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May 27, 2015

Graeme McDowell


SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ Your thoughts on today, Irish Open being back in your native Northern Ireland and your thoughts on the week?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, the golf course, Royal County Down is in fantastic condition.テつ As we can feel from outside of the doors here, obviously the weather is going to play a massive part as it does in most tournaments here in Britain and Ireland.テつ The Open Championship, as we have seen many times can be shaped on a Thursday and Friday by which side of the draw you're on.
This morning, first three or four hours were beautiful, perfect scoring conditions, and out there, not so pretty anymore.テつ Weather is going to play a massive factor.テつ Fingers crossed we'll have a nice weekend.
Great to be back here.テつ Obviously Portrush a few years ago puts Northern Ireland golf on the map from the point of view of what we are capable of and led to things like The Open Championship coming back to Portrush and I really believe that County Down can be a runner for an Open Championship.テつ I'm a little biased towards Portrush of course but there's something about this golf course that I love.テつ I love the elevated changes.テつ It's a much tougher golf course.テつ I love the bunkering.テつ This will be a really, really great showcase I think for golf and Ireland in general.
Just everything Rory has done, taking the responsibility of the week on, he's a fairly busy individual and to take this on and promote it, put his foundation on it and attract the type of people who are playing in the Pro‑Am today, attract a level of media obviously that's here and to attract the type of field that we have and bringing in Dubai Duty Free into the fold and really helping elevate this tournament back to one of the premiere events on The European Tour.
So big thanks to him and his team and it should be a fun weekend.

Q.テつ Rory said this is his fifth major of the year ‑‑
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Played five majors already this year?

Q.テつ As the home Open ‑‑ inaudible.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ When you miss a putt in Ireland it has a different reaction from the crowd to every before else in the world.テつ It's special to play here in front of the home fans.
Historically I have not played well in this tournament.テつ A lot of that is down to wanting it too badly and wanting to perform for the home fans too much and maybe that expectation level has just been a little too high, so just being able to get to grips with that and mature a little bit and understand that I've got to approach it a different way and sort of definitely prepare myself differently than I normally would.
Yeah, I would love to win here, certainly for what it would mean just for me winning The Irish Open.テつ In the moment right now it's been a quiet year and I would love to kick start my summer off with a big week here at The Irish Open.テつ I've been working really hard on my game and I really feel like it's turning the corner.テつ This would be a perfect way to start out the summer.

Q.テつ How proud are you to be bringing other world‑class golfers here to Northern Ireland and what have they said to you about the course here and about the atmosphere and the general reception they have received?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ I think everyone I've spoken to loves the golf course, thinks it's an unbelievably tough task.テつ I think like I said earlier, Rory and his foundation and his team, the responsibility level; I think it's understanding what it takes to promote things and to be part of things, and it takes a lot of time and a lot of effort for a guy who is obviously under the spotlight a lot these days.
So for him to step up and do what he's done here, taking this event and putting his name to it, I have a huge appreciation for the level of responsibility that that takes.テつ And you know, the type of field that he's put together here, we haven't seen a field like this at The Irish Open for many years, since back in its heyday.
And really, a lot of The Opens, I suppose, on The European Tour, the really famous Opens that used to attract the biggest and greatest players in the world, a lot of them have lost their identity.テつ It's great to see The Irish Open being one of the first to start maybe the reversal and start putting these events back on the map as premiere events on The European Tour.
You look at the list of winners in events like these back in the 80s and 90s and it's a Who's Who.テつ The fields have not been a Who's Who the last ten years.テつ There's a lot of golf to play around the world and events like this have lost sponsors and lost slots in schedules.
As an Irish player, we have been really driving hard to try and get sponsors and get a great spot on the schedule to try and bring the best players in the world to Ireland and showcase golf courses like Royal County Down and show people what we have here, and you know, give the fans something fun, as well.
This is great.テつ This is really a huge step in the right direction from what we want The Irish Open to look like.

Q.テつ You mentioned it's been a quiet year.テつ Why has it been a quiet year since the last few seasons have been so successful?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ There's been a lot going on in my world off the golf course.テつ There's been a lot of fun stuff:テつ Getting married and having a baby last year, and I feel like since The Ryder Cup, my general desire to go and hit golf balls has not really been perhaps where it has been in the past.テつ I feel like I have other things in my mind.
It took me four, five, six months to recognise that, I suppose.テつ As my game has not been where I've wanted it to be the last three or four months, you start to ask the question why.テつ And I felt like the answer is:テつ Just a little bit of lack of desire and motivation, and spending more time with my family and not really wanting to grind as hard as I have been.
I guess sitting down and asking myself the question, you know, what do I want:テつ I want to win more major championships and I want to win more golf tournaments and I want to be able to have that great visual that other guys do of having their kids running on to the 18th green on a Sunday afternoon, that's what I want.
What does that mean?テつ I have to start working hard again.テつ And I've been working hard the last few months and I really feel like my game is turning around.テつ It's been a problem but it's been a great problem.テつ It's been a mental kind of shift, which has been affecting the technicalities of my game.テつ I just haven't played well because I haven't really been applying myself, and recognizing that's tough.テつ And I have now and I feel like I've been trying to solve the problem and get myself back.
So, it's actually been a really fun process and I'm excited to get back.テつ Like I said, this would be a perfect week to kick‑start the summer.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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