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THE IRISH OPEN


June 19, 2014


Graeme McDowell


FOTA ISLAND, IRELAND

Q.テつ Knowing what the Irish Open means to you, imagine you're hoping where an opening 68?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Very much so.テつ Beautiful day there at Fota Island today, great crowds.テつ Course is in really nice shape.テつ Rough was a lot thicker than I remember yesterday I have to say.テつ I mustn't have hit it in there much yesterday in the Pro‑Am.テつ I was wondering why the scoring weren't amazing this morning and I promptly found out this afternoon.テつ You really must keep it in the fairway here at this golf course to give yourself some opportunities.
You know, slow start.テつ Hit the ball averagely at times, you nice to birdie three of the last four there and post a good number, and get a nice sleep and back out there in the morning at it.

Q.テつ Quite a lot of players under par at the moment; did you feel that you had to shoot low today?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Like I say, I didn't think the scoring was outrageous this morning.テつ Yes, there's one 7‑under par, but there's a lot of twos, threes and fours.テつ So I figured anything sort of 2‑, 3‑under par today was going to be a good return, and that would set me up for a good morning tomorrow morning and just trying to jockey for position going into the weekend.
The old clichテδゥ, you can't win it on Thursday, but you can certainly blow yourself out of it.テつ Nice to hang tough today and post a decent number.
A little eventful.テつ The rough was a lot snaggier than I remember yesterday.テつ Not sure if I just hit a lot of fairways in the Pro‑Am or something but the rough was thick today.テつ I really felt like that's got a huge amount to do with why the scoring is not outrageous on a golf course in benign conditions that you feel is maybe there for the taking.テつ If you miss fairways, you're in big trouble out there.
Greens are nice.テつ A few footprints this afternoon but we'll get them nice and pure tomorrow morning and hopefully be able to continue and make a few birdies.テつ Great crowds and atmosphere out there.

Q.テつ And a great finish in your last four holes?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Nice to birdie three of the last four there.テつ A bit of a whoopsy on 17, trying to throw myself with a 5‑iron and nearly fell over but these things happen.テつ Generally happy enough with the way I hit it coming down the stretch.テつ Room for improvement throughout the game but I'll take 3‑under par and run.

Q.テつ Are you very content, because as you say, you probably didn't play your best golf today but you're still right in the tournament.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, I didn't play amazing.テつ You know, my body, still catching up with me a tiny bit.テつ Have a nice sleep tonight and hopefully I'll feel a bit fresher in the morning.テつ Just trying to jockey for position, stay in contention for this weekend and I feel like I'll get stronger and stronger as the week goes on.

Q.テつ Let's get the nasty stuff out of the way.テつ What happened off the 17th tee?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ I didn't have a great lie there on the tee box.テつ I felt like I teed it up a little too high.
No, I tried to hit a hard 5‑iron and I literally fell over.テつ The body is a little tired, shall we say, this week, and you know, the legs just left me a little bit.テつ It was a good, old‑fashioned laid the sod over it, what can I say.

Q.テつ Describe for us your second shot to 16.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ That was the good, the bad and the ugly.テつ If 17 was the ugly, 16 was the good.テつ It was a 9‑iron I drove back into the wind.テつ Thought was going to go in.テつ
On a positive note, great to birdie three of the last four today.テつ I made some good swings.テつ Didn't play my best today.テつ Like I say, body is starting to catch up with me a little bit.テつ I feel like as I go on this weekend, I'll start to feel better and better and better.テつ Today was key to just try and hang in there.
I putted well.テつ These greens, a little poa annua, a little seedy.テつ Overall, as pure ‑‑ coming off Pinehurst which was snooker tables; this week, anything is sort of not going to feel pure.テつ Tomorrow should be awesome.テつ Looking forward to getting back out there in the morning and making some birdies.

Q.テつ You also have a lot of responsibilities and media to do at The Irish Open, is that a distraction?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Maybe tried to do a little bit too much this week.テつ I flew in Tuesday morning, played Hoylake, got here Tuesday night and had a few things going on.テつ To be honest with you, we kept things as light as we possibly could Wednesday.
But there's always the little bit of added pressure here at the Irish Open, demands on your time.テつ It's a special event for us and it is what it is.テつ My record is not great here, but I'm very keen this week to try and make an impact and try and contend.
Body didn't feel like my own today still.テつ I think Paul Casey was kind of saying the same thing.テつ No excuses, though.テつ Three days to recover is very doable, and just not feeling per cent.テつ I didn't play my best, but I knew that that was going to be the case, and today was just a case of hanging in there.テつ Birdied three of the last four there, was really pleasing.テつ Get back, recover tonight and get back out there tomorrow morning.
It's the same for everyone in the field coming from the U.S. Open.テつ It's not easy to come transatlantic and prepare yourself, but that's what we have to do and just got to get on with it.

Q.テつ What happened at 17?テつ You had a long delay between tapping in and teeing off.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ I just went to sleep on 17.テつ I was trying to beat on a 5‑iron and my tired legs literally just gave way.テつ It was a good old‑fashioned, laid the sod over it.テつ It was just a really bad shot.
But I'm good for one of those a year, so that was my one a year.テつ I can remember at least one of those per year the last few years, typically coming off time off, maybe just not being sharp, not being strong in the legs.テつ Yeah, that was my one for the year hopefully.

Q.テつ Surprised Mikko goes out and shoots 64 this morning?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ That's a great score.テつ I thought the rough was very thick today.テつ The golf course was tougher than I gave it credit for in the Pro‑Am yesterday I have to say.
Greens being soft, perhaps; didn't putt as well this afternoon as they did this morning.テつ I'm expecting the greens to be much much better in the morning.テつ But again, 7‑under par, great score.
I felt like 2‑, 3‑under par, I was going to be very happy with that this afternoon.テつ I am very happy with it.

Q.テつ Given how the body is, it's not a bad position to be in, is it?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Like I say, today was a key day.テつ I felt like if I could get through the day in decent shape that I should get stronger this weekend.
Like I said, maybe tried to do a little bit too much on Tuesday.テつ Flew in, went to Hoylake, got here, had a few things going on.テつ Maybe just didn't get enough sleep under the belt, and I like my sleep, let's put it that way.
I'll get a nice sleep tonight and be ready to go tomorrow.テつ Like I say, not trying to make any excuses.テつ There's plenty of guys in the field coming back from Pinehurst, and you just have to get on with it.テつ
This being my 13th Irish Open, I think I'm right in saying that, so hopefully this is lucky No. 13 for me this week.テつ I'd dearly love to contend this weekend.テつ I think this is my type of golf course.テつ If I can drive it the way I know I can drive the ball, you get a lot of medium and short iron looks on this golf course, and even though the greens were probably not as pure as they were this morning, I felt like I putted pretty well on them this afternoon.
Like I say, hopefully getting nothing but stronger this weekend, would love to contend, and I'd love to win an Irish Open of course.

Q.テつ Birdies and being in contention, getting rid of the jet‑lag‑‑
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ It was a nice boost for me coming in, birdieing three of the last four, despite my sod laid over on 17.テつ Generally happy with things today.テつ Can get better, can get much better.テつ I'll eat good tonight and get some rest and looking forward to getting back out here tomorrow morning.
Good vibe out there, good crowds, good atmosphere, good energy and good buzz.テつ A lot of fun.

Q.テつ Is it a course that suits your eye?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ It is a course that suits my eye.テつ There's a few very demanding tee shots on this golf course.テつ Holes like 8, 9 and 10, you don't see your landing area a lot on tee boxes here at Fota Island and you really have to pick good lines and commit to those lines.テつ There are some very, very difficult tee shots here.
Any energy that I'm lacking, I can certainly try and pull that from the crowd.テつ They were great today giving us a lot of cheers and momentum really, so yeah, I think they will be very important come the weekend.テつ I'd dearly love to be out in one of the last groups on Sunday contending.テつ That the would be fun.

Q.テつ You mentioned your driving and is there anything to work on for tomorrow morning?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ The hotel to the golf club, I drove it much better today, getting to grips with it, the left‑hand side of the road again (laughter).テつ My driving of the ball was okay today.テつ I got it in the fairway.テつ I drove it okay.テつ I'd give myself an A minus for driving the ball today.
But because I have to give up some distance to the long guys in the field, accuracy is very important to me and I haven't been as accurate as I'd like to be.テつ Room for improvement.

Q.テつ What are the club and details at the last?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ I hit a decent drive, kind of 5‑iron, lay up and left myself 80 yards.テつ So I just didn't feel like I‑‑ I didn't get all of my drive.テつ I wasn't far enough down to hit the aggressive shot down the right side where Shane laid it up.テつ That's kind of how I see that hole off a good drive but I was too far back today.

Q.テつ How far was the putt?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ 12 feet.

Q.テつ Your approach on 16?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ That was a 9‑iron from 136.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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