Arnold Palmer Inv. interview: Rickie FowlerMarch 25, 2013
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Q. How would you assess the entire day as a whole?
RICKIE FOWLER: Up until 16, I felt really good. I was swinging it well, I made a few putts, and trying to put a little pressure on them, let them know I was there. Just would like to have that 7 iron back on 16, just kind of touch heavy. And I had a perfect club there, so just unfortunate to make that swing at that time. If we had a good shot in there, would have put a little pressure on him coming into the last two holes.
Q. You bit your arm after playing in the water, obviously, showing frustration. What was going through your mind at that time?
RICKIE FOWLER: I was just trying to recoup. You know, I didn't want to let out too much frustration, but let it out somehow. Just unfortunate, dropped it, and the ball sat in its own mark when I dropped the ball.
So but I made some decent shots coming in. Par on 17 and 18 is pretty good. Solid finish. Played well all week, just wouldn't mind having that 7 iron back.
Q. What did you learn this week that just ended?
RICKIE FOWLER: I felt really comfortable out there. I stayed patient on the start. A lot of pars, finally made a birdie on 9, So I felt like I settled into the round probably the best I had in the final group. That's the best I felt in the final group. Yeah, it's just unfortunate to make that swing at that time.
Q. Rickie, there was a time when you said that you played with Tiger at home, and he wasn't bringing it to the golf course. Obviously, it's a little different now. Can you talk about the difference you've seen in the past year, nine months, whatever it's been?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, definitely this year he looks a lot more comfortable out there. He doesn't really miss many shots. And if he does, it's not by a whole lot. So he's swinging well, looks comfortable out there. It's fun to kind of go out there and. It's just unfortunate to make that swing at that time.
It could have been fun coming down those last couple holes.
Q. When you hit that shot, the second shot into 16, it looked like you thought it was good at first?
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, obviously, as soon as I hit it, I knew how I hit it. I just thought it was touch heavy. It got a little higher, and a touch from where I was going, and the cover hits a little longer over there. If I hit it solid, I could cover any part of the water with the 7 iron. Just kind of bad timing, but next time.
Q. Golfers talk about intimidation playing with Tiger. Does any of that matter?
RICKIE FOWLER: He's playing well. You know when another guy is playing well and he's on top of his game, he's got a little something. But like I said, I felt really good out there, felt really comfortable today. It was fun to get after him a little bit, and just wish it could have been a little more coming down the last couple holes.
Q. Why do you think you were more comfortable today? Was there anything specific that you sensed you had better control of today versus shooting 84 at Memorial?
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, I had nothing to lose. It was going to be pretty easy to better that score. No, I've been swinging well all week. I was comfortable with my game.
It's just, like I said, getting off to a decent start and just staying patient, not getting ahead of myself. I felt like I did that very well, which kind of let me stay settled down and kind of getting into the round the way I did.
Q. Rickie, what makes him such a difficult player to kind of catch? He's in that position. Is there extra pressure on everybody else to hit it a little closer, to be more precise as opposed to maybe somebody else?
RICKIE FOWLER: I mean, he's a great player. Even if he does make a bad swing here and there, he's going to find a way to have a look at par. He's not going to give shots away. So he's tough to beat in that way. I mean, he's going to get the ball up and down. He's not going to give shot as way. You have to gain shots on him by making birdies. Yeah, he's a tough competitor.
Q. You kind of made a move on 12. What was that moment like there? Was that deflating at all?
RICKIE FOWLER: No, no. That was part of it. I'm expecting him to make putts. I mean, you saw on the last hole, doesn't matter how long it is, you've got to expect him to at least give it a shot. I hit a perfect putt there, and it ended up going in, and I figured there was a pretty good chance that his was going in. That was kind of the start of things kind of kicking up.
Ended up birdieing two holes later, and unfortunately we both bogeyed, and then had 16. But other than that, it was a fun day, just unfortunate to make that on 16.
Q. That was the first pressure point of the day. That was when you first kind of made your move?
RICKIE FOWLER: Showed him I was around?
Q. Yeah, exactly. Him putting that putt in is that an illustration of where he's elevated himself, because putting has really been an issue?
RICKIE FOWLER: He's putting well. He hit a lot of good putts out there, a couple that didn't go in, and he made some good putts as well. But no, that's just the competitor he is. He's going to find a way to make a putt or kind of keep things going.
Q. Are you surprised that the crowds are so big on a Monday?
RICKIE FOWLER: It seemed like the crowds grew as the day went on. There weren't many people here in the morning. The back nine definitely seemed like it had picked up a bit. Then obviously on 17 and 18 once we were kind of the last ones out there. There were quite a few people out there today.
Q. You got caught in the crowd on 18 coming up the fairway.
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I just tried to stay as close to a couple the of the security guards and my caddy and not get trampled.
Q. How is your confidence after what happened on 16?
RICKIE FOWLER: I'm feeling good. Other than catching it a touch heavy, it was a perfect shot. Flies another three yards, and I've got a good look at three there. So just kind of touch heavy. Other than that, swung it well. Showed Tiger I was right there with him, and I was ready to go. On the last couple holes, it was just unfortunate to catch one heavy on 16.
Q. Do you feel like you were pressing on 16?
RICKIE FOWLER: No, I was playing into the wind. 7 iron, had a perfect club, I hit a solid shot there. I had a good look at three. If I make three, he makes four, we cut it down to one, and a one shot lead for him going into the last two holes where there is a lot that can happen.
I liked my position. I felt like I made a lot of good swings today. It's just unfortunate to catch that one a touch heavy there.
Q. Was that like what happened last year (Indiscernible)?
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, it's a little redemption. I mean, I know I can play with any of these guys out here. The I've shown it just golf every once in a while it can happen. That's where 84 took place. I felt good out there today. Other than that, other than 16, it was a pretty solid round of golf.