Arnold Palmer Invitational interview: Rickie Fowlertext sizeMarch 23, 2013
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Q. Rickie, two straight 67s. At this place, that is really good playing. You have to be proud of that?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I am. Just missed a couple close putts out there today. But other than that, hit the ball nicely, drove it well. Gave myself a lot of looks at birdies, so that's positive around this track.
Q. You had 24 putts. You're a very aggressive putter, and some might think it's not a good style here, but it's working?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I'm working on dropping the speed back a little bit. It's not fun having three and four the footers coming back all the time. You can catch a little more hole with it going by it about a foot. Working on possibly getting a little better speed and see if I can keep those putts down.
Q. Do you watch the scoreboard out there at all? It's fluctuating right now.
RICKIE FOWLER: I saw it earlier in the round and later in the round. I don't watch it a whole lot. But I definitely like to kind of know what's going on. I saw the guys got off to quite a hot start, and then kind of slowed down a little bit. So it's just nice to get off to a good start today and get into a good round and get myself in a good position for tomorrow.
Q. What about tomorrow? Another 67, does that bring home the title?
RICKIE FOWLER: I would think you'd have a decent shot, but it depends on where the guys finish today. Obviously, the guys out front, depending on how they play tomorrow, kind of dictates everything, so you never know.
We have tough conditions, 67 could be plenty, but if it's scorable, may need a little more.
Q. You're a confident guy, confident golfer, and the game is in good shape right now. How confident are you heading into tomorrow?
RICKIE FOWLER: Feeling good after these last two days. First day played tough in the morning, it was a little cold and windy. But made a lot of good swings in the last two days, made some putts, so really looking forward to tomorrow.
Q. Did you hit the ball on 17 a little too strong?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, but I was playing the left edge, and I was trying to give it a little bit of a go there, and it broke a lot more than I was expecting. So I thought even with where I was playing it and how much speed it had, I thought it was going to hold its line.
Q. Is that about the only putt you'd like to have back?
RICKIE FOWLER: No, if I would have hit softer, it would have missed even further right. So it was just a little bit of a misread. I didn't see it, but not much. So I hit some good putts. I missed a couple of short ones for birdie, but other than that, I played solid.
Q. Talk about your tee shot on No. 2, almost went in?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, perfect shot. Nice 4‑iron, I made a really good swing, and looked like it had a pretty good chance. It's hard to tell from that far back, but once I got up there, it looked like it didn't miss by a whole lot.
Q. This month, you're there on Sunday at Honda, going into Sunday, you're there. At Doral, not so good, but you're trending upwards right now, aren't you?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah. I've been playing well all year. Other than the missed cut at Phoenix, I didn't play all that bad, just happened to be a fairly low cut. First round in Match Play, but other than that, all my starts have been pretty solid.
Unfortunately, didn't have the Sundays that I wanted to at Honda or Doral, but I'm feeling good about my game right now and looking forward to tomorrow's round.
Q. What changed for you after the round Thursday?
RICKIE FOWLER: It was just tough conditions on Thursday. It's tough to get things going. It seemed like Rosie was playing a little different golf course than most guys, so just had to stay patient. Came out yesterday and kept swinging well, and got some momentum going and carried it into today.
Q. Can you talk generally about your round today?
RICKIE FOWLER: It was fairly simple. Didn't miss a whole lot of greens. Got up‑and‑down every time except for once, made bogey on 9. Other than that, I swung it really well, kept it in play and gave myself a lot of looks at birdies.
Q. You certainly have had a great record here in two appearances. Do you feel more comfortable here? Is your game in a better spot than last time?
RICKIE FOWLER: My game's in a really good spot. Maybe haven't had the best finishes here, but I won a junior tournament here.
Q. The wind is going to blow tomorrow, 25 to 35 is the forecast. Joe says you're great in the wind because of your imagination and your different vision. Do you feel that way, and can you elaborate on that?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, with the wind I'm striking the ball right now and looking forward to playing in the wind. Hopefully, it does blow tomorrow. It makes it tough for everyone, but I feel like that's one of my favorite conditions to play in is the wind.
I played two years at Oklahoma State. Obviously, some wind there. Where I grew up in Southern California, it would always blow in the afternoon, so just keep swinging well and have some fun tomorrow.
Q. Why is it one of your favorite conditions to play in?
RICKIE FOWLER: I feel like I can use the wind as my friend, whether it's cross winds or not. Even if you have to work it with the wind, you get a little extra out of it or hold it up into it, just makes it fun. It's like having a little backboard on certain sides.
Q. You mentioned the finishes at Doral, et cetera. Is it more kind of a kick in the butt to you, or was it sort of a confidence builder because you're like, hey, I'm right there? I'm in contention, I just have to keep doing what I'm doing?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I mean, my swing is feeling way better right now than it has been in the last two months, I would say, even though I was swinging well. So it was disappointing to play the way I did those two Sundays, but I felt really good with where I was at, putting myself in position to go win a golf tournament or have a good finish and kind of taking myself out of it.
So it was kind of a little bit of a kick in the butt to go out there and finish off tournaments. So I'm looking forward to tomorrow and seeing if we can go do that.