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July 20, 2014

Graeme McDowell


GRAEME McDOWELL: Friday, Saturday I hit it beautiful. I went to the range yesterday afternoon and sort of to consolidate and get it sort of bedded in. Came out this morning, didn't warm up very well, and just didn't hit it great. My rhythm was a bit off today. Nice to hang in there and I kind of asked myself what happened on Thursday with my back nine performance, because Friday, Saturday, Sunday, the back nine has been really kind to me. And what I'd not give to go back to the 10th tee and start again on Thursday. But that's golf. They just asked me in there what my emotions are for Rory, as I watched him walk to the 16th tee box. I used the word "jealousy," which I think what I really meant was "envious." Envious, because I'd love to walk down the 18th fairway with an opportunity to win the Claret Jug. And huge amount of appreciation for what he's doing, respect for what he is in the game of golf, and how good he is for the game of golf. So great stuff. It's been an interesting day, because enough wind to make it tough, but enough wind to keep it scorable, as well. I see, Shane was 7-under, very happy for him. He did cross my mind as I stocked my 20-footer in the last of time. I knocked it for him, that one. Nice way to finish for me, obviously. But like I say envious and respectful and appreciative of the curly haired kid.

Q. See that one day being yourself?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I'd love it to be me. It's the greatest walk for world golf. It's in there inside me somewhere. Some year it will be my year, hopefully. Just another solid week really. It's been three solid weeks from the Irish through France through here, and taking good feelings to the RBC Canadian next week, and then Firestone and PGA. I've kept myself fresh and ready and ready to fire at a very important time in the season, and thankfully it's been paying dividends.

Q. Did you feel like you lost an opportunity this week?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Very much so. I said at the start of the week that this venue, it was my type of venue. Not super long. Not a lot of advantage for the big boys to take trouble out of play. A bit Lythamesque in places, where you have to kind of thread it. Good iron play and big flat greens where I can putt well. Some of these Open venues the greens kind of get so undulating that I think the good putters maybe get leveled out a little bit. So these were greens that I felt I could putt well on and did putt well on. Yeah, opportunity missed but could I have caught him? Don't know. I'd like to shout, though. But Thursday was a killer blow at the end. It is what it is, but we'll live and learn and move on.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL: It's a birdie hole. He could put 6-iron or 7-iron in his hand for second shot. Back right pin position wide open. 18 is a tough pin position to get close to. 17 is playing difficult. 17 is his only real hurdle, because there's trouble front right, and more importantly front left on that hole. Obviously I expect him to make birdie there, as long as he plays safe on 17 and makes sure he flies it into the middle of the green. It's all pretty elementary from here. I think even you boys could finish it from there.

Q. With how deep the fields are now with 10, 15, 20 players in the world all having a chance to win a major on a given week, do you think there's some dominant player in the game, I guy who can rip it off for months, years at a time?
GRAEME McDOWELL: No, I don't think we'll ever see the dominance of Tiger Woods, late '90s, early 2000s, I don't think we're ever going to see that again. For every Rory there's an Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth and Sergio Garcia and a Tiger and a Phil. There's too many good players now. It's so deep. It's so strong. Everyone is so good. It's very hard to dominate -- to dominate the way he did. Someone like Rory or Adam maybe could do it, they're that good. But so is everyone else, unfortunately. So I think that type of dominance, I don't think we're going to see that again for a while unless somebody comes out who has perfected the imperfectable. Because I think these guys, the best players in the world are playing pretty close to as good as you can play, really. This game is hard. You can't play much better than Rory is hitting the ball. That's as good as it gets. Unfortunately you can't hole every putt, or else you'd be shooting 58 every day. It's just not happening. I don't see it happening. Could prove me wrong.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL: You guys will be able to tell me better probably. I don't know. Very tough to put your finger on when things -- when these young guys started coming out bigger and better and faster and stronger because that's what I see. I see the Dustin Johnsons, and Rickie Fowlers and the Jordan Spieths coming out and ready to win, so there's more of them. It's great. The state of the game is incredibly healthy. It's exciting. Will we ever see that dominant player again? It's tough to say. We have the beginnings of one in Rory, but by his own high standards he stuttered for a year and a half or so. Did Tiger have a year and a half or two years early on in his career? Did he? I'm getting nods of the head. But again, every career has peaks and troughs. We're saying that perhaps dominance can happen, but the last 18 months for Rory, can be just a blip on the radar and perhaps he gets back to winning every time he tees it up. Who knows, it's exciting to watch, though.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL: Might be a fair assessment a few years ago. I think he's learning all the time. There's no doubt this is a momentum sport. Tiger certainly had the capabilities of winning it early. Rory gets it done from the fairway, 370 yards down the middle of it. It's easy to get it done from there. I say it's easy, I'd like to have a go at it. That's what the Ryder Cup is for. Tiger had that capability of getting it done ugly. Perhaps Rory has to prove that he's got that side to him, who knows I'm certainly not in a position to comment on that. Tiger Woods is a hell of a lot more knowledgeable in that department than me. I can just sort of sit back and admire how good Rory is and we'll watch from there, really. But third leg of the Grand Slam at 25 years old, it's pretty good.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL: It's the golden generation. Eight major championships. We're assuming he's getting this done, here. Listen, shit happens. Let's hope it doesn't happen. But eight major championships, we have Padraig Harrington, Rory and myself and Darren. It's added something to the pot. That's great. It's exciting. With The Open Championship announcement. And if Rory gets it done here today, it's pretty exciting times.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL: Oh, yeah, absolutely. Listen, I'm fighting my own little battle trying to sort of have a strong summer and the busy times ahead, lots of stuff going on. I want to be in Gleneagles in September. That's a huge goal for me. Like I said, I kind of left it a little late, but hopefully my freshness is paying off.
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