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May 26, 2005

Graeme McDowell


GORDON SIMPSON: Graeme, a very good day's work to open this year's BMW Championship and.

GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, pretty content with that finish. Even par at the turn, shooting 5 under on the back, it's always nice to finish well; three birdies, as well. I played solid. I'm surprised that it wasn't a little better than it is. I'm pretty happy to be in at 5 under. That's something to build on.

GORDON SIMPSON: Why do you feel no one got in lower like last year when Ernie shot 64 in the first round?

GRAEME McDOWELL: I have no answer for that. I think it's because it's a little bit firmer and it's just a little tougher to get the golf ball close to the flag. The rough is not too penal, but you can get some real flyers coming out of it.

I don't know, I think it's the firmness of the golf course is the only thing keeping the guys from hitting it close enough to make a lot of putts and birdies. I have to say I'm still a little shocked at 5 under today.

Q. This is the sort of start you've been looking for for a few weeks, isn't it?

GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, you know how frustrated I've been getting for the last month or so. I've been playing good golf since the TPC, Masters. It's been a long time since I've done any real scoring. It's nice to get off the mark well on this championship. I like Wentworth, I enjoy playing it. It rewards my type of golf, hitting fairway the and good putting.

It's nice to be in position. I have a long way to go. Pretty much I'm working hard on my game and been working hard on my swing and some short game work and just see where it goes over the weekend really.

Q. What are your memories of Wentworth when you were growing up, did you watch it much on TV?

GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I think I've watched The Match Play so many times on BBC and I've watched multiple championships around here. It's one of the more familiar golf courses as far as recognition goes as far as watching it on TV a lot. It's a bit like Augusta in that way in that we've seen it so many times on BBC.

Yeah, it's a golf course I really enjoy playing. Tee shots set up well. Everything is pretty well framed with trees and bunkers. It's a fun golf course to play.

Q. After last week, how frustrated were you?

GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I was disappointed to not play the weekend in my home Open. As I say, I think I've been pretty frustrated in general the last couple of months just because I know I'm playing well and missed some cuts, which is never fun, and I know I'm a much better player than that.

You know, this game is all about fraction, really. It's just about holing a putt here and there and just sharpening up my wedge play. My wedge play was a lot better today. I gave myself a lot of chances. I birdied 11, the dogleg left. I hit a good wedge in there and made birdie, and obviously birdied the last three holes with wedges in my hand. So that's what I do well when I'm playing well. When I'm not scoring well, it's typically my wedges are not on, and it's nice to be back scoring again.

GORDON SIMPSON: How close did you knock it on the last three?

GRAEME McDOWELL: I hit it to about three feet on 16 and about four feet on 17. And 18 was my longest one, it was about eight to ten feet, something like that. That was nice to finish strong.

Q. You're working pretty hard with Adam this week and last week, you said your wedge play has kicked into gear overall?

GRAEME McDOWELL: My golf swing over the last couple of months, I've slipped back into some of my old habits. It's got progressively worse now since about probably Augusta. I'm not sure if I got tired towards the end of a long stretch or the start of the year or what happened, but certainly started making some bad swings and my old habits started kicking back in again.

Myself and Adam, we've been working really hard now since I missed the cut in Italy. It was kind of my wake up call and I said to myself, I have to do some serious work the next couple of months to get my game back in shape. I feel like I've rededicated myself to my game again and fitness and everything in general.

So we've been working really hard. I haven't been hitting the golf ball great in practice on the range because we've been working on some new stuff, but today was the first time I came out and really felt like I was hitting the shots that I wanted to be hitting and starting to swing the club the way I want to swing it again. It's nice to be heading back in a positive direction again.

Q. Any bad swings today?

GRAEME McDOWELL: Some bad shots. I know exactly where they are coming from and that's the good thing. I know where my bad shots are coming from. I'm not too disappointed when I see them because I know what I've done wrong and I can go ahead and concentrate on the good things that I'm doing.

So thankfully I it wasn't too bad, I was able to control the ball pretty well today. I made a few bogeys and pretty sloppy, really, they were through the back of a couple of greens and didn't get it up did. Apart from that, I played real solid golf today.

GORDON SIMPSON: Graham, well played again.

End of FastScripts.

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