What they said: Rickie FowlerNovember 11, 2010
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: Children's Miracle Network Classic transcript archive
PHIL STAMBAUGH: I'd like to welcome Rickie Fowler. Rickie, it's like déjà vu. Last year you opened with a 66 on the Palm, and right back at it this year. Just to start off and talk about what the keys to your round were today.
RICKIE FOWLER: I got off to a good start, made a good putt on my first hole, No. 10 after the hour delay. And made a good putt on my second hole, 11. So I got off to a nice start and kind of cruised around from there.
Couple bogeys early on the par 3s. They were three putts. One was from the fringe; one was from the green. So without those it was a pretty good round, and definitely nice with a good start.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Questions?
Q. Are you catching up on your sleep yet??
RICKIE FOWLER: A little bit. We're working on it. I think it's more like power naps at night.
Q. Yesterday when you made it out there to the range over on the Palm, there was that little group of kids there sort of had staked you out. Obviously they'd been waiting for you. Is it a little odd to you when here you are, a ripe old 21, and kids kind of right around your same age group are treating you the way they treat you and the adulation and the awe and all that stuff that kind of comes along with your gig these days??
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, I'm almost 22, so I'm getting up there. (Laughs).
No, it's pretty cool. I definitely like to have fans. I like to have an influence on other people, and definitely like to draw new fans in.
I guess I have more of a draw to the younger crowd, and, no, it's always cool to see more and more kids showing up and getting their interest in golf up.
Q. Rickie, I know you're just coming over from Asia. How long were the flights? Kind of take me through the itinerary and how much time you had to maybe catch up on the time zones?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah. Obviously I played Frys, played Vegas, flew up to San Fran after Vegas. San Fran to Taipei, which was 14 hours. Taipei to Malaysia, which, I think, was five. And actually, the worst flight was Malaysia to Shanghai, which was the shortest flight of the whole thing. It was a five hour flight. We were supposed to take a red eye at 1:40 and get in at 6:40.
It was nice because we got to watch the Nationwide Tour Championship. Our buddy Brendan Steele ended up winning. But actually our flight took off right after the first playoff hole. So we didn't get to catch it all. We got to watch the whole round on the computer.
Anyway, we were supposed to fly out at 1:40. Wheels left the ground at 5:10. So it was a small delay. Ended up getting into China around I think it was 10:30. So Monday's shot. Basically playing, rest, sleep and work out a little bit.
So that was kind of the worst venture. Oh, and on top of that it was a three hour bus ride from the airport. So you show up at the hotel around 2:00 in the afternoon. It's not the greatest thing.
But Asia was a lot of fun, and then the flights back were no hiccups. I think it was 14 hours from Shanghai to Detroit, and two and a half from there down to Fort Lauderdale. And spent about a day and a half at my new house in Jupiter, and then just a little over a two hour drive from there up here.
Q. Then they give you the earliest start time, too.
RICKIE FOWLER: 6:45 first round. So it actually wasn't bad. I was up and ready to go this morning. Like I said, it's been more power naps at night. I don't think I've slept more than four hours straight. Obviously I've slept and then woken up and gone back to sleep.
But no, I felt good this morning. It was nice to get out, birdie the first two holes and kind of cruise around. It was nice. We hadn't seen the courses yet this week because we just drove up yesterday, so went off of last year's memory, and basically just we had one book. Joe kept it all day and kind of figured it out as we went along.
Q. So Rickie, just to double check, you were just on the range yesterday, no holes at all; right??
RICKIE FOWLER: I was on the range for about 30 minutes and then I was out here. Actually I worked out afterwards, but that was it.
Q. So you go out this morning, sink birdie putt on 1, birdie putt on 2. First holes you've played since China. I imagine that kind of put you in a good relaxed frame of mind. Everything kind of carries over from last week??
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah. It was nice. Yesterday I hit it really well on the range, which made my practice session a lot shorter than I really intended it to.
So that was a good feeling. I hit a few putts after that. And that was the first time I picked up a club since China. I mean not a big off time, but when you're flying that much, it definitely feels like I hadn't touched the club for a week.
So this morning was you know, it was nice to hit the first tee ball on the fairway and make a couple birdies, make a couple putts definitely relaxed me a little bit. Like I said, we kind of just sat back and cruised around; nice day of golf besides the couple three putts.
Q. Rookie of the Year, we talked a little bit about that yesterday. Does that mean anything to you? Do you get any bonus clauses or anything in any of your deals or extra bank roll for that?
RICKIE FOWLER: I don't know. I'm not sure if there is or not. Obviously I'd like to win Rookie of the Year. It would be a great honor. Played well this year.
As of right now, I think it's coming down to Rory and I. I'm sure if a rookie were to win this week, it puts them right in contention. So it's not up to me now.
If I happen to win this week, it definitely helps out. But you know, both Rory and I have had a great year. Obviously he's got the win on me. So we'll see what happens.
Q. Rickie, has the year kind of sunk in at all yet? Obviously you've talked about how you've been a little over extended with travel and playing and that sort of thing. Has this sort of whirlwind sunk in yet?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah. It's been so busy that I really haven't had time to sit back and relax. So it hasn't really sunk in.
Obviously we've had a really good year. Just a win short. I think that's the only thing on the checklist that we really didn't take care of.
So it'll be nice to have some off time. I guess right after Skills Challenge I'm going to be off besides Shark Shootout. So I'll be able to kind of kick back and look back on the year.
It's gone by fast, but we've done a lot of things, so you know, you look back at it, and it seems like we've I don't know how we fit that much into that short of a time period. When you look back at it, it seems to be a lot longer than it actually was, because it went by really fast, but it's been a lot of fun, and definitely not planning on playing that much next year. But definitely looking forward to my next year on the PGA TOUR.
Q. Why the move to Jupiter??
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, our financial advisors thought it was a good idea investment wise to get into a house, whether it be for residence or just investment.
Q. Tax purposes??
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, I was already in Vegas. I had a condo in Vegas, so tax purposes, obviously would like to stay state income tax free, so we were looking between Vegas, Dallas, and my pick in Florida was Jupiter since I had spent some time down there.
And the travel out of Dallas and Florida are both really good with the TOUR mainly being the East Coast. And I like to fish in the off time. Good weather all year down in Jupiter. So we got a good deal on a house, water access. So I think jet skis are on order right now, and possible boat in the future. If not, I'll just use our buddy, who's a charter.
So it's a good spot to kind of kick back and relax. I'm looking forward to spending some off season time there.
Q. Are you moved in yet??
RICKIE FOWLER: In the process. My mom's been there the last two weeks while I was in Asia. Her and my grandparents have been taking care of some of the little things.
There was an older couple that lived there before me, so there was gold knobs and golden goose faucets. I think there were a couple Roman statues in the backyard, but actually they paid and they wanted those, so they took them out on their own.
Q. No argument there??
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, yeah. No argument. I think there was a couple of fancy chandeliers in the front that they took, too, so I wasn't complaining.
Q. Is it in a golf course community??
RICKIE FOWLER: No. It isn't. It's just it's on the Loxahatchee River, about I'll probably be playing at Medalist for sure, possibly at Bear's Club, which are both within 20 minutes.
Q. Didn't get a chance to ask you because it was a big panel discussion thing after the Ryder Cup and all. You made two putts there with the world watching with points and half points and everything on the line, your singles match. And then with I think it was Jim, the pairing with Jim. What did those do for you confidence wise between the ears with everything that was in play at those particular moments, and knowing you had to make them or it was game over??
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, it was a do or die situation. Like you said, I knew what I had to do, and people asked if I was nervous or how nervous I was. You know, I actually felt really good over those putts.
I wasn't really nervous at all. I was too focused on what I was trying to do with the putt, where I was trying to hit it and how hard I was trying to hit it. I really didn't have time to be nervous, which is a good feeling over putts when they matter that much.
Obviously got some confidence from the putt I made or a couple putts that I made inside five feet down the stretch with Jim, and then 18 I made a good putt to have the match. But to make those putts on 17 and 18 was huge. It's definitely helped out.
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah. Yeah. It's definitely helped out my putting confidence wise the past few weeks. And I think I've talked about it a little bit, my putting turned around a little starting Deutsche Bank.
I definitely noticed a bit of my old self coming back on putting. Worked with Brad Faxon on the putting green for about 15 minutes. Just common knowledge. Obviously he knows how to roll the ball and get the ball in the hole pretty quickly.
Yeah, just fundamental and getting back to the basics. But to have someone that you know that knows what he's talking about to sit there and tell you, so definitely have to give a thanks to Brad for obviously helping me out.
He sat on the putting green. He was helping me and blanks, and I think a couple other guys. Just sitting there helping the guys on the green. So that was pretty cool.
Q. You mentioned the win was kind of the only check box you didn't check off this year. Just wondered if you have any regrets from this year if there's anything looking back on it.
RICKIE FOWLER: No. I've put myself in contention a few times, and I felt more comfortable every time I was in contention. Memorial was probably one of my best tournaments. I felt like I played really well start to finish. I just happened to make a bad swing on 12, and not an easy hole. I think people gave me some grief about it, about I was going at the pin or trying to do something stupid.
But like today, I happened to make a bad swing on 4 and ended up in the hazard, and there I happened to make a bad swing, made double. So that was a great week for me having the lead throughout basically the whole tournament and to play as well as I did.
But no, no regrets. I definitely feel like a win is right around the corner. I just need to keep putting myself in contention and have a chance on the back nine on Sunday.
Q. Rickie, with all the popularity you've gained in your short time on TOUR here, how much pressure do you feel to get that first win? Is it kind of a monkey on the back or how do you approach that?
RICKIE FOWLER: I remember Hunter Mahan when he talked about when he won earlier this year in Phoenix, he said, "Great players win, and I want to be a great player."
That's the same way I feel. Great players win, and I want to win. So definitely need to get that first win under the belt, get the monkey off my back and go from there.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Thanks a lot, Rickie. Good luck the rest of the week.
RICKIE FOWLER: Thanks.