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Bridgestone Invitational Golf Tournament

Fowler, McIlroy presser transcripts

By Jonas Published: August 7, 2011

Q. Talk about putting together a nice final round. I know you've kind of struggled in some final rounds.

RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, definitely. Obviously, like I've talked about all week, I've been playing a lot better the last month or two, and yeah, this is really the first time I've played a good final round.
Last year I had quite a few -- or I had a good run where I just hung around until Sunday, played well on Sunday, and kind of a back door top 10. It's been a while since I've played well on Sunday, and it was nice to go out and shoot a bogey-free 4-under.

Q. What was your approach mentally? What do you think led to the final round that was successful?

RICKIE FOWLER: Well, the way I've been playing the last month or two, in contention at AT&T and same thing with the Open Championship. After those two Sunday final rounds, I just knew I had to stay a lot more patient and within myself and make sure that I was fully committed to every shot and think everything through and make sure I was ready to hit each shot. We did it today, did it well, and it resulted in a bogey-free 66.

Q. Did the conditions kind of dictate what you wanted to do because you had to figure guys were going to go out and make birdies? Were you more aggressive in your thinking today?

RICKIE FOWLER: Not a whole lot. I stuck with the same game plan all week. Obviously playing out of the fairways is a lot easier, but there were a few holes where I was playing out of the rough but was still able to stay aggressive because the greens are a bit soft. Other than that, stuck to the same game plan. Knew I was playing well and just had to go out and put it together.

Q. Were you scoreboard watching?

RICKIE FOWLER: I was a little bit. There was times where I tried not to look at it. Early on I didn't look at it too much, just went out and got off to a good start, and from there -- I like playing when I'm behind, it motivates me a bit. Seeing the guys, 13, 14, Adam kept going, kept pushing me a bit, and Adam just kept going, like I said. Made a birdie there at the last, which was big, and I hit a lot of good shots today. And we'll see what Adam does, but I think he's playing pretty well.

Q. Can you tell us about the text you got last year?

RICKIE FOWLER: From my sister? Yeah, we texted back and forth. She's actually down with my mom and one of her friends in Atlanta waiting for us, but she told me -- well, she didn't like my bogeys the past few days. She kept telling me to get rid of those. And then today she didn't want me to leave any putts short, because yesterday I hit a handful short right in the middle of the hole. So she wanted me to hit them at least a foot by, listened to her, and made some putts today.

Q. What's her name and how old is she?

RICKIE FOWLER: Taylor? I'd have to think. Is she 20 now? I think she's 20. She helps keep me in line. She started playing golf again about four years ago. We played when we were growing up. She was about five to seven, and then she stopped and started playing softball and some other sports. So she's picked it up and she actually understands a little bit more about what's going on. She's able to -- she's able to give me advice now because before she didn't really know what the game was about or what she was doing. She told me to get it to the hole and hit it a foot by, and it worked out.

Q. You're one of the young guns capable of winning any week. You look at a guy like Scott, do you put much into the old, hey, he's the best to not win a big one? He certainly has surpassed Sergio who's been struggling for quite a while.

RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, he's a good player. I've had quite a few opportunities to play with him. I like his game and obviously he's playing really well this week. I played with him yesterday. He's doing really well with Stevie on the bag. It's a good match. They've been doing really well together, and he's just confident in his game right now. I think the long putter has been good for him. He looks really good with it.
When he first put it in, I saw him out practicing in Florida when we were down there for the Florida Swing, and he was hitting putts where every putt looked like it had a chance to go in. I think that's had a big impact on his full confidence around the whole course.

Q. As far as your confidence, I know you haven't played in a lot of majors because of your youth, but will this be the best going into one as far as your level of play and your level of confidence?

RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, it's up there. You know, I played well obviously the week -- or a week and a half before the Open Championship. But having the stretch that I've had coming into the PGA Championship, yeah, it's definitely the best I've been playing going into a major.

RORY MCILROY TRANSCRIPT: 

Q. Four rounds in the 60s around Firestone. How good a heart does that put you in for next week's PGA?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, it's been a very productive week to, as you said, shoot four rounds in the 60s, have a good weekend. There's a lot of positives going into next week, which is great. It would have been nice to give myself a little more of a chance to win this week, just didn't hole enough putts. But you know, again, it was a good week and a good confidence builder going into next week definitely.

Q. The attention on you next week is going to be unbelievable. Are you ready for that?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, I'm fine. I mean, I'm playing well. I'm really happy with the way I'm hitting it and driving it a lot better than I have done the last couple weeks, so yeah, I'm ready for it.

Q. You'll play the first two rounds with the other two major champions from this year. Your thoughts on that?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, I think it'll be great fun playing with Darren and Charl. It'll be great. It's always -- not many people say they're part of the major champions' group at the PGA. It's going to be great. I'm going to enjoy it.

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