What they said: Rickie FowlerMay 13, 2012
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: THE PLAYERS Championship transcript archive
DOUG MILNE: Rickie Fowler, thanks for joining us after a very successful 2012 PLAYERS Championship, right on the heels of your first PGA TOUR win. Didn't walk away with the win but you certainly came next best to that. Just a few comments on the week overall.
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, it was a very successful week for me, coming off the win and then being that I have not made a cut here before. So nice to play the weekend. A lot of fun to be in contention, and tried to give it a run there at the end. You know, Kuch played very well today, very solid, and just fell a couple shots short.
Q. Can you walk through the birdies on 16 and 17, and your reaction when Kuchar matched yours??
RICKIE FOWLER: 16, I knocked a little pitch shot up there and hit it close, and knocked that in. So it was kind of a routine birdie. Then 17, even though you have a wedge in your happened, it's not the easiest two to make. Hit a good shot in there and just hung up. Thought it might catch the ridge and come down.
Got to see Ben's putt roll down and see how it reacted speed wise. Hit a good putt, right in the middle. I didn't know if Kuchar had made his putt or not. Once I made mine, I was kind of ready to go and focusing on what we had to do on 18.
I knew that we had to putt up a 3 to have some sort of chance, and hit two great shots in there. Just pushed the putt a little bit. Hardest putt to have is straight in, so would have been nice to have some kind of break. I backed off because of the big screen, Kuchar had just missed his putt on 17 and the crowd reacted as I was about to hit my first putt so had to back off. Went through my routine again, felt good, knew what I had to do but like I said, straight putts are the toughest, and started just a little bit right of my line.
Q. After the wonderful performance last week to win in the playoff at Quail Hollow and the way you completed that playoff and what you achieved here today, over the weekend, with the tournament on the line, the fist pump on 17 did it feel like you've gone to another level, because it's happened before our eyes the last two weeks??
RICKIE FOWLER: I'm swinging it well and I have a lot of confidence in myself and my game right now. I feel like I'm managing myself around the golf course and throughout the tournament better, getting myself in the right positions, and not giving away tournaments and keeping myself in them.
The first day I went out there shot even par, which obviously is not the greatest start. Hung around Friday, got back in it yesterday. I feel like I've missed too many cuts the previous years, just because of not being patient and sticking it out and staying focused and trying to get the most out of every round.
So the past few weeks, I've been very patient, obviously been playing very well, so I've had a lot of confidence in my game, which has given me kind of the calm and the confidence coming down the stretch when the nerves are supposed to be on. But felt very good with my game, and was just ready to make swings and go for it.
Q. Given all that, how excited are you about the near future, given what you've just achieved??
RICKIE FOWLER: Very excited. Finally getting things clicking, was not off to a great start, but not a bad start this year. I've improved some stats, been driving it better. Just nice to kind of get running on all cylinders. To get my first win and to have a good showing this week, you know, it's kind of got one goal out of the way, getting my win and focused on getting to THE TOUR Championship and giving myself a chance to play on the Ryder Cup Team again this year.
Q. A California kid, we know where the Open is; have you seen the Olympic Club? Is that fine with you that Rickie Fowler is a kid to watch at the U.S. Open?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I've been to Olympic Club a couple of times. I played two USGA events there, the U.S. Junior and the U.S. Amateur.
A little ways away from home. It's probably about, I don't know, 10 , 12 hour drive. But it's a very tough course, and I'm sure they are just going to make it tougher for the Open. It's going to be I mean, if it's playing cool and wet with the air, it's going to be a tough test and it's going to be a mentally challenging week.
Really looking forward to it and looking forward to getting well rested up before that.
Q. Any shots out there in particular you would like to have back or that you feel like hurt you this week??
RICKIE FOWLER: Not really. I mean, I felt like I played shots the way I wanted to. You know, like today when I made the double, it was not on the short side of the hole. Got a little bit of a bad break there. The putt slid by for bogey. Wouldn't mind having the putt over on 18. It was a tough putt just because of how straight it was, and just started a little right. That's the hard thing about straight putts, you've got to hit them in the middle or they don't go in.
DOUG MILNE: Rickie, congratulations on a great week.