Rickie Fowler is one of the most recognizable faces on the PGA Tour, a 25-year-old with one career PGA Tour wins and a nice T-5 earlier this year at the Masters, his best finish ever at Augusta National. Fowler took some time to chat with us about his game, the Olympics and what Crowne Plaza is doing to help guests enjoy their stay.
DB: Golf comes back to the Olympics in 2016. Are players fired up for the possibility of making their team and playing for their country?
Fowler: Everyone is excited for it as far as having a chance to play in the Olympics. I don’t know if any of us know or we’re not sure the exact format so there’s still some questions up in the air as far as that goes. But it’s good for golf as far as drawing the game and worldwide and it’ll be cool and I know I’m fired up for it and would love to be on the team just like a lot of the guys out here.
DB: You have had some success in the past at the Accenture, finishing third alone this year. Does the format fit you, and do you wish there was more match play tournaments each year?
Fowler: Match play is fun, it’s tough just because you don’t know what the other guy is bringing to the table that day. You could be playing great and run into someone that goes off that day and you’re sent home packing, so that’s a tough part about it.
It is a fun format. I feel like it’s a lot easier for fans and people that aren’t huge fans of golf to follow, the stroke play side of it a little tougher. But stroke play I feel does crown the better player most of the time.
In match play, so many things can happen where someone can go off one day and someone is sent home packing where they might be able to win another match against someone else.
DB: What is the most nervous you've ever been on a first tee?
Fowler: Most nervous I’ve ever been is probably the 2007 Walker Cup. I was a little boy playing with these 8 or 9 other guys that were the best amateurs in the country.
We were playing against Great Britian and Ireland that had a stacked team as well so it definitely helped prepare me for the ’09 Walker Cup where I felt like a veteran and the 2010 Ryder Cup team, having that experience helped me play well there.
DB: Who was the first person you called or texted when you first realized you were going to the 2011 Masters (his first invite there)?
Fowler: I think it was my mom and dad. My dad was with me when I got into the Ryder Cup team, but they’re the ones I call first.
DB: Last one, tell us about what Crowne Plaza is doing right now to help promote staying on their properties?
Fowler: We did a couple of shoots earlier this year, some fun commercials and this year we’re doing a promotion called "The Big Win." It’s for club members, with their stay at the Crowne Plaza, to earn points based on their stay at the hotel and have a chance to really earn free travel and merchandise and free stuff, so the more nights you stay the more stuff you get.
(Also, if you watch the final round of the Crowne Plaza Colonial on Sunday, root for a hole-in-one on the 13th. Fowler and Boo Weekley will explain why in this video.)