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THE IRISH OPEN


June 22, 2014


Graeme McDowell


FOTA ISLAND, IRELAND

Q.テつ One that might have got away?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, possibly.テつ Perhaps one of the worst putting rounds as a weekend in my career as regards being in contention.テつ I let a lot slip away yesterday.テつ You know, continued in the same vein today.テつ I kind of got in that mode where I was starting to search a little bit on the greens, over‑reading, over technicalising.
Yeah, disappointing, because I did the tee‑to‑green stuff.テつ I hit the ball well enough.テつ Maybe didn't get it in enough fairways on the front nine but drove it well on the back and couldn't get the ball in the hole.テつ So really disappointed; what a fantastic weekend, great Irish Open, great fans and just disappointed I couldn't have did a little better for them.

Q.テつ Let's look at the positives.テつ Those greens are not easy to read; tee‑to‑green, the game's there.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, tee‑to‑green, the game is there.テつ Two weeks ago in Memphis, I didn't hit it great.テつ Hit it better at the U.S. Open and this week was very pleasing tee‑to‑green.
So you know, I'm kind of focusing on the big picture this week, looking at the summer and looking at the two major championships up coming and Ryder Cups and all kinds of fun things to look forward to.テつ Game is in great shape and a lot of positives this week.
This represents my best Irish Open finish ever, so that's a positive.テつ It was there for the taking this week, no doubt about it.テつ This golf course was nice and receptive and playable and lots of birdies to be made and I just couldn't seem to get the ball in the hole.テつ But you know what, I had amazing support this weekend and I really enjoyed myself.

Q.テつ These fans, you've already mentioned them, what about the reception you got down the last fairway, just special, tingly?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, that's exactly how I felt, hairs on the back of my arm standing up.テつ It's a special thing we get to do playing this game and when people appreciate it as much as they do, you know, you don't get that feeling very often.テつ It's a special feeling and I count myself very fortunate that I get to do what I do.

Q.テつ Ready for another crack next year?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Always ready for a crack.テつ Royal County Down next year, it's going to be a bit special.テつ I've got a big summer event, defending at the French Open in a couple weeks' time, and then The Open Championship.テつ So bring it on and game is in good shape.テつ I feel good.

Q.テつ You gave yourself plenty of chances but the putts wouldn't drop?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Probably a disappointing weekend on the greens, whilst in contention, as I've had in my career perhaps.テつ I did the hard part.テつ I hit some lovely iron shots the last couple days.テつ Gave myself the opportunities.テつ Just disappointing.テつ I just lost my feel, lost my confidence a little bit on these greens and lost that visual of the ball going into the hole.
So disappointing because I feel like maybe it was there for the taking this weekend.テつ The golf course was as benign as you get it, tons of opportunities.
I had massive fans kind of pushing me on and giving me massive support.テつ You don't get a chance to feel kind of what I felt in life coming down 18 fairway with the hairs on the back of your arms standing up and just count myself very lucky and fortune that I get to do in front of these fans, made me feel very good.

Q.テつ Reception has been special all week.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, it's been a special six, seven years in Irish golf, all the way back to Pテδ。draig winning his three major championships through mine and Rory's and Darren's and The Open Championship coming to Portrush.テつ The support that we get as Irish players, we are very, very proud to come back home here and play The Irish Open.
It's a special event.テつ Needs to get stronger and stronger.テつ We need all the support we can get from all the fans that have come out and I want to thank them personally.
Not sure if I've had that much of a disappointing weekend on the greens whilst in contention.テつ Yesterday I stayed loose and stayed in the moment and didn't try forcing it.テつ Today I felt myself over reading, sort of over‑complicating my stroke, trying, trying too hard nearly.テつ In putting, the harder you try, sometimes the hole starts to shrink and that's the feeling I got the last couple days.
Disappointing, you know, because I felt like I played the golf to create the opportunities to perhaps win this weekend, perhaps wanted it too bad.テつ So many positives to take away from this weekend, the way I hit the ball, it's the start of a busy, busy summer and the game is in nice shape.テつ This would have been sweet.

Q.テつ How confident does that make you feel that you can automatically qualify for The Ryder Cup this year?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, The Ryder Cup's of course on my radar, no doubt about that.テつ It's something that will have to take care of itself.テつ I have to focus on my process week‑in and week‑out.テつ Defending the French Open in a couple weeks' time, defending my title and then The Open Championship and then back to the States for the PGA and the FedEx Playoffs just keep playing as well as I am, and hopefully Gleneagles will take care of itself.

Q.テつ After a magnificent reception like that coming down the 18th, it must really whet the appetite for this tournament heading back to Northern Ireland next year.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Certainly does.テつ Certainly the hairs on the back of my arms were standing up coming down 8.テつ It's a special opportunity.テつ The support I've had this weekend is amazing and I want to thank them personally for everything they have done for me this week and looking forward to getting back to Northern Ireland next year to Royal County Down.テつ Portrush was amazing, and I imagine County Down will be pretty amazing, as well.テつ Looking forward to seeing everybody there.テつ

Q.テつ Another afternoon of frustration on the greens?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Very much so.テつ Played great golf this weekend.テつ Didn't have it on the greens.テつ I didn't really trust when I was doing and all in all, standing here fairly disappointed, but positive to take away tee‑to‑green.
Really enjoyed the atmosphere and experience this weekend.テつ The crowds were amazing.テつ This golf course is a great venue.テつ Look forward to coming back here hopefully in a couple years' time.
All in all, of course I'm disappointed.テつ I'll be very disappointed later but great to have opportunities like this to win tournaments.テつ This one would have been pretty sweet though.

Q.テつ You spoke earlier in the week about the trip back from the U.S. Open and you felt tired earlier in the week.テつ With that in mind, the overall performance must be decent?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, very much so.テつ I would have probably given my left arm for this finish, sort of Thursday, as I was playing Thursday afternoon, you know, I didn't feel in control of my golf ball. テつDidn't feel great inside my body and maybe my expectation levels were probably fairly low coming into the weekend.
So nice that I was able to compete as well as I did and gave myself a chance to win another tournament, and it didn't quite happen.テつ You know what, I really enjoyed myself this week.

Q.テつ Fantastic ovation coming down the last, fans on your side all the way through?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, massive support from the fans.テつ Even my playing partner, Fabrizio Zanotti, was commenting, probably the best fans, certainly on The European Tour.テつ Getting to experience that coming down the last, that buzz, that electricity that only a massive, passionate crowd like this one can do; count myself very fortunate that I do the job I do and people appreciate it.テつ Big thanks to everyone who supported us this weekend.

Q.テつ And closer to home from your point of view next year, royal downy down, just as good if not better?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Absolutely, certainly a great appetite‑whetter this weekend.テつ If we got four days of sunshine and crowd like this at County Down, it would be a bit special.テつ This one will be hard to beat, there's no doubt about it.テつ They were fantastic.テつ This venue here at Fota Island is a very good venue and hopefully we'll be back here in a couple years' time.

Q.テつ The scoring, so many chances for you.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, trying not to think about the winning score right now‑‑ it's very frustrating, no doubt about it.テつ But that's golf.テつ These greens, maybe didn't offer up a huge amount of putts to players this weekend, and I suffered more than most.テつ That's golf.テつ You've just got to suck it up and learn from it.テつ There's winners and losers and just didn't happen for me this weekend.
So very disappointed.テつ I would have loved to have given these fans what they really wanted, an Irish winner this weekend.テつ But I gave it a 110 per cent.

Q.テつ As round goes on, do you get more and more desperate for momentum?テつ Does that make it harder?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ There's a certain mental process that you go through when you start missing putts.テつ The right thing to do is keep trusting what you're doing, keep reading them correctly and keeping your technique.テつ The wrong thing to do is starting to panic, starting to over‑read, starting to question your mechanics, starting to get anxious.
Yesterday I felt like I was Mental State A and today I was Mental State B.テつ I got it in the wrong place mentally today.テつ I started looking for it a little too much.テつ The hole started to shrink, as I started to look deep inside my technique and my reading of the greens and the speed.テつ I just couldn't do it.
Very unusual.テつ I'm having a good putting year.テつ Just didn't happen for me this weekend, and very tough to put my finger on why.テつ But, you know, positives to take away.テつ Game is in great shape, big summer ahead.テつ There will be more opportunities.

Q.テつ What's next?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ France, Open, Canada, Firestone, PGA, FedEx Playoffs, blah, blah, blah.テつ No Scotland unfortunately.テつ I would like to play Scotland this year, but I don't want to spend five, six weeks away from home, because I have to go straight to Canada with RBC commitments and Firestone and the PGA, so it's just too much.

Q.テつ Can you see The Irish Open coming back here in a few years' time?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ I believe they are talking about Fota Island as a venue the next two or three years.テつ I'm all over it.テつ I think it's a great venue.テつ Stayed out at Castlemartyr this week, they were phenomenal, just great people.テつ Crowds were amazing.テつ It's a beautiful part of the world, and they tell me the sun shines like this all the time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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