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August 23, 2013

Rickie Fowler


KELLY BARNES:  Please welcome Rickie Fowler to the interview room.
Rickie, it's obviously been a long two days, you had to get out there this morning and finish, but you came out and shot a 64, tied the PGA TOUR course record at Liberty National, can you just take us through your scorecard today, how you felt playing a lot of holes of golf?
RICKIE FOWLER:  Yeah, it played tough this morning.  When we got out here, it was a little windy‑‑ not to complain, I played well, but it wasn't playing easy.
Out of the 30 holes, it was really just a five‑hole stretch for me playing those five holes 6‑under, and kind of just hanging on and hanging around after that.  Tried to get a couple coming in.
Birdied 8 and had a good look at 9, just thought it was going to stay straight and broke off at the end.  Had some fun, made some birdies, and looking forward to this weekend.

Q.  Could you just explain the eagle on 13 real quick?
RICKIE FOWLER:  Yeah, I hit driver, actually thought‑‑ I missed it right from where I was trying to hit it.  Thought it was going to be in one of the bunkers.  With the wind today, downwind, the ball was going pretty far.  So I actually flew the bunkers which were I think just under 300 and ended up having 7‑iron in.  I hit it to three feet and luckily made it.

Q.  How soft were the greens today?  Were they easy to attack for you?
RICKIE FOWLER:  This morning they were.  Still fairly soft towards the end of the day, but they are getting quick out there; with the wind this morning, definitely dried them out, so they are quick.  I would say from yesterday, they are probably a good foot to maybe two feet faster.
So definitely a big difference there.  Ran a few putts by but luckily I was able to make some of the putts coming back and keep the momentum going.  The course is in great shape.  Hopefully we can stay dry the next couple days, a little bit more wind and help to dry it out and it will play tough come Sunday.

Q.  Even though you played well this year‑‑ what do the Playoffs mean for you?
RICKIE FOWLER:  You mean talking about the Playoffs and coming in‑‑ this is the first time I've actually been coming in kind of moving forward with my game into the FedExCup Playoffs.  Every year I feel like I've been just kind of trying to hold on and finish off the year.
This year, after missing the cut at The Open Championship, I kind of turned a corner, swinging really well.  Just waiting for‑‑ kind of getting some putts to drop and I was able to do that today which was nice.
Probably the most confident and most kind of on upward climb versus a down hill spiral versus the last few years, so I'm excited about the Playoffs.  The further back I've been coming in, but I feel like I have a good chance of playing well, and a good weekend here would go a long ways and keep me going.
Obviously my goal is to make THE TOUR Championship; there's Presidents Cup in the back of my mind.  I just want to play well right now.

Q.  What kind of corner did you turn after Muirfield?
RICKIE FOWLER:  Just working on the swing a little bit, fundamentals.  It's all pretty simple.  But making it a little more repeatable for myself.  Been swinging really well.  Hitting a lot of golf shots, and it's kind of nice to see everything working properly.

Q.  Can you talk about yesterday, long day, but you didn't play much.  Today, long day, you played a lot.  Just the difference in how you‑‑ from one day to the other?
RICKIE FOWLER:  I mean, both tiring.  Yesterday, you can get worn out just sitting around.  So it was tough‑‑ not tough, but to get yourself ready to go for six holes knowing that you weren't going to play a whole lot.  Just had to go out and get off to a good start, and then‑‑ it's tough to shut down after being up late and on the course late, so I didn't get to bed until probably midnight, and up before 5:00.
So you've got to get out here and just play with what you've got.  As long as I get my five hours, I'm good.  But no, we had fun out there today.

Q.  You mentioned the course maybe getting a little tougher.  There are like 20 guys 4‑under or better.  Do you think this level of play is going to continue and a really, really low score is going to win, or what are you expecting?
RICKIE FOWLER:  Well, I think a lot of the scores you're seeing came from yesterday.  I know a lot of guys played well early.  I think the wind picked up a little bit after the storm and then this morning it blew a little bit.
We'll see.  It depends on the conditions; if the wind kind of laid down for us the last few holes coming in, if it stays down this afternoon, there's some guys that could go out and play well.
The course is in great shape, the greens are rolling good.  But if the wind picks up, the course can dry out and play pretty tough for the next couple of days.

Q.  How do you manage expectations of yourself?  Do you start to feel like you should win more or whatever‑‑ with how tough it is to win out here‑‑
RICKIE FOWLER:  Very tough to win.

Q.  How do you manage those expectations?  I'm assuming in your mind, you feel like should you win more‑‑ probably every player is like that.
RICKIE FOWLER:  Yeah, I think if you don't have those expectations or believe it or think that of yourself, then you probably shouldn't be playing out here, or you're just going to be kind of making cuts and getting by.  But I don't exactly want to be that person.
So I was talking about coming in and playing, seeing my game starting to progress into a better spot than I have been in the last few years; I can have higher expectations and I'm looking forward to having a good weekend here and playing well through the Playoffs.
So I was a little more excited about coming into these next few weeks and playing well than I have been in the last few years where I'm kind of just trying to hold onto my position.  Right now, I'm in a position where I want to go out there and play and move up.
KELLY BARNES:  Thank you, Rickie.

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