Rickie Fowler: Round Four Flash Interview

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Q. How about that tie, Rickie?
RICKIE FOWLER: It's very cool. I was actually coming off the tee on 18 and heard the roar of Erik making a putt up there, and I thought he made birdie on me. And I'm like dammit, I've got to go make birdie on the last hole to finish tie with him. Luckily I had a putt for three there on the last, didn't hit it hard enough. It was fun, and kind of fun to have our own little battle in the back of the pack for the second tournament going on.

Q. How did you feel about this result?
RICKIE FOWLER: I'm really happy about it. Goals going into the year was get ready for Augusta and then contend at Majors. Finishing tied for fifth and tied second here in the first two Majors of the year, definitely pleased about that and looking forward to the next two.

Q. Playing in the final group today, what did you learn about yourself? What did you experience out there that will help you down the road?
RICKIE FOWLER: I felt really comfortable, which is a very good thing. I haven't -- I only played a handful of final groups and this is my first one in a Major. The more experience you can get in the final groups, and especially in Majors and in contention at Majors, it definitely helps out for down the road. With the way I kind of handled myself and kept going through the process on each shot, there was only a handful of shots this week that I wasn't really prepared to hit and hit them without being ready to hit. So definitely take a lot away from this week and the pairing today as well.

Q. How was your mentality going in, knowing that you were several strokes behind Martin?
RICKIE FOWLER: I knew Martin was playing well and he was going to be tough to catch. I figured I would have to go out and shoot a couple under on the front nine and at least put a little bit of heat on him. That was kind of stopped quickly when I made a quick double there on 4. So I was kind of thrown behind the 8-ball quickly and kind of rallied back and kept moving forward. So unfortunately, I wasn't able to get close enough to put any pressure on Martin, but it was fun playing alongside him and watching him, how he controlled himself throughout the day. Obviously he gave himself quite a big cushion after the first two days and kind of hung around yesterday. He's a very deserving champion this week.

Q. You've seen Bubba win two Majors, you've seen Rory win two Majors, you've seen guys younger than you win events. How easy or difficult has it been to have the patience that your time will come, that you can have these breakthrough Major wins, that you're not getting passed by other guys?
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, it's kind of the same way handling rounds at the U.S. Open here. You can't get ahead of yourself, you have to stay patient, have to stay in the moment and keep going through the process. With guys that are playing well, there's young guys playing well and obviously Bubba with two green jackets. And it's fun to see, but I also want to be in that position at some point. It's going to happen. It's just I keep going through the process and keep putting myself in the position and with the goal coming into this year with working with Butch and getting ready for Augusta and getting ready to contend in Majors and we have accomplished our goal on that. We're going to continue to do this and keep my game progressing the right way and it's just a matter of time.

Q. What was the lie on 4 and what happened on the shot?
RICKIE FOWLER: I'm not sure if it was like a big footprint behind it, but it was a somewhat clean lie, if it was just flat sand it would have been easier to just play a normal bunker shot and there wasn't much sand behind the ball, I tried to play a bunker shot and obviously you caught a lot of ball on the phase and then ended up in a worse position where I was stymied behind a tree and up against another one and ended up just making a great putt for six. So in those positions, I mean, my goals were going into the week, get in trouble, make a bogey if you have to and so really just gave away one there. It would have been nice to walk away with five, just a tough break at the beginning of the round and it would have been nice to kind of get off with four straight pars and make a birdie on a 5 and go from there.

Q. What is it about Saturdays at Majors? You now have shot 67 at the Masters, 67 here, I think you had a 67 last year as well on a Saturday.
RICKIE FOWLER: Something like that, yeah.

Q. What are you doing on Saturday? It's moving day, obviously, but is there something in your mindset that's different?
RICKIE FOWLER: I don't know, I guess my mom and sister's cooking has been good. I've got to check and see what we've been eating on Friday night. What was it? Yeah, it was a good meal Friday night. I'm not going to give it away. Yeah, no, it's been good Saturdays. Looking back, I don't think I've had very good Saturdays outside of Majors, not sure what is it about the majors. I do like that I'm playing better in Majors than regular events, nothing against regular events, I would rather play well in Majors and I know going into the year that was the goal. I don't know. It's a good thing. Maybe I'll keep it going.

Q. The swing changes, are you now comfortable with what you've been working on for six eight months?
RICKIE FOWLER: Well it's still always ongoing. There's still times where I don't feel great over the ball and I wouldn't say it's so much on the swing changes, everything's pretty ingrained and everything feels really natural to me. It's more just trusting it, going through the process, making sure I feel comfortable about hitting the golf shot and then going and doing it. So I'm going to continue to work with Butch and we're going to keep working on making my golf swing better and better. Make it as efficient and Major ready as possible. Everyone out here on the PGA TOUR and playing professional golf around the world, everyone's trying to get better every day. If you're not doing that or working on something, then maybe if you're No. 1 in the world and way out in front, just keep doing what you're doing. But I'm trying to keep getting better and ultimately trying to be the best player in the world and winning tournaments, winning Majors and we got some work to do.

Q. When you were battling the swing change and also the injuries, did you ever wish that you didn't have such a high profile, because you were having to go through all of this.
RICKIE FOWLER: It was just part of it, with who I want to be as a player and who I want to be off the golf course and I love the position I'm in, it is tough when you're struggling or not playing well, because it is well known, but it's part of it. If I'm out there playing well, I have, whether I'm playing well or not, I have some of the best fans and I get some amazing support wherever I go, which is awesome. Yeah, I wouldn't change anything or trade anything.

Q. Does it pretty much mute the critics right now with your performances in the Majors? People say you haven't won enough, but these performances in these big events. Do you believe that that should mute the critics?
RICKIE FOWLER: It doesn't matter what I do, I'm always going to have critics. The amount of people that don't like what I do or I'm not really worried about them I have so many more people that are supporters of me and fans and awesome people in the media that take care of me and write great stories and I'm just going to keep playing well and keep moving forward. Obviously there's been some great finishes, but I want to win and I want to win more.

Q. You mentioned being in contention how that really helps. A lot of golfers come in second place a few times before they get their first Major. Jack Nicklaus had a lots of second place finishes. Does that motivate you and finishing second tied with Compton does that motivate you knowing that a lot of guys finish in second before getting the first Major?
RICKIE FOWLER: It's not very often where guys come out and win a Major very quickly. Keegan made it look easy. But, yeah, you got to be in contention and feel comfortable in Majors and the more and more I play. This year at Augusta it was definitely the most comfortable I felt on the golf course, being in contention and hanging around and playing well on the weekend. The same with here this week at Pinehurst. To me, yeah, it is the U.S. Open, but when I was out there inside the ropes playing golf it didn't feel like the U.S. Open to me. I felt that comfortable. It is nice to be starting to feel as comfortable as I am in Majors.

Q. Last year with Adam's win last year, people have said that that's really the peak for starting to win Majors, because while can you play brilliantly in your 20s and some people do win Majors in their 20s, it's that cumulative experience that you get to the point where now you're 32 years old.
RICKIE FOWLER: They talk about prime being early 30's. I got a little ways to go. So I can gain some experience and maybe I can pick off a couple wins in Majors and some TOUR events before then. But, yeah, with how you feel on the golf course and around the week at a Major, definitely it affects like the way you play and the more comfortable you can feel and the more you feel like you should be there and be in contention, the better chances you're going to have to put yourself in a good position for Sunday afternoon.

Q. (No Microphone.)
RICKIE FOWLER: Definitely.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Leaders
PosPlayerTo ParThruToday
1KAYMER, Martin-9F-1
T2COMPTON, Erik-1F+2
T2FOWLER, Rickie-1F+2
T4BRADLEY, Keegan+1F-3
T4DAY, Jason+1F-2
T4KOEPKA, Brooks+1F+1
T4JOHNSON, Dustin+1F+3
T4STENSON, Henrik+1F+3
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