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The Tour Report

August 23 2012

6:40 PM

Birdie binge gets Fowler going

Interview: Rickie Fowler

Following an opening-round 67, Rickie Fowler reflects on his play in The Barclays 2012 with Fred Albers from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

FARMINGDALE N.Y. -- It wasn't your normal birdie streak.

Rickie Fowler started the run with a 9-foot birdie putt at the 13th hole, then fueled it with an 18-footer at the next. He chipped the next two in, though, from 53 feet at No. 15 and 28 feet at the 16th hole -- and all of a sudden, Fowler was 4 under and just three shots off Padraig Harrington's lead.

"I got off to a nice start, just was hitting the ball solid and just didn't really get anything going, made some good up and downs and finally caught a little fire there and made a couple birdies, chipped a couple in, and nice way to finish the round," Fowler said.

The two chip-ins contributed to a round of 67 where Fowler used just 25 putts. He said it's been a long time since he'd holed quite so many.
"Been putting well, just not hitting it close enough, having long putts, and obviously that adds up on the scorecard very quickly, so nice to see some go in," Fowler said.

Of course, he wasn't exactly surprised to see the tide turn. He played a practice round with Keegan Bradley at The Bear's Club in Jupiter, Fla., last week and experienced an equally dramatic turnaround.

"Shot a couple under on the front nine, didn't really get anything going, and I made six in a row," Fowler recalled. "That alone and seeing myself make some birdies late in the round and just being patient, waiting for things to happen, especially today, it definitely paid off."

Fowler hopes his play over the next two weeks, coupled with his entire body of work, will pay off with a Captain's Pick when Davis Love III completes his U.S. Ryder Cup team on Sept. 4. He was a member of the 2010 team and dearly wants to get the nod again -- not that it makes competing in the FedExCup Playoffs any easier.

"Well, you can try and block it out as much as possible," Fowler said. "That's what everyone tells you to do. But to be honest, that's obviously where I want to be in a few weeks, and keep focusing on my game and playing well. I got some good work in last week and just focusing on playing well this week and let the game do its thing and see where that puts us."