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February 22, 2014

Rickie Fowler


DOUG MILNE:テつ We'd like to welcome Rickie Fowler after a 1‑up victory over Jim Furyk on Day 4 of the Accenture Match Play Championship.
Rickie, congratulations on the day.テつ With that, just a couple of comments on today and looking forward to moving on to tomorrow.
RICKIE FOWLER:テつ It was‑‑ obviously it's nice to get a win, no matter how it happens.テつ But started off the today, played fairly solid.テつ I got off to an early lead, he fought back and I got the lead back.
And then Jim got hot from 13 to 16, three birdies and made a good 3 on 16, which is‑‑ par‑3 was playing tough today.
So just had to kind of stay patient, knew he was going to put up some sort of charge like that.テつ And I knew it would be tough for him to continue making birdies.テつ 1‑down with 2 to play is not a bad spot to be in in match play, and I just had to not worry about the first 16 holes and go play the last two.
With where he hit his second shot on 17, I knew it was going to be tough for him to make 4.テつ I was able to play somewhat safe on the second shot and get a two‑putt and get the win.テつ And it's always nice to go to 18 all square.
I told Jim walking to the tee, Why don't we just halve everything and go play 18 and decide the match that way?テつ And he said it wouldn't have been as fun.テつ We had a good time out there.テつ Unfortunate to see him hit the chip the way he did on his third shot.テつ I actually thought that‑‑ I was expecting him to give me a scare there.テつ Thought he would give me a chance and maybe hole it.
But a win is a win, and excited to be moving on to Sunday.

Q.テつ For the third straight day, you've come to the 18th tee knowing you had to hit two good shots to win.テつ With the new golf club swing how comfortable are you?
RICKIE FOWLER:テつ I've had to hit six shots, three drives and three wedges, and I've missed one.テつ I pulled driver the first day and hit it in the bunker.テつ I've made a lot of good swings when I've needed to.テつ I have had a couple of loose ones throughout the week, but I really like how the swing feels.テつ And I've been swinging it really well the past couple of months.
Unfortunately, I haven't had the short game and putting that I'm used to.テつ So there's the missed cuts.テつ If you don't make putts and you don't get the ball up and down, it doesn't matter how good your swing is.テつ It's nice to get a little bit of everything, get it together, and roll a few putts in, hitting my lines, and actually reading the greens correctly at the same time.テつ You can hit your lines, if you're not reading them right they're not going to go in.

Q.テつ Do you appreciate how fickle and funny it is to get here?
RICKIE FOWLER:テつ Yeah, match play anything can happen.テつ Whether you get paired up against some of the top seeds, guys that are maybe one, two, three, four or guys that are 60th in the world, it doesn't matter.テつ Guys can get hot at any time, and I've obviously been paired up against some of the best match play players, and some of the guys that are playing the best in the world right now and you've just got to beat that guy that day.
So building confidence and definitely happy with where my game is and to get these four wins is huge.テつ It is tough to move on in match play.テつ Someone obviously has to.テつ But to keep moving on against the best players in the world, you're going to run into someone that's hot at some point.テつ So I'm expecting the guys to play well tomorrow and playing Jason in the morning, see if we can give him a game, and see if we can move on.テつ It's going to be a fun day.
Match play you've got to get lucky at some point, get some good bounces.テつ So we'll see.テつ It's been a fun run.テつ Like I said, it's helped me build some confidence moving forward.テつ It's been a big week to me.テつ Just go out and have a fun Sunday and see what happens.

Q.テつ (Inaudible.)
RICKIE FOWLER:テつ I got a good break on 2 today to be able to halve a shot.テつ I lost driver right there in the desert and ended up having a fairly clear swing.テつ I was able to knock it on and two‑putt birdie to win the hole.テつ Sergio did miss a few putts yesterday coming in.テつ So little things like that.テつ I mean, I'm not saying that it's lucky that the other guy doesn't hit the shot that he wants to.テつ Guys are going to miss.テつ I'm going to miss.テつ I missed putts today.テつ It's just part of the game.テつ You can't be perfect.
But you need a few things to go your way, just like winning a normal PGA Tour event.テつ You definitely have to have a couple of bounces go your way.テつ There's so many good players that you get one bad bounce and you're out of it and someone gets the good bounce and they go on to win the tournament.

Q.テつ The thinking is this tournament is not coming back here, nobody knows what the future is.テつ Do you like a match play tournament on the schedule?テつ It just seems like today there's no crowd here.テつ There was a bigger crowd when there were a lot of people playing, and yet now is when the matches seem to be more important, just wonder what your thoughts are on match play and this event?
RICKIE FOWLER:テつ I think it's a great event.テつ We don't play much match play other than the team events.テつ It reminds me of going back and growing up and playing matches with my buddies for lunch or a candy bar or whatever it was back then.
And now we're playing, obviously, the prize money that we play for, it's not really‑‑ we don't think about that, but it's a little bit more than lunch.
I think it's a great event.テつ You get the best players in the world together and play match play and you're going to see some great golf.テつ But it is a little tough because as the week goes on you have less guys and less matches.テつ We'll see, maybe we'll be able to figure out some ways of keeping a little more action going on throughout the week.テつ I wouldn't like to see the match play go away.

Q.テつ I saw you and Jason cross paths before 18.テつ What did he say to you?
RICKIE FOWLER:テつ He said go get after it.テつ I knewhe'd win.テつ I saw he won 2 and 1.テつ I didn't know I'd be facing him tomorrow.テつ We're good buddies.テつ Obviously it's nice to see him play well.テつ It was funny, Dash, his little boy, was actually on the range watching me hit balls last night while Jason was finishing up.テつ We're good buddies.
It's going to be fun tomorrow.テつ He's a great match play player, as well as just a normal player in general.テつ So hopefully both of us can play well tomorrow and whoever makes more putts is going to win.

Q.テつ I caught part of the story when you were talking on TV, can you talk about the hikes you've been doing at night?
RICKIE FOWLER:テつ I guess they're starting to catch on.テつ The first night I went on my own, which was kind of fun, I hiked up the hills behind the hotel.テつ My mom and sister came in on Tuesday, I think it was Tuesday, so made them go with me.テつ And I guess we're going to continue that.テつ It's been working.テつ I'll be going on a hike a little later this afternoon and go hang out up there and just relax and watch the sunset and go down and have some dinner at the hotel.

Q.テつ How long is the hike?
RICKIE FOWLER:テつ You would get tired (laughter).テつ Come on, you set me up.
I don't know exactly how high it is.テつ If I push it up there, I can make it up to the top in 15 minutes or so.テつ But it's a good little work out, it will get you sweating a little bit.テつ We've just been kind of cruising up.テつ It's 20, 25 minutes up there.テつ And just go sit at the top, hang out.テつ We've Face Timed friends and sent pictures to people.テつ It's just a kind of fun way to relax and enjoy the afternoon.

Q.テつ I followed you all through these last rounds and I think up‑‑ the thing that's really impressed me is how far you're hitting the ball.テつ When you were talking about your work with Butch, you said you're hitting it harder, are you also hitting it farther?
RICKIE FOWLER:テつ Yeah, I gained a little bit of speed.
Through 2012 and 2013, I was dealing with back issues and it was swing related.テつ My ball speed had dropped down to about 165 on an average.テつ And now I'm probably on the low side 170 to 175.テつ So five to ten miles an hour, depending on what I'm trying to do.
The new Cobra driver that I'm playing, I know it sounds funny in the commercial, We say long.テつ It's a little more drawn out, but between hitting the driver the way it's flying and working with Butch and getting the swing where I'm swinging it correctly and delivering the club properly putts me in a good position to‑‑ yesterday I hit a few long.
I missed one today on 17, but still almost carried the bunker on 17, which is‑‑ it adjusts to probably 310 or 315.テつ But I am hitting it harder.テつ I have more speed with Butch and the new driver is good.

Q.テつ You're starting your fifth season now.テつ What's the biggest difference you see in yourself since that time started?
RICKIE FOWLER:テつ I'm definitely swinging it the best I have since I've been on Tour.テつ Seeing guys out here now that are 20, 21, 22, I feel like I'm getting older.テつ I mean, my fifth year on Tour doesn't feel like it's been that long, but it's been an awesome ride.テつ It's a dream come true.テつ Always dreamed about playing on the PGA Tour and playing against the best players in the world.テつ I'm just living it up, enjoying it, the highs and lows.テつ It's been little bit of a low recently and enjoying the high this week.テつ Like I said, it's just a dream come true, and looking forward to being out here for a long time.
DOUG MILNE:テつ Rickie, best of luck tomorrow.

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