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June 6, 2010
DOUG MILNE: Rickey thanks for joining us. It was a great week. Not the finish you hoped for, but your second finish of the year. Just some thoughts on the week overall and what you're taking out of the experience as you move forward.
RICKIE FOWLER: It was an awesome week. Obviously not the round that I wanted today. Didn't hit as many greens as I would like to, but we had a lot of fun.
Justin put up a great round today, so got to give it up to him. And look forward to hopefully being in contention a little bit more often.
Coming from Phoenix and feeling the nerves that I did there and playing this week, I felt really comfortable out there. I can just imagine the next time, being in contention, I'll feel that much more comfortable.
DOUG MILNE: How will this lead you into tomorrow?
RICKIE FOWLER: Having the 36-hole qualifier for the U.S. Open tomorrow here in Columbus, the game's felt great all week. Finally had some good driving the ball, irons are good, short game is good, and making some putts.
With all going well this week, I think that will make me feel really comfortable tomorrow on the tee and be ready to go make some birdies and hopefully qualify for the Open.
DOUG MILNE: With that, we'll open it up for questions.
Q. Rickie, the tee shot at 12, tell us about that, will you?
RICKIE FOWLER: I wasn't trying to aim there. I wasn't trying to hit it there.
Q. What was the club?
RICKIE FOWLER: I was trying to hit a little 5 iron. It was back into the bridge. I think it was 185 yards actual yardage, adjusted played down a few yards. But I was just trying to aim at the back bunker and cut it off a little bit there.
The ball started going where I wasn't trying to. So I just made a bad swing and paid for it.
Q. When you saw Ricky -- I think Ricky hit his shot before you did. Did that lay any doubt in your mind as to what the shot should be like or what it was like?
RICKIE FOWLER: No, because he was hitting a completely different shot than I was. He was hitting a 6 iron going out the pin. Wind was going a little more right, and I was trying to start toward the middle of the green and work it towards the pin. I was trying to finish the ball 15 feet left of the hole, and it was quite a bit right of that.
Q. Rickie, how mentally -- when you hit a shot like that under pressure, goes in the water, it's obviously, as you said, way right of where you're aiming it, how difficult mentally is it to sort of suck it up and try and finish the round and finish strong and try and make up for it?
RICKIE FOWLER: It's tough. I mean, that's when they're going to happen. But it's not an easy second -- or drop shot there either. You're still in the wedge to a small part of the green.
So got out of there with a 5, and from there I was just trying to make as many birdies as we can. We still had six holes left, so I was trying to push as hard as I could. Justin kept making birdies, so it made it tough on me.
Q. Was it one of those days where you couldn't seem to get any momentum going? Last couple of days, you started out pretty well. I think you actually started -- you had your 53-hole bogey streak ended early. Is it just tough to get some momentum going today?
RICKIE FOWLER: A little bit, but what it came down to is I wasn't hitting as many greens as I did all week. So that was a little disappointing. That's what held me back a bit.
Really, when I made that bogey on -- I don't know if that was the second hole of the day, I hit a perfect putt. So can't be mad about that. The putt -- I mean, the ball came out of the hole and came right back at me.
Unfortunate, but that's the way it's going to go.
Q. Rickie, what made it tougher to hit greens today for you?
RICKIE FOWLER: It was a bit windy today, so that made it a bit tougher. The course played really tough, I thought, because of the wind. And I made a couple bad swings, which throughout the week I was hitting the ball really well. I made more bad swings today than I had in the three days.
Q. Did the wind just make it more difficult for you to calculate yardages or just how did it disturb you?
RICKIE FOWLER: A little bit. Well, in the wind, you've got to hit solid golf shots. There was a few that I missed. I made some bad swings. During the week, sometimes I got away with it and still stayed on the green. But in the wind it definitely shows when you hit a bad shot.
Q. When Justin came out and shot 32 on the front, did that kind of put pressure on you, or did you not even pay attention to what he was doing?
RICKIE FOWLER: No, I look at the scoreboard quite a bit, so I usually know what's going on.
When I saw he got up to 16, we were both at 16, I was ready to go. I felt good. I missed a par putt on 10, which was a setback, but I was -- up until I hit that 5 iron in the water on 12, I was liking my position because it would have been a fight throughout those last six holes.
Q. Is it tough there at the end, as you're halfway up the fairway, to see him clinch it, give the fist pump. What goes through your mind then? At that point, you probably know it's not going to happen today.
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, I -- once I knew he was up there and obviously saw he made it, I knew that was a tap-in for par, I had to give him a few claps on the fairway. He played awesome today because it didn't play easy.
We were trying to hole from the fairway to make him only win by one. No, I had a great time this week. It was nice to close out with a good swing on the last hole.
Q. What do you take away from the week? Do you need maybe a few days to think about what you're going to learn from today?
RICKIE FOWLER: I think it's just going to be that I'm going to feel a lot more comfortable being in contention throughout the rest of the year when I am in contention because I definitely saw how much it helped being in contention at Phoenix and then helping me this week.
Q. Does it help to come right back out tomorrow and have to play 36?
RICKIE FOWLER: With the game feeling as good as it does and how well I played this week, I think, if I just go do what I did this week, I'll have no problem tomorrow. But it's a different day.
Q. How would you describe your personality on the golf course? From the outfits that you wear to the slapping of hands of people coming through in the gallery, describe your personality as a golfer.
RICKIE FOWLER: I would say quick, pretty laid back, and easygoing.
Q. And the outfits, is there any -- I know Sunday, is that traditionally the Oklahoma State thing? Why the interesting colors?
RICKIE FOWLER: Puma sends me the clothes. I put the outfits together. Every once in a while, they'll tell me what they might want on for maybe a major or some of the bigger events.
For the most part, I wear what I want to wear, and that's who I am. I grew up in -- on a driving range, playing public courses. So I wasn't the country club kid and grew up wearing colorful things. I guess standing out a bit and being different.
Q. I'm not sure you've even heard, but Oklahoma State got beat today too. Does that make it just a pretty much lousy day?
RICKIE FOWLER: A bit. I mean, I assumed the stroke play the last two years. I'll tell you that.
Q. How about the chip on 12? Did you think it had a chance? Or were you looking to hit something to slow down?
RICKIE FOWLER: I thought it was in. It was obviously a bit firm, and it was basically straight downhill from there. But when I saw it get on the green, I thought I made it.
Q. Rickie, Tiger the other day was talking about a generational change in golf and young golfers coming through. And he was saying that, you know, you need to win, and not just once, you need to win a lot in order for the guard to change. Do you feel that that's -- do you agree with that in terms of like changing the generation a little bit, the younger guys coming through, that you need to win more than once? And all of you need to?
RICKIE FOWLER: I think so. I mean, a lot of the guys -- you're talking about the new generation, they're still pretty young with guys like McIlroy and Ryo and A.K. Ricky Barnes is still in that category. Justin Rose, I think, is still in that category. I think a lot of us are just getting started and have a long ways to go.
Q. Two questions. One just very brief. I was curious on your club on 6.
RICKIE FOWLER: 6? What was 6?
Q. I thought it was a good shot, Rickie, about two feet from the hole.
RICKIE FOWLER: That one, I remember that. It was a really good shot. 185 yards. It was probably one of the tougher holes of the day just because of how long it was playing. The green's not very deep. Hit 4 iron, which I was just -- I was on an uphill slope into the wind, which definitely makes it tough and just kind of hit a chip cut 4 iron, came out perfect.
Q. As you look at the year so far -- I remember in Hawaii you were talking about keeping your card and then onward. I wonder if you could speak to the -- I don't know if consistency is probably the right word. When you have kind of been in contention in San Diego, Phoenix speaks for itself. You had another chance there. That's a lot of chances for a first year. Are you pleased with that?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, definitely. I'm pleased with how comfortable I felt this week after having those chances, but I look forward to the rest of the year. You were talking about my goals. Obviously, it was keep my card. We took care of that.
Made it to FedEx Cup and play the Tour Championship. My number one goal was to play on the Ryder Cup team, so I'm working on it. Hopefully, we can keep playing well.
Q. If you were to make it on the Ryder Cup team on points without having won this year, would you consider it a successful year?
RICKIE FOWLER: I want the win, but I would consider it a successful year.
Q. Rickie, you talked about game plan yesterday. Did you pretty much follow your game plan up until the 12th hole?
RICKIE FOWLER: I followed my game plan the whole round. I didn't change anything. I think I hit pretty much the same -- everything off the tee that I did the other days except for 18, just because it played more downwind.
I did everything that I was planning to do. I went at pins when I had the chance to and played safe on the other times. But the wind, I think, just played a little bit more of a factor today for me.
Q. Is that something that you take away from here knowing that, no matter what the situation was, you still felt like you followed exactly what your game plan was and that you'll be able to do that going forward?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah. Other than 12, where I made a bad swing, I stuck to my game plan there. Unfortunately, it was a bad swing, and it cost me a couple of shots. Really, other than that, it was a nice day.
Q. Rickie, you're obviously young and don't have as much experience as most of the guys out here, but when you talk about the wind, how would you rate yourself as a wind player? Do you think you have to get better as a wind player or do you think you're pretty good?
RICKIE FOWLER: I think I'm a good wind player. Playing in Oklahoma for two years definitely helps. And in Southern California, where I grew up, we had 10- to 20-mile an hour winds every afternoon. So grew up playing wind, played the wind in college. And I guess that today was just more of -- I made bad swings and didn't hit solid golf shots. And in the wind, it definitely brings out your mistakes a little bit more.
Q. Rickie, bad swing at 12. But what did you hit at 16? Because that really put you in a bad spot, too?
RICKIE FOWLER: 16, we had --
Q. Did the wind do it?
RICKIE FOWLER: I don't know what did it. I had 180 yards to the flew and hit a 7 iron, and it flew almost 200 yards. So who knows?
Q. You were in a horrible position?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, it was a bad spot. Ended up making a great 4, but I wasn't even -- 8 iron didn't cross my mind. So we hit 7 and went in the back bunker.
DOUG MILNE: Rickie, congratulations on a great week. Good luck tomorrow.
RICKIE FOWLER: Thank you.
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