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January 30, 2015

Graeme McDowell


Q.テつ Given the nature of the leaderboard, the nature of the scoring and the weather and that sort of thing, when you tee it up this morning, you know you're under a certain amount of pressure to deliver, don't you?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Very much so.テつ You know that it's not going to be much more 20‑under par is going to win this this weekend.テつ Certainly have to take your chances when you do get it.テつ I mean, the scoring feels like it is done on the first three holes and the last nine holes on this golf course.
There's that kind of run of holes, sort of 4 through 9, which is the teeth of this golf course if you like, and the rest of the time, if you're driving the ball well, you do feel like you can give yourself a lot of chances and that really is the key.テつ When I saw the golf course at the week, sort of getting in here Saturday night when I saw it, I was quietly happy that the rough was penal enough to make guys honest and make driving accuracy one of the keys around here.

Q.テつ Must be very satisfying given it's your first outing of the year to hit the ground running in a sense.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, like I was just saying to the boys there, despite the fact that it is important to me every week that I tee it up that I am ready, my expectation levels were in check this week.
They were low‑ish, because after six weeks off, you expect a little bit of rust on there and you don't expect to be 100 percent sharp.テつ The first eight holes yesterday were hugely important to me because I didn't play well and I hung in there really well, scored well, and eventually when the swing did bed in and I got the old feels back, I started to make some birdies.テつ The last 28 holes has been pretty solid.

Q.テつ To make the most of the position you've earned for yourself over the weekend would give you a real jump start for the season?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ At this point we've earned nothing.テつ Just have to keep the pedal down and looking forward to sort of getting the juices flowing tomorrow afternoon and being at the business end of things going into the weekend.テつ I feel like if I can continue to drive the ball the way I'm doing and feeling as good on the greens as I do, I can certainly compete this weekend.テつ But we all know there's going to be low scoring and you've got to just try and stay patient and stay with it.

Q.テつ It's only Friday but felt like moving day.テつ How does a round like that develop?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Starting on the back nine here at this golf course, it gives you an opportunity to get off to a good start.テつ You do most of your scoring, I feel like, on the first three holes of this golf course and on last nine.テつ There's that stretch of holes from about four or five through to nine, which is really the testing part of this golf course.
So getting off on the back nine, getting out to a nice start, and my last 27 holes have been pretty solid and nice to be in some kind of touch going into the weekend.

Q.テつ The setback on the sixth, what does it tell us about you and where you are with your game, how you bounced back?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, haven't made a bogey sort of all week, and you've always got that in the back of your mind, bogey‑free, and you've got to expect a bogey to come on this golf course.テつ The rough is just penal enough.テつ You have to hit it in the fairway.テつ One of my few loose drives today on probably the toughest hole of the golf course, No. 6.テつ Laid up and gave myself a good yardage and didn't give myself a good pitch shot.テつ Nice to bounce back and birdie the next.
My attitude this week has been very much try to go out and have fun.テつ It's the first event of the season; try not to expect too much and have a good time.

Q.テつ You talked yesterday about how much more difficult it is for you leaving the family.テつ Does that putt a new determination in your play to make most of the time you're away from them?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, I think that sums it up pretty well.テつ It's important that I put a schedule together, which has the right balance of giving me enough competitive golf but giving me enough time at home with the family.
Like you say, when I do tee it up, it's very important to me that I'm prepared and ready to apply myself and give the family something to cheer about at home, a lot of fun.テつ Like I say, first event of the season, can't really think of better places to start it than here in Dubai in perfect sunshine on a perfect golf course.テつ Like I say, a lot of work to do this weekend, looking forward to the challenge.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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