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WGC BRIDGESTONE INVITATIONAL


August 2, 2014


Graeme McDowell


AKRON, OHIO

Q.テつ Nice to take advantage of a nice early start, isn't it?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yes, 4 under par around this golf course is way below my scoring average at Firestone, let's just say that.
So pretty pleased with that.テつ I made a couple of bad swings coming in, and it was a tough finish.テつ Finishing on the front nine is tough.テつ From that 6th tee, there's a bit of length.テつ It's a tough finish.テつ Disappointed to drop a couple coming in, but generally gets me in some decent shape to have something to fire for tomorrow.

Q.テつ And the momentum is there, isn't it?テつ It's now turning into a really good summer.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ For sure.テつ Building on some good play the last couple months.テつ The game has slowly improved over the last couple of months.テつ I'm at that point now where I'm starting to believe that I can hit the shots to win any given week if I put it all together.
I'm in a good place mentally and physically.テつ Looking forward, obviously, to the PGA Championship next week and beyond really.テつ I've paced myself well this year, and thankfully it's paying off.

Q.テつ What are your thoughts ahead of Valhalla in terms of how the course might set up for you?テつ And obviously the last opportunity for a Major this year.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, I really don't have sort of a lot of knowledge of how the golf course is going to play.テつ Obviously, '08 Ryder Cup, but it's going to be a different setup from then, of course.
From what I hear, it's not the longest course in the world, which makes me happy for sure.テつ These slug fest Major championships kind of get old.テつ So nice to play what sounds like it might be a positional type golf course.テつ Looking forward to it.
Like I say, game's in good shape.テつ I get myself down there tomorrow night, as soon as I'm done here, and I'll be on the golf course at Valhalla Monday morning.テつ I'm looking forward to the challenge.

Q.テつ Can I just ask you about the way this week's been somewhat overshadowed by the whole Dustin Johnson thing and what your take is, as a player, bearing in mind there have been allegations made, no official comment, just sort of clouded in confusion certainly from the media point of view.テつ What's your take?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Very difficult to comment on a scenario I know nothing about.テつ Our drug policy is very clear.テつ We all abide by it.
The rumor mill says things, are they true?テつ Are they not?テつ Who knows?テつ It's very difficult for anyone to speculate.テつ We're talking about an incredibly talented athlete who we hope will be back helping the PGA Tour brand and the game of golf around the world.
Like I say, very difficult to comment.テつ It's something I don't know much about.

Q.テつ Would it be better if there was a bit more clarity about it from official lines?テつ Various people have sort of said that.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ For sure.テつ I mean, like I say, we have a drug policy, and it has to be implemented fairly across the board, especially with the Olympics on the horizon.テつ We've got to toe the line from a drug point of view, just like all the other sports do.
Like I said, PGA control how they handle things.テつ They're an incredibly big brand around the world.テつ They've got to protect their players, but their players have got to play fairly as well.
So like I said, tough to know what's going down, but we all certainly wish Dustin well, and like I say, hope he's back playing again real soon.

Q.テつ Just getting back to you, in terms of Ryder Cup being around the corner, you're tracking in the right direction.テつ Is it a bit of pressure, or is it just something you're taking care of?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ It's something that ticks along in the background for me.テつ It's something I'm very much looking forward to.テつ To play my fourth Ryder Cup would be a huge honor.
Like I said, paced myself very well this season.テつ Coming into good form this summer, and hopefully Captain McGinley is watching and feels I can be an instrumental part of the Ryder Cup team.
Guess I'm getting to the veteran stage, and I feel like I can definitely be a decent sort of leader for the young guys on the team.テつ I'd like to play my way on out of my own merit as opposed to waiting for a pick.テつ That's what I'm focused on the next few weeks.

Q.テつ Graeme, as the stakes grow higher, your game is growing sharper.テつ Is there any‑‑ is there a correlation?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ I think I'm a guy who reacts well to measurable goals, you know what I'm saying?テつ I sort of looked at the world rankings a couple of months ago, two, three months ago, and feel I needed to post about 75 world ranking points to guarantee my Ryder Cup spot.テつ So that's measurable type stuff.
I've ticked away at it quite nicely since the U.S. Open really, and definitely I've always been a bit like that in my career.テつ When I get a little kind of muddled and foggy with my goal setting, I don't perform.テつ When they're easy and measurable and very defined, I'm a bit better.
Nearly having that Ryder Cup task hanging over my head has focused my mind a little bit and made me knuckle down and get on with it.

Q.テつ You haven't really had a change of schedule too much?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ I stuck to my guns.テつ I played light sort of in the spring.テつ Pulling out of Wentworth was a tough decision in my schedule this year.
It's paying off now.テつ The European Tour were great with me.テつ They understood where I was coming from, wanted to spend some time with my family before I play this heavy part of the schedule, with my wife at home not being able to travel.
I paced myself well, and thankfully it's paying off now.テつ I stuck to my schedule really well this season.
At the start of the year, this one was a question mark for me.テつ This is a golf course where I don't perform well typically.テつ I didn't think coming here and finishing 25th was going to do much for the big picture.テつ I thought if I could maybe use this as a week off, after playing Canada last week and The Open the week before and coming into the FEDEX, but as soon as I had Ryder Cup problems, this had to slot back into the schedule as one I have to play.
I have to be playing now.テつ I have to be showing McGinley that I'm playing well.テつ So that was really the only schedule change.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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