Rickie Fowler returns to the Honda Classic ready to defend his title and, despite PGA National's tough reputation, he thinks it is a fun challenge.
Fowler claimed a four-stroke victory at the tournament last year in the last of his four PGA Tour successes.
"It's definitely nice to be back here. This is a golf course I love to play, especially on [windy] days like this," Fowler told a news conference on Wednesday.
"It's a tough golf course without wind, and when it picks up, it's even more so. I feel like it's a place that demands your full attention at all times. There's never really a pushover shot. Yet, like I said, demands your full attention."
For the first two rounds, Fowler will play with Patrick Reed and Kevin Kisner, two Ryder Cup team-mates that should help ease any pressure he faces defending this week.
"I enjoy playing with both the guys," Fowler said. "Patrick and I played quite a bit of junior golf growing up together and he's fun to be around. I enjoy seeing how intense he is on the golf course. He's intense in a good way, and he's a solid player, especially I feel like he's a great player in the windy conditions.
"He can flight the ball well and Kiz, he's a bulldog, but he really is a bulldog. He's a fighter."
While eyes will be on Fowler, Tiger Woods' return to PGA National has created a ton of buzz. Fowler likes having the 14-time major champion in the field.
"I mean, Tiger's, no question, the biggest draw that we have," Fowler said. "It doesn't matter if it's Pro-Am day or Thursday, Friday, whatever. You can look out there and you know exactly where he is on the golf course. He's got the biggest crowd no matter what and he's earned that.
"He's had arguably the biggest impact in the game of golf and with what he's done forgetting people involved fan-wise or people into the game. You can go into the TV side of it, purse money. It's amazing to see what he's done, and let alone his accomplishments on the golf course; the way he played in the early 2000s, most dominating performances in the game of golf.
"It's good to have him here this week. I'm hoping he plays well. I mean, he's sleeping in his own bed, so he should be all right."
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