Fowler Interview (Flash Area)
Q. Not a bad start. Tell me a little bit about it, what was the high point?
RICKIE FOWLER: High point, birdied 17 and 18. That was kind of nice after making 6. I hit a bad wedge on 16, plugged in the bunker. Made a good 6. That's what I was playing for. It was nice to examine back and hit a good pitch shot into 17 and a good 9‑iron into 18. Kind of cruised from their low point, what was that, 4 and 5 or 5, 6?
Q. Tough stretch?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, 5, 6 there. You've got to hit the fairway. So I tried to hit it ‑‑ took a risk on a shot on 5, kind of going through and under and over a big tree and just clipped and fell through. But you have to take some risk at some point and just got the wrong side of it.
Q. Graeme was talking a little bit earlier about any score, 1, 2, 3‑over par is pretty good. And it helps that you're not really too far behind the 8 ball because you can't really make up ground. You have to kind of start over?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah. You can't go out and shoot 8 or 9 over and expect yourself to ‑‑ obviously, yeah, there's 4 and 5‑under out there. But you have to be on top of your game. You can't miss a lot of shots and you have to make some putts. Michael Thompson played awesome this morning to put up 4. If you go out and shoot 7, 8, it's going to be tough to kind of come off of that and do the opposite.
Q. You're behind the 8 ball and this isn't a good place ‑‑
RICKIE FOWLER: No, you have to keep moving forward, you don't want to step backwards.
Q. What's the biggest thing between what you saw the first couple of days and what you saw today?
RICKIE FOWLER: The course is a lot firmer, fairways and greens. Greens are probably a stimp faster. But probably the most part just the firmness of both the fairways and the greens. Getting a little more run out on the fairways ‑‑ on the greens, I mean. Basically have to play for the ball to hop and Skip today.
Q. Did you hit fewer drivers today than you had?
RICKIE FOWLER: No, I hit about the same.
Q. Was there a major adjustment on the clubs you selected?
RICKIE FOWLER: No, I don't think there was a big difference. We played and hit pretty much everything we planned on. I think the big thing that will dictate is how warm it gets or how much wind there is. The fairways and greens or the fairways were firm enough as it was, they're just running a little bit more right now. Not a huge difference fairways‑wise, but the greens are a little different.
Q. One question, with the success you've already enjoyed this year, is there a carryover from it to this point? Can you use it to play here?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I've played well the last couple of months. My ball‑striking has been really good. I've been playing well, being patient and always moving forward. So definitely I can take it into this week. Ball‑striking is key here. You've got to drive it well. I had a few hiccups out there today, but other than that, swung it well, put up some nice putts and felt very good on the course.