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PGA CHAMPIONSHIP


August 10, 2014


Graeme McDowell


LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY

GRAEME McDOWELL: I told him if he can go and play like that, he's got a great shot today. He's just a good, young kid with a great attitude that hits it a long way, which is obviously a bit of a prerequisite this week on this golf course. Like I say, if he can go out there and play free today, he's got a great chance.
It's a stacked leaderboard. Conditions are such that there is probably a low score out there for a guy who can drive it well. It would be great to see him go low.

Q. Fast‑forward four hours, Rory wins the PGA, what does that mean to golf, his career?
GRAEME McDOWELL: You know, it's beginning to look a little Tiger‑esque I suppose. I said to the boys at The Open, I didn't think we were going to see the new Tiger era, as in someone creating their own kind of Tiger‑esque era just yet.
I guess you could say, I'm not eating my words but I'm certainly starting to chew on them right now, with the WGC and a chance to win another major this weekend. When the kid is playing well, he's pretty tough to live with. Pretty special stuff, yeah.

Q. Does it seem to you like he's grown up a bit this summer?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I haven't really spent a huge amount of time with him the last couple months. He's been at the sharp end and I haven't quite been at the sharp end. His focus, he looks like he's mentally in a different place to me.
Obviously he says that he's sort of tied up a lot of his loose ends off the golf course. Loose ends is not a very nice term to put your personal life and I don't mean it like that, but he seems to be in a very good place. Fair play to him. He's a great golfer. He's an incredibly incredible player, and you know, when he's in this type of mood, he's pretty tough to beat.

Q. Do you wager a number of Majors he's going to win in his career? Can you throw a number out there?
GRAEME McDOWELL: You know, eight‑‑

Q. Do you think that's low?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Now it's probably a little low. You know, I can't look inside a guy and know what his number is. I mean, not many people are born with the type of focus Tiger Woods had, grow up with pictures of Jack Nicklaus on his wall and wanting to beat Jack's record. Knowing Rory as I have the last few years, that didn't seem to me‑‑ it didn't seem to me like he was trying to beat Jack's record.
So it's a case of how the guy continues to motivate himself. You don't know what the number is. It's however many he wants, you know. He'll win as many Majors as he wants‑‑ within reason. Obviously the game continues to get better around him, as well. But like I say, it's very difficult to kind of put a number on a guy; fitness, health, but most importantly, the mental aspect. Like I say, Tiger's drive was incredible, and Jack's record is looking tougher and tougher for him now, as well. Tough to put a number. Eight's low. I can't really guess. Pretty hard.

Q. Tiger burnt himself outgoing so hard. Rory could have longevity because he's not grinding so hard 24/7.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Tiger's worth ethic, we all know about it. I was reading some of Lindsey Vonn's quotes in whatever she did lately talking about Tiger's work ethic and how hard the guy works physically. He's obviously put his body in a tough situation by working as hard as he is and by how violent his golf swing is.
Rory has obviously got himself in amazing shape physically now as well and it's just a case of how fit and healthy he can stay. No doubt the game is more physical now. We are seeing more WDs and back injuries and neck injuries and stuff going on with guys than we ever have I feel like.
Like I say, to me, it's ten percent staying healthy and 90 percent how many he wants to win. It's very hard to kind of comment otherwise.

Q. How was it this morning?
GRAEME McDOWELL: It was unplayable this morning. The ball should have been played up, simple. To me it's fair out there if you can play the ball up. It's not fair if you can't play the ball up. It's casual water everywhere. The ball is picking up mud. You know, no one said anything this morning because you're 3‑ and 4‑over par and no one really cares. We called it; we said this is going to get delayed the second guys start stepping on the tee box and it means a lot to them. Sure enough, it did.
Yeah, probably the heaviest downpours of the day after they called it, but they should have just played the ball up. Common sense has to prevail at some point. You know, let's lift, clean and place this thing. You go out to a PGA TOUR event and we wouldn't have been playing because lift, clean and place had not been implemented. I don't think we'd have been playing.
Could have done a lot of things. If they played the ball up to, me, didn't matter what they did, they made the right call. It was the wrong call playing the ball down, simple. Casual water, it's crazy, not a lot of fun. Of course it's tenfold for me because golf course this long, this wet, if I had to play in these type of conditions, week‑in, week‑out, I would literally be out of a job‑‑ I can't compete out there, simple. That's fine. It's 52 weeks a year and lots of other events where I can compete and the elements kind of got against me this week and stuff happens.

Q. Story of your week?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Just too long. Just got to look at the leaderboard. It's stacked with 300‑plussers. Even Jim was a bridge too far. He's just not long enough to compete with these guys for four rounds. Like I say, that's just an observation. Listen, I can't do anything about that.
The course setup, had it of been firm and fast, it would have been a good course setup. The weather played its part and just banging my head against the wall out there. It's impossible for me to compete unless I'm hitting 3‑hybrid to ten feet all day long which I'm not going to do. Watching the coverage this afternoon was depressing. Seeing Rory hit 9‑iron to 17; it's like, you know, I hit 3‑iron in the morning.

Q. What's next?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Week off and go to The Barclays. Boston week we have the baby coming so I'm going to take Boston week off and then I'll be in Colorado, hopefully in Atlanta and hopefully Gleneagles, kind of the tentative schedule subject to change.

Q. Back is okay?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Back is great this weekend. Friday was a little bit of an anomaly. Not sure what happened but just been a little bit of a problem the last couple weeks. No, it's been great this weekend. I felt much better this week. Actually hit the ball beautifully this weekend to be honest but the quadruple yesterday killed me. Today was just very hard.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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