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ALSTOM OPEN DE FRANCE


July 2, 2014


Graeme McDowell


PARIS, FRANCE

PAUL SYMES:テつ Graeme, many thanks for joining us.テつ After how well you played here last year, I'm sure that you've got an extra spring in your step this week.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, very much so.テつ Always nice to come here to The French Open.テつ Always been a golf course which I've enjoyed playing, and I always felt it was a golf course where I could perhaps have a chance to win.テつ So it was great to win here last year.
Always a good buzz when you come to this part of the world, and even more so with The Ryder Cup coming here in 2018.テつ I think there's a good buzz in French golf with some really good, young, up‑and‑coming players, obviously Victor Dubuisson, and I played with Romain Wattel there at The Irish Open who has got a huge amount of potential also.
Great to be here.テつ Defending champion, gives you a nice little buzz spring in your step and good memories and I'm looking forward to my pairing this week with Victor and the U.S. Open Champion, Martin Kaymer who is in some amazing form at the minute.
So very, very excited about that.テつ France, Germany showdown the next couple of days, getting ready for Friday night which should be an amazing match.
Like you say good, memories, good vibes, and I'm feeling good and ready for an exciting summer.テつ I feel like I'm in a good space myself and looking forward to it.
PAUL SYMES:テつ At The Irish Open, very encouraging signs, tee‑to‑green especially.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Was inevitably a little bit disappointing with my performance on the weekend on the greens especially, but I took the positives away from the week of the Irish.テつ I hit the ball as well as I have this season tee‑to‑green.テつ Put myself in a position to win.
Just didn't have the visuals on the greens that weekend.テつ I just got sort of increasingly frustrated on the greens as the weekend went on.テつ Good vibes and you know, really I spent the year kind of pacing myself getting ready for the summer, and it was nice to be as fresh and as well prepared as I was going into that week, and, you know, this continues a busy summer.
So looking to play well and compete here, and with an eye on two weeks' time, the British Open.
PAUL SYMES:テつ And you touched briefly on The Ryder Cup as well.テつ I'm sure that's very much at the forefront of your mind, trying to make that team.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Very much.テつ So The Ryder Cup, it's always a goal of mine to be part of the team, very much so this year in Scotland.テつ It's going to be a very highly‑contested team.テつ The American side is extremely strong.テつ Our side is going to be extremely strong and I want to be there.
It's just kind of one of those things that will take care of itself.テつ If I perform, prepare as well as I possibly can this summer, let some good golf get in the way, and The Ryder Cup hopefully will take care of itself.
It's not something that I'm going to be thinking about every day I tee it up, but hopefully with a big effort this summer, should be able to get myself onto that team.

Q.テつ What detonates those vibes you've been feeling?テつ When did they first start arriving, and when did you think, yes, I can classify these as good vibes?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ You know, I took a little bit of time off sort of between Augusta and the U.S. Open.テつ You know, obviously I missed Wentworth.テつ I sort of made the decision to spend some time with my family so I took some good time off.
Went to Memphis the week before the U.S. Open and I worked pretty hard on my game.テつ Memphis, I didn't play that well, but I felt the game was kind of getting there.
I suppose the good vibes sort of kicked off the Thursday of the U.S. Open when I got off to a good start there, what I thought was a good start, until Martin Kaymer got in the post, but to be sort of leading there early, sort of by early afternoon on the Thursday of the U.S. Open, that's probably when I started to get the good feelings.
Even though they sort of disappeared a little bit on the weekend as we started to kind of chase and the golf course started to kind of frustrated and poured that into the following week of The Irish Open.
It was really from the U.S. Open onwards that I really felt like my game was ticking along nicely.テつ Had four or five nice days off last week, continued to work on the game and nice to come here as defending champion with good memories and just keeping those good positives moving along.
Like I said earlier, I've really made a sort of decision this year to pace myself for the summer.テつ I felt like the last three or four years, come August, I've been pretty tired.テつ I haven't been mentally and physically ready for the FedEx Playoffs and into the sort of early part of the autumn with Ryder Cup.
Even looking back to Medinah, I didn't feel like I was physically on top of my game that weekend, and I really didn't play as well as I'd like to.
It's really been a conscious decision since then to try and have myself in peak condition come July, August, September, as well as the whole March, April, May, June time.
So I feel like I've worn myself out a little bit the last few years and this year has been a little bit of a conscious throttle back a little bit in that sort of late spring, early summertime.

Q.テつ Obviously you have a lot of experience Ryder Cup, and I have a lot of experience playing well here in French Open, so thinking about those two together and looking ahead to 2018, do you see Le Golf National being a good Ryder Cup venue?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ I think Le Golf National is going to be a fantastic Ryder Cup venue for many reasons.テつ I can think of worse places in the world to stay in than Versailles and the Trianon Palace and great hospitality and great food that we enjoy here.
But I think from a golf course point of view, the last four or five holes in the natural amphitheatre that this golf course creates, I can only imagine how good the buzz will be, coming down 15 and 16, you know, they are about as good a dramatic risk/reward par 3 and par 4 you'll get.
17 is a great 4, and for matches that do come down the last, there's going to be not a better par 4 on The European Tour than the last at Le Golf National.テつ So I can really picture 40, 50, 60,000 people up on those slopes around that little cauldron the last four holes and I think the atmosphere will be amazing.
Kind of like I touched on earlier, I think French golf will have a very exciting sort of four, five years ahead of them here leading up to The Ryder Cup with the good buzzes that are going on with their players.テつ I think Victor and Romain and obviously guys like Grテδゥgory Havret and Bourdy and those guys, I think there's a little bit of a sort of new breed here in France, and I think they have got some exciting times ahead.
I think come 2018, there might be a couple of French players on the side and I really feel good things for The Ryder Cup here.
PAUL SYMES:テつ Thanks a lot, Graeme, and enjoy your defense.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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