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May 20, 2015

Graeme McDowell


STEVE TODD:テつ Many thanks for joining us.テつ Always nice to be back at Wentworth for The European Tour's Flagship Event.テつ Players Awards Dinner last night, a little bit of reminiscing; what are the vibes going into this week?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, good vibes.テつ Not a golf course I've performed as well as I'd like to over the years, but there's always a certain amount of energy and anticipation and motivation coming here.
Coming back and playing in front of the British fans, it's always such a well‑supported week.テつ Always an iconic golf course, grew up watching this so much.テつ It's changed a lot over the years I guess but still remains Wentworth, and the vibes, and like you say, the Flagship Event.
Great night last night at the Tour dinner and watching major championship wins and little Ryder Cup reminiscing and just celebrating some amazing golf on The European Tour.テつ So it's always good for the good visuals and the good vibrations.テつ Definitely it's been a slow start of the year for me, but this would be a phenomenal week to kick start what's going to be a very busy summer.

Q.テつ How do you feel the standing of The European Tour is with the strength of field gathered here?テつ What does it say about strength of the Tour right now?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ It's a great field.テつ You know, world's No. 1 player here, a lot of great, young Europeans who are really starting to make a name for themselves on the world stage.
I think it shows what we think of this golf course and shows loyalty to this tour; even though it's a tough environment with how strong America is.テつ Been plenty written about it.テつ It's obvious that it's a tough landscape right now, and when you have an option where to play in the world, it's a tough decision.
But this one is always on the schedule for me and most guys, and this is an iconic event.テつ All the champions here and the great shots that have been around the West Course here, I think as a European golfer, you'd love to add your name to this trophy and that's why there's such a strong field assembled here.

Q.テつ Playing both tours, how tough a decision do you find that season by season to find the right balance of playing the right number of events both sides?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ It's a tough balancing act, there's no doubt.テつ For someone like myself who makes his home in America now, and a wife and young children, it becomes an increasedly difficult balancing act to work out when you jump on a plane to travel all over the world.テつ You never want to go away for just one week.テつ You want to try to put a run of two or three weeks together, and that becomes very difficult to leave the family, you know, when there's a $6 or $7 million event two hours up the road.
It's a tough balancing act.テつ But we make our commitments to The European Tour, and there are certain events that I love to be at, and this is one of them.テつ And obviously next week at The Irish Open is another.テつ There's a certain amount of anticipation when the schedules come out and you start to construct your schedule, and there's an art to that.テつ It is a balancing act and it's hard sometimes.テつ Guys have to make tough decisions.
Yes, you know, we are self‑employed and all that stuff but there is a certain amount of loyalty.テつ Like I say, it's hard every year, and I understand when guys can't do everything all the time.

Q.テつ You mentioned the slow start to the year.テつ How competitive is the game coming into this week?テつ How much sharp do you feel it's getting as this season progresses?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ It's been a slow start of the year, and you know, there's been some technical issues and there's been some mental issues, mental issues based on great things, great things happening off the golf course and just a rebalancing of my life.テつ I'm not sure which came first, the mental stuff or the technical stuff.
But I've worked it all out the last few months, and I've never really felt as motivated to get myself back competing on Sunday afternoons, and I'm enjoying the process of getting back there.
When I do get back there, I think I'll appreciate it more than I ever did.テつ The last few years, leaderboards have come a little easier and I may be haven't appreciated them as much.テつ Tough times, you learn more from your tough times, and I always have, and I'm enjoying the process of getting back there and it's going to be fun.

Q.テつ How much did you enjoy last night and that Player Awards Dinner and getting the team back together and Fergie on stage?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, fun.テつ Like I say, last night is always a fun one, especially sort of reminiscing about Ryder Cup and having the team all assembled again, and obviously Sir Alex, seeing him there, it was really cool.
The thing that I love is kind of seeing all the highlight reels from guys winning major championships.テつ I thought Martin Kaymer's piece was really cool, and obviously what Rory has been accomplishing, it's just motivating inspiring.テつ That was kind of what I took out of last night.テつ It was just inspiration to get back on that kind of stage again myself.

Q.テつ And with regards to this place, a course you've not had the most success on, how do you go about changing that?テつ How do you go about making this a course that can suit your game?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ I think the only way that I can change my record around here is just to have an open mind.テつ Having not been here last year, I come here with a certain amount of freshness.テつ Sort of looking at the golf course through a new set of eyes, taking my old yardage books and putting them in the bin and starting again and just really starting to re‑learn this golf course and understand it and pay attention to things maybe I haven't seen before.
Like I say, just view it with an open mind, and continue to work hard on my game and see if I can execute and get on the leaderboard this weekend.テつ That would be a lot of fun.

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