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June 5, 2010

Rickie Fowler


MARK STEVENS: I'd like to welcome Rickie Fowler to the interview room. Rickie, you got to minus 16 for the tournament. If you'd talk a little bit about the round today and what it was like with the delays, and then we'll take some questions.
RICKIE FOWLER: For the most part, we just had the one big delay. It wasn't too bad. We got to warm up afterwards. I don't think there was much rain, so the course didn't change very much.
As for my round, a little shaky to start out the round, hit some good shots and then punished -- had two birdie looks on the first couple holes and pushed them a bit. So didn't get a good roll there.
Kind of just had to stay patient and wait for my chances. Made a good up and down at 8. And then I think that kind of helped me jump start my birdie at 9 and cruised a bit through the back nine.

Q. Just knowing how soft and still it was out there, and I don't know if Ricky Barnes -- how much of that 62 he had started, but was it a challenge at all to stay as patient as you did?
RICKIE FOWLER: No. I'm hitting the ball well. At least these last three days, I've hit the ball well. I've kept it out of trouble and giving myself some looks at birdie.
So I knew opportunities were going to come around. It was just about waiting for them. And obviously, the course was there to be had.
Ball in hand, and I was just seeing Ricky Barnes throw up a low 62, definitely let me know there were some birdies available.

Q. You going to get some rest tonight? Is this going to be a sleepless night or is this going to be like any other night?
RICKIE FOWLER: It's just like any other night. I felt great this week. It's the best I've felt being in contention at a tournament.
You know, I felt, for example, at the Waste Management in Phoenix this year, I guess I was a little bit shaky that last round, even though I played bogey-free and played well. I feel a lot more comfortable this week, and I think that just goes to show being in contention prior definitely helps.
I'm just going to go get a good meal, get some good food in me, and get ready for tomorrow.

Q. Considering that you opened 65, 66 and all the moisture on the course, was it difficult to not maybe get impatient for birdies early on when you started with, what, seven consecutive pars or whatever?
RICKIE FOWLER: I started with eight. I had some looks, I think, on 2 and 3. They were fairly easy putts. I just pushed them.
So I knew I was hitting it well enough to get myself looks, just had to be patient because there's a few holes out here where you can't be too aggressive and you can make big numbers.
I think I've been doing a pretty good job of that this week is picking my spots to be aggressive and playing smart on the others.

Q. As much as you like to attack, Rickie, do you mind making bogeys?
RICKIE FOWLER: I don't like making bogeys.

Q. No one does, but are you --
RICKIE FOWLER: It's better than making double, if you hit it in trouble and go from there. I mean, you've got to take double out of play. So at times, that's fairly impossible.
But a pitch out to a good number, hit it on the green, give yourself a look, and take a two-putt and walk away. The big thing is just to avoid the big numbers.

Q. Rickie, wonder if there's just any common denominators between here and OSU Scarlet, played well at the Nationwide event up there, played well here. Anything at all that feels similar, the grass?
RICKIE FOWLER: I'm just hitting it well this week. And finally making some putts. So I think we played our best golf so far since I've turned pro in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area and here in Columbus.

Q. How have you spent all of the downtime this week? Doing what?
RICKIE FOWLER: There hasn't been a whole lot of down time. I haven't been through too many delays. I had one on Thursday that was fairly quick. We stayed on the course. And then today we hung out in a house back on 7 and got to warm up a little bit.
Other than that, off the course, run around, catch up on sleep, get some food, go out with friends. Go see Columbus. That's about it.

Q. A lot of sightseeing here? I've not had a chance myself.
RICKIE FOWLER: Go to the malls. We went down to Thurman's Cafe last night with Mike Collins from XM Sirius. So we had some good laughs at dinner.

Q. Rickie, the disjointed nature of the week, do you think that kind of takes a little of the pressure off, where it's not a normal thing where you're having to sit back and think about what you did and going out the next day?
RICKIE FOWLER: You're saying like having a little bit of break in between?

Q. All these kind of stops and starts and getting done later than you normally would and all that kind of stuff.
RICKIE FOWLER: It's definitely made it for a little bit of a long week. It's a bit tiring having long days like this. Getting done basically at dark, waking up. I think I had my alarm set at 6:00 this morning. Makes it tough waking up to the alarm and seeing a text.
Being able to go back to sleep is nice, but interrupting the sleep definitely makes for a long week. But like I said, my game feels good. So I don't think that the breaks and stops have hurt or helped it.

Q. Did your goals change from yesterday to today? Tournament goals.
RICKIE FOWLER: It's the same thing. I knew that I was swinging well and rolling the ball well. It was to play aggressive at the times that we could and wanted to and had a good chance and stay patient, like we did today.

Q. Wanted to ask you too about the shot on 9. It was a different looking follow through. Looked like you stopped it quick. What did you have? And what were you trying to do there?
RICKIE FOWLER: I was trying to keep the ball down. I was trying to start it left of the hole and hit a little bit of a cut in there.
I think I had -- not exactly sure on the exact number, but adjusted, I think it was around 120 yards because it plays a little bit downhill. Normally, that would be a pitching wedge. And there was a little bit of a breeze into us, but with the greens being as soft as they were, I wasn't going to throw a pitching wedge and having the ball spinning very much.
Basically, it was like a cutoff 9, start the ball left, try to hit it down, and hit a little cut in there.

Q. Happy with that shot?
RICKIE FOWLER: I was happy with it. It went right where I wanted to, but I thought it might come back a little bit more.

Q. I came in late. I'm sorry if this has been asked. Does it make a difference if the guys on top of the leaderboard haven't won a lot? I mean, with the inexperience that you have, does that help, do you think, that none of these guys have gone out on Sunday and grabbed a lot of tournaments?
RICKIE FOWLER: No, I haven't really thought about it like that. I definitely know who's around. Guys putting up numbers like Ricky Barnes today shooting 62, which was pretty impressive. But I hadn't thought about it like that if any of the guys had won or not.

Q. How well do you know the other Ricky?
RICKIE FOWLER: I know him a bit. First time I've been around him or played with him was in a Nationwide Monday qualifier. It was probably five or six years back, and obviously followed his success, especially this past year since he played well at the Open.
But I got to know him a little bit more in the past few months since I've been out here on Tour.

Q. Does it make it any easier with you going for your first win and in a good position in a tournament like this where Tiger normally is up there, Phil's there, Ernie -- Ernie's gone, but Kenny Perry is a guy who's usually there. Guys who are big powerful players and typically up there are nowhere around.
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, I mean, they're in the tournament, but I would love to win against the best, especially coming down the stretch. I mean, playing against a lot of good players, like you said, those guys that are normally around, they aren't around, I expect them to be putting up numbers tomorrow.
But it doesn't really change my outlook on how I want to play or if I'm going to worry about what other guys are doing. I'm just going to stick to my game plan. It's been working. The game, like I said, feels good, and we'll just take advantage of the opportunities that we're going to get tomorrow.

Q. Rickie, if you do actually stick to your game plan and you get beat, how do you deal with that? How do you take that?
RICKIE FOWLER: Move on. You know, I stuck to my game plan at Phoenix. It was a great week, bogey free. The last day I shot 68, 3 under. I got a lot of criticism for my layup, but that was the game plan early on in the week. If I didn't have an iron in my hand, I wasn't going for it.
So I was happy with my finish there, and if I stick to my game plan here this week and it doesn't work out, so be it. We'll get another one later.
MARK STEVENS: Thanks a lot, Rickie. Good luck tomorrow.

End of FastScripts

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