What they said: Rickie FowlerJuly 20, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: RBC Canadian Open transcript archive
THE MODERATOR: Rickie, thanks for joining us for a few minutes prior to the start of the RBC Canadian Open. You're coming off from one Open to the next Open. Tied for fifth last week at the British. So you've got to be feeling good as you're heading into the week here. Just a few comments. You obviously played today, so a few comments about the course and how you're feeling heading into the week?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, had a really good week last week. Prior to that played AT&T, was in the final group, so I've had some good golf as of late. I'm excited to be here this week.
The course is in great shape. It's tough. Got to hit it in the fairway. It's going to be a tough week. I mean, the course is in good shape. It's a tough one. Tough driving course, and you've got to hit it in in the fairway. So I need to hit it straight this week.
Q. Have you had much history here before? Have you played here before?
RICKIE FOWLER: This is my first time in Vancouver. Played a couple of times in Canada, but not on the west coast. I've heard a lot of good things about the area, about Vancouver, downtown. I had a chance to walk around a bit. The weather is a little bit better here than it was in England.
Q. You've had a couple of seconds and lost in the playoff. Coming off the British Open, do you feel like you're on the cusp of maybe winning very soon, and how much as a golfer do you think you need that on your resume to get a win??
RICKIE FOWLER: I feel like I've been on the cusp for a while. We've had some good finishes, runner-ups, like you said. Been playing well as of late, the final group in AT&T and the second to last group in the Open Championship. So I've been playing well.
Obviously, I feel like I can get it done if I keep putting myself in contention. Just got to get some putts to drop and get a good Sunday round in and really haven't been able to do that yet.
Like I said, my game feels really good. I'll keep pushing forward and hopefully that win will be coming soon.
Q. Do you think you need to get that first win to sort of have that behind and you go from there??
RICKIE FOWLER: I definitely think once I get the first win out of the way, I think it's going to kind of open the doors to more. I think the second, third and fourth win will be a lot easier than just getting the first one out of the way.
Like I said, the game feels really good. I'm happy with where it's at right now. Looking forward to this week and the rest of the season.
Q. What was it about the golf course that set up the most for you today playing it for the second time? What was it like?
RICKIE FOWLER: For the most part, it's a driving course. You've got to drive your ball well to have a chance to hit the small green. You know, you're not going to hit very many greens unless you have a wedge out of the rough.
At least right now you can advance it a bit on some of the holes. Par-5 you'll be all right if you hit it into the rough. But most of the par-4s, you're not going to be in the green if you hit the rough off the tee.
I think the biggest part of the week is whoever is driving it the best is going to have probably one of the best opportunities to win.
Q. I have to ask this question of the Black Knight, the golf boys. How much fun have you had putting this together? I understand there is another one that's going to be made. Was it tough getting into character for that? And you got 2.1 million hits on YouTube. Just tell me about that?
RICKIE FOWLER: It's been a lot of fun. We just basically brought that together and shot it in a day. So it wasn't a huge process, but we had a lot of fun doing it. Obviously, a good group of guys.
Yeah, we're looking to do some more. Obviously, trying to fit scheduled together is not very easy with four PGA TOUR pros. So it's a work in progress. But we're moving forward with it and it's definitely, I think the social media and videos like that, you know, the fans like it for the most part. I know there are some people who think it's pretty weird. But we're having fun, showing who we are, and we like to have a good time. We're not just guys that you see on TV playing golf. We actually have stuff that we do off the golf course.
RICKIE FOWLER: I don't know what the plan is. We've got plenty of options. We can hit any genre you want because I don't think we're geared specifically to one. We've got -- I mean, we've got -- the limits are endless because we're not good or anything. We're trying to be bad, so we can be bad in anything that we put together.
We're not trying to dance good. We can dance to anything you want us to. So, yeah, we're going to run with it. See where it ends up and see how many songs and music videos we can put together.
Q. I'm curious what brought you here? It's a long way from the British Open, about as far as you could go to play the next week. What attracted you to coming here?
RICKIE FOWLER: It ended up being pretty good and fitting into the schedule. I definitely like playing west coast golf. I grew up on the west coast, Southern California. This is a little further north than I'm used to.
I played in Canada junior golf, and I liked it. And like I said, it fit into the schedule. But I was going to have two weeks off prior to Akron going to the PGA, and I felt that two weeks off may be a little bit too much going into a World Golf Championship and a major. So playing the week after the British and kind of winding down and have a few days off and get back in the swing of things.
I always like to play. I just don't want to have too much time in a row playing too many tournaments or too much time off.
It fit in to where the charter flight makes it a lot easier to get over here and continue playing and have a few days off to get ready for the next couple of events.
Q. Just to follow up. The rough, as you mentioned, this is an event that sometimes has trouble getting guys to come from the British Open. It can turn guys off. What have you heard about the course, and can you risk turning guys off when you make it as tough as you said it was out there??
RICKIE FOWLER: I think tough courses draw better players. I mean, I like playing tough golf courses. I feel like not that I have a better chance to win or be in contention, but I just like playing challenging golf courses.
And it is tough to get some guys after a major, especially when you're traveling quite a ways. But the charter definitely helps out with getting guys here. This is about as far as you're going to get traveling-wise from England all the way to Vancouver. But it really wasn't too bad. We flew over Sunday, got here late Sunday night, and I ended you up taking Monday off to kind of relax and try to get adjusted to the time. But as for the course, I've heard a lot of good things from other PGA TOUR players.
Ben Crane was probably one of the first ones to tell me about it. He said it's probably one of the of his favorite places, definitely his favorite place in Canada to play. So I was excited to be coming here.
Q. Lots of young fans out there today in the orange Puma gear. What are your thoughts about having lots of Canadian fans??
RICKIE FOWLER: I like it. I like having young fans that have a positive influence on young golfers or people not even interested in golf, just drawn into the game or whatnot. But it's always cool to see the little guys out there running around wearing a Puma hat that's a little big for them.
Hopefully we can get a lot of fans out here this week and draw a big Canadian crowd.
Q. Are you surprised you're so popular in Canada??
RICKIE FOWLER: No, it's a good thing. I wouldn't say surprised or not surprised. I enjoy having as many supporters as possible. I like playing in front of crowds.
It's been pretty cool to see the steady progression of more and more fans and followers.
Q. You came on TOUR with a lot of hype out of college, and you obviously had a good resume in college. It seems to me that your peers accepted you really quickly, not just guys like Bubba Watson and the younger guys, but also Phil Mickelson and some of the veteran players. Was it easy to make really good friendships on TOUR and did it surprise you? Because you hear about the Europeans saying it's easy to make friendships and they say it's tough on the PGA TOUR. But you seem to have friends with all kinds of guys older and younger guys.
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, 15 or 70 doesn't matter. It's been a dream of mine to play on the PGA TOUR. I've watched a lot of guys that are veterans out here today. I watched them as I grew up, I've watched them play and obviously respect them.
So I don't know if it's the way I act around them that makes it easy for them to accept me or anything like that. But I've never had any problems with any guys. Everyone out here has been great to me. I feel like I fit in great with the guys.
So it's pretty cool to actually be out here when I was looking at this as a dream as a kid. To actually be here now and be as close of friends as I am with guys like Phil Mickelson or Steve Stricker or Jim Furyk, guys that I grew up watching.
Q. Did the Ryder Cup help foster a lot of that, because those are Ryder Cup veterans??
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, the Ryder Cup definitely is something that brings guys together. It's a pretty big bonding week. It's similar to the way things were at the Walker Cup. Guys that a played the Walker Cup with are some of my good friends in the game. It's definitely similar to the Ryder Cup. Just enjoying my time out here, making new friends.
Q. You're obviously into the stylish side of things. Wonder if Puma has anything red and white or special in the closet this week for you??
RICKIE FOWLER: I don't think there's any red in the fall line. I've got white. I've got that on today. We'll have some good stuff this week. They don't have me -- I usually get scripted on majors. Other than that on PGA TOUR events I get to wear what I want. So we'll try to put together some good, colorful outfits this week.
Q. You look like you're having a blast with where you are in your life. I know you're just starting out in your career. But you've got a lot of attention, and some fame and fortune. Are you having as much fun at it as you seem to be? Does it ever get to be a burden where you just can't develop your game the same way other guys might at your age because there is so much attention on you?
RICKIE FOWLER: I mean, I'm having a great time. I'm getting to play golf every day. Obviously there are time when's it's tough when you're not playing well or something like that. I have to remind yourself that I'm getting to live my dream. But it's great. I'm having a great time.
Obviously, there are time commitments where I have to learn to manage my time a bit. I think that's been probably one of the biggest adjustments is getting used to the travel and the time management: When to practice, sleep, eat, workout, media, practice rounds.
So it's been a fairly easy adjustment because this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. The time that it starts to feel like a job or I start to not have fun, then that's when I shouldn't be out here, but I don't see that really happening.
Q. We've talked to a lot of guys coming into the room today. They said 5- or 6-under will probably take this tournament in such tough conditions. Is that a general idea of what you think is going to win the tournament??
RICKIE FOWLER: It's hard to say. I mean, usually tournament scores are so dependent on weather conditions and how the course sets up. Obviously, if it's sunny for four days, the course is going to get firm and fast and can play really hard.
If it rains, you hit on the fairway and you're going to make some birdies with soft greens, so it's hard to say. But, I mean, I'd be happy with shooting a few under par and sitting here come Sunday with 5- or 6-under and see where that puts me.
I don't see it out of the possibility with someone being able to reach double digits, but it's going to take definitely a really good ball striking week to get to that.
Q. I'm just curious about yesterday when you were walking around Vancouver? I know there was a lot of recognition and you had fans on the course yesterday. But just around Vancouver are people coming up knowing who you are and asking for autographs on the street or in the hotel?
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, I don't walk around usually in a bunch of Puma logos. I still wear some Puma stuff, but I try to fly incognito as much as possible. Not trying to shy away from people coming up to me. I love signing autographs and taking pictures whatever that might be. But I get recognized every once in a while, but I don't try to draw attention to myself or anything like that.
But the people here have been great. Like I said, there have been some people that recognized me out on the street. I've signed some autographs and taken some pictures, nothing too crazy. Just try to keep it pretty mellow out there.
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