June 3 2012
Interview: Rickie Fowler
Following his third-round 69, Rickie Fowler reflects on his play with Bob Stevens from SiriusXM PGATOUR Radio.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Rickie Fowler was one of the few players able to climb the leaderboard on a windy Saturday at the Memorial Tournament.
The red-hot 23-year-old, who has finished in the top 10 of his last four tournaments, birdied two of his final four holes to move into sole possession of third entering the final round at Muirfield Village. Fowler is three strokes behind Spencer Levin and will play in the penultimate group with Tiger Woods on Sunday.
Fowler posted a round of 69 in the blustery conditions on Saturday that tied Vijay Singh and the leader, Spencer Levin, for the low round of the day. He hit 10 of 14 fairways, 12 of 18 greens in regulation and used just 26 putts -- including a 6-footer for birdie at the par-5 15th and a 17-footer for another at the 17th hole.
"Felt nice coming in," said Fowler. "Nice to get a few birdies coming in."
Fowler, who picked up his breakthrough win at the Wells Fargo Championship last month, is playing in his third Memorial Tournament. He has a pretty good track record, too, finishing second to Justin Rose in his debut and tying for 22nd last year. Six of his 11 rounds at Muirfield Village have been in the 60s, too.
"I've hit a lot of good shots around here, so I've probably at least birdied every hole or had good shots on all holes out here," Fowler said. "So definitely able to go into every hole out here comfortable and knowing that we've played it well and hit some good shots there. Looking forward to tomorrow ... Anywhere being around the lead on Sunday is good around here."
Fowler said the wind dried to course out as the day progressed and he expects conditions on Sunday that were similar to the first round when he shot 71. Conditions should still be breezy, with the wind gusting toward 30 mph, but Fowler enjoys that challenge.
"I love playing in the wind," he said. "I wouldn't mind it being like this tomorrow. No, I enjoy it. You've got to hit good golf shots and got to hit the ball solidly. I played well today, hit a few squirrelly shots, but other than that we kept it in play and made a few good swings coming in, made a couple birdies, so put ourselves in a good spot for tomorrow."
Fowler beat Rory McIlroy and D.A. Points in a playoff at Quail Hollow four weeks ago, and he has finished fifth or better in his two starts since that victory. He's pleased with the way he's been hitting the ball right now and expects more of the same on Sunday.
"If you went out and played really well, there's still a low number out there," Fowler said. "It's not easy to go low. Someone that's in the lead is going to have a tough time pulling away. I wouldn't say five or six is too far back, but obviously three or four is kind of a good place to be.
"... I've been swinging really well, so that's obviously helped me stay very calm and collected out there. Very confident with my game and where I'm at mentally, so get ourselves in a good position for tomorrow being a few back, go out and have some fun and see what we can do."