right where there was a drain just below me. So, obviously, there's a lot of water that had been going through there. And I knew I had to catch ball first and got a little steep. The 8 iron went straight in the ground.
Luckily, the ball flew 50 yards toward the green, and that was the hard part. I think we flipped a wedge up to about 10 or 12 feet, hit a perfect putt. Easy 4.

Q. How about the clubs on 18 if you want to run through that last hole.
RICKIE FOWLER: 18, 3 wood off the tee. With the fairways being soft, you can be fairly aggressive there. Had to redeem myself with an 8 iron. Tried to hit a cut in there and just tugged it a little bit on the safe side. Had an uphill left to right putt, and it went right in the middle.
MARK STEVENS: Thanks a lot, Rickie. Good luck the rest of the week.

End of FastScripts

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