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July 14, 2011

Rickie Fowler


Q. Can you talk about your round a little bit, please.
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I had a fun round today, obviously a fun pairing, and hit a lot of good shots and a lot of positives going into tomorrow.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I was just trying to hit it close, and the hole happened to get in the way. It was a good speed, perfect line, and definitely a good way to start out the tournament.

Q. Especially after last year?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, last year unfortunately I didn't get off to a very good start. I had a decent first round, good start, and then had I think a triple and a double late in the round, so that hurt the score a bit. I went on to play well the last three days. But it was definitely nice to hit some good shots today and get off to a better start.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RICKIE FOWLER: Long enough. I'm not going to go back and re-hit it. 60, 70, 80 feet.

Q. What did you do with the shot on 9?
RICKIE FOWLER: I did exactly what I wanted to do. I hit it perfect and it turned out -- couldn't have turned out much better.

Q. What was the lie like and how were you trying to hit it?
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, I didn't have too far to carry the first set of bunkers, so I could play with 100 yards of fairway there, and I had a little over 170 to the pin, hit 6-iron. The only real awkward thing was the side-hill lie. The ball was below my feet a little bit, and I just had to protect from the ball going left. You can miss right and at least get up and down but you couldn't miss left and be safe. It came out perfectly, hit the ground and chased right up there, so couldn't have come out any better.

Q. Is the course playing about what you expected?
RICKIE FOWLER: I think the course is playing great. You hit good shots, you're going to get rewarded, and obviously some downwind holes you're not able to stop the ball and you've got to play some shots that land short and run up.
It's fun out there. It makes you visualize shots and hit a whole different type of shots. I mean, you're not going to get around there with one shot.

Q. It looked like you were having a blast?
RICKIE FOWLER: Having a good time, yeah. Like I said, it was a fun pairing. Rory and I always enjoy playing together, and it's always fun to play with Ernie. But when you're playing well, hitting good shots and getting off to a good start, it's not too hard to have a good time.

Q. When did you first play with Rory?
RICKIE FOWLER: First time Rory and I played together we played alternate shot match in Walker Cup in Northern Ireland.

Q. What did you sense from the fans?
RICKIE FOWLER: The fans were great over here. Obviously they're cheering on Rory. It has a feeling like he's a hero over here now. Obviously he's had a pretty big impact and impressive playing recently and obviously at the U.S. Open. So it's fun to play alongside him. I've always enjoyed it, and definitely feel like the crowd was definitely in his favour today.

Q. Was there a short putt on 11 that you missed? What happened there?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I three-putted. I hit a good putt up there and really just a tap-in, just kind of wiggled off left a little. I wasn't expecting it to really move. I may have pulled it a little bit, too. Maybe loss of focus there for a second. It's going to happen. Just got to step up and keep hitting good shots and not miss any shorts ones.

Q. What did you hit on 11?
RICKIE FOWLER: I hit 4-iron.

Q. Were you expecting the wind to be stronger?
RICKIE FOWLER: It was a little gusty today. It laid down at times and then when it was drizzling obviously that had an effect on the ball, too. So it was a constant adjustment to figure out how hard it was blowing and how much it was going to affect the shot. But it didn't blow too bad today, as long as you were able to keep shots down and not let it get affected by the wind too much.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, obviously not where I was trying to hit it off the tee, but just had to hit and miss it in the right spot and had a nice, easy tap-in 4, and that's really good after where I hit the drive.

Q. How good do you feel to have gotten the first round out of the way?
RICKIE FOWLER: To get off to a good start makes me feel good and to go out there and play the way I did makes me feel confident going into tomorrow. It's always nice to get off to a good start in a major. You can't win it the first day, but you can obviously put yourself pretty far behind, like I did last year.

Q. Will you raise your expectations now?
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, expectations coming in, to play well and to put myself in contention, so that's still the same goal, and just focusing one day at a time and one shot at a time.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RICKIE FOWLER: It's as simple as that, one day, one shot at a time, hit the fairway, hit the green, make birdies and you win. But it's not that easy.

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