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July 6, 2014

Graeme McDowell


GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Thought I shot myself out of it again.テつ Made a bad swing on 10.テつ Made a bad swing on 13 and bad break on 14 and the rest was history.
As I thought, I had a glass of wine or two last night to kind of drown my frustration; only two grasses of wine, wasn't like I had a big night out in Paris or anything.テつ Yeah, I was frustrated I guess after the day yesterday.
But coming into today, the way the weather was, I thought if I could shoot 3‑ or 4‑under par and try to get myself‑‑ 5‑under was kind of my target to be honest with you.テつ I thought if I could get to 5‑under, I might have a shot.
Hit the ball pretty solidly on the front nine.テつ Made some good swings on the back nine.テつ Made a few putts and I thought all of a sudden, it was game on.テつ I could see Kevin coming back to us, coming back to the field and from about 13 onwards, I thought I had a real chance.
So like I say, last night I didn't think I had a shot and I certainly was accepting of the playoff.テつ I thought it would have been a great playoff and I'd have been very happy to be in the playoff.テつ I certainly didn't expect Kevin to miss that putt.テつ It wasn't really the way I like to win.テつ Did I want to go back to the 18th tee?テつ No.テつ One of the hardest tee shots in European golf.
But you certainly don't wish a guy to miss a putt like that, and I was ready for the playoff.
PAUL SYMES:テつ Did you feel the conditions, they played into your hands perhaps a little bit more than they would have done for Kevin?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Certainly from the point of view of the chasing pack, if it was sunshine and flat calm the last couple of days, we weren't going to catch him.テつ He was playing great golf.テつ He obviously hung tough yesterday and posted a great number.
Again, today, today was tough, a lot more rain and the wind switched, it got cold.テつ Pretty European, pretty Irish.テつ I've always thought of myself a decent bad weather golfer, until the last five years, I feel like I'm spending a little bit too much time in America.テつ I'm a little bit soft, and I needed that type of a day.
It was good practise, really.テつ At one point we said, this is good practise for the British Open.テつ You need to be ready for all types of weather there, and you know, today I was really just trying to enjoy the challenge and give myself the opportunity.テつ I was really happy with some of the swings I made coming down the stretch and some of the putts I made.
Today was a good day.テつ I didn't expect to win.テつ I feel very fortunate to be sitting here with the trophy.
PAUL SYMES:テつ We spoke at the start of the week, you said maybe you were behind the 8‑ball in terms of The Ryder Cup and this puts you right in contention now.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, it's been a light schedule sort of on purpose.テつ Getting to the point now where the pressure was on a little bit.テつ It was, have I waited too long; have I under‑played.テつ And thankfully, you know, my energy levels mentally and physically, probably feeling about as good as I ever have at this point in the season, serve certainly the last three or four years anyway.テつ Thankfully it paid off and it paid off today.テつ I felt good out there and thankfully I had the opportunity today.
But you know, standing on the 15th here at Le Golf National, I said to my caddie, I said, this is such a tough course to try and finish a tournament on.テつ It's one of the hardest finishes on The European Tour probably.テつ It's right up there.テつ It's what I imagine THE PLAYERS Championship would be to try and win, standing on the 15th fairway there.テつ Lots of dangerous shots, lots of nervous shots to hit coming down the stretch.テつ Nice to have done it here twice now.

Q.テつ This year you had seven Top‑10 finishes but no title.テつ Did you smell blood this morning?テつ Were you more fired up than usual?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ No, I don't think I sensed any blood this morning.テつ I sensed blood from about sort of 12 today.
Coming down the 12th fairway, I hit a pretty good 5‑iron to the middle of the green there and looked up at the board and six was changing to five; it was seven to six to five and he was on his way back to us.テつ That was probably the point where I got really fired up and was really kind of thinking, right, this is an opportunity that I didn't think I was going to have.テつ Let's do the best we possibly can.
But no, like I say, I was feeling fresh and ready to go this week.テつ But was kind of getting to that point where I was thinking, have I left this Ryder Cup race a little too late.テつ Yes, I said that it wasn't in my mind and it wasn't something that was going to be bothering me, but of course, you know, I want to be on that team.
I knew I needed to perform, and it was nice to play as well as I did for 27 holes this weekend.テつ It was just that nine holes yesterday‑‑ in fact, it was only three holes yesterday that really blew me out of the tournament yesterday.テつ Apart from that, I felt like I strung together 30 decent holes this weekend and that gave me the opportunity to win.

Q.テつ When you saw the weather and the rain, did you think it was good for you?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, I think the chasing pack needed that.テつ If Kevin Stadler had of had sunshine and flat calm weather today, I think he might have been tough to catch.テつ But the tough conditions today made it really difficult for everyone.
Yesterday was hard but the rain went away yesterday and it was playable.テつ Today, the rain was there.テつ The wind switched.テつ It got cold and it got pretty miserable out there.テつ It was tough for everyone.
I figured Kevin probably wouldn't be used to those type of conditions, because I'm not used to those kind of conditions anymore.テつ I play a little bit too much golfer on the PGA TOUR.テつ I'm a little bit soft and a bit of a fair weather golfer these days.
That goes back to my upbringing a little bit in my teens, playing through all weathers and conditions.テつ Playing golf in bad weather is an art form.テつ Some guys are good at it, some guys are not.テつ I was starting to think maybe I wasn't a good bad weather player anymore.
But that was nice today.テつ It was nice to hit some good shots under pressure in the weather.テつ Reinforces that, yes, I did grow up in some pretty bad weather and it stands me in good stead on a day like today.

Q.テつ You made a bet on the last hole, I guess you wanted to avoid the water hazard, and it nearly came to bite you back.テつ Kevin had a shot to win the tournament with a long birdie putt.テつ Was that something you were thinking about and a risk you were aware of?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ You know, when I stood on the 18th tee, I had a two‑shot lead.テつ So, you know, we are talking about one of the toughest par 4s on The European Tour here.
I was trying to hit the fairway.テつ I hit driver.テつ I was trying to get it in the fairway.テつ I leaked it a little too far right and caught an awfully bad lie, and from that point, you know, there's nothing you can do.
So I tried to give myself a wedge, which I did, I hit a pretty good wedge in there to 20 feet.テつ As I walked on to the 18th green, obviously Kevin holed his putt on 16.テつ So two shots became one.
Yeah, I left my putt short in the jaws, but I wouldn't have done anything differently from how I played 18.テつ I was aware that it was two shots, and, you know, that there were birdie chances coming in if Kevin played well.テつ It was just one of those things.テつ I played the hole as well as I could at the time.テつ There was nothing else I could do.テつ Once I missed that fairway I was in big trouble and had to lay up.
At that point, I gave myself a 20‑foot look at par, and that was all I could ask for.テつ I figured, I felt like I played the hole as well as I could.

Q.テつ You played the first two rounds with Victor dub son.テつ Could you talk about his game and his personality?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, Victor is a great player and he's a very nice guy.テつ Looking forward to hopefully being on The Ryder Cup Team with him.テつ We suggested that we might even try and play together.テつ I like him a lot.テつ He's a very nice guy.テつ You know, he's very quiet and introverted quite shy.テつ You forget how young he is.
I think French golf has a lot of very young, talented players coming through with Victor, and guys like Romain Wattel and obviously the young kid, Riu, today.
So I think French golf should be very excited about their players.テつ I think the media should get very excited about what's going on in French golf with The Ryder Cup in 2018 and I think you guys have three or four very fun years ahead of you.

Q.テつ You mentioned the conditions were very tough with a real downpour.テつ What do you think it takes on this course to play so well in such tough conditions?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Biggest difference for me today was hitting it in the fairway.テつ You know, it's probably, without looking, statistically, probably as many fairways as I've hit any round this week.テつ So that was key.
The rough was thick and wet and nasty this week.テつ I felt like when I missed the fairway this week, I didn't get a good lie.テつ Today, you know, I got two very big breaks.テつ I missed the 7th.テつ I missed the fairway down to the right‑hand side there exactly where you're not supposed to hit the ball and I got a fortunate lie, and I missed the fairway right on 10 and I got a very fortunate lie again.
So those were two very big breaks that I got out there today.テつ Like I say, I felt like I didn't get any lies at all when I missed fairways this week, but today, with the rain‑‑ it's funny, the rain makes the rough a little thicker but it also makes it lay down because it's so heavy with the water on it and the ball has a chance to sit on top of it because it's laying down.テつ When the rough has been dry this week, the balls have been falling right to the base and been sitting terribly.テつ I got lucky a couple of times today but I also hit a lot more fairways today.
PAUL SYMES:テつ Thank you.

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