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May 31, 2015

Graeme McDowell


Q.テつ Probably the strongest Irish Open field ever assembled.テつ How would you sum it up from your point of view?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ I think it's been an incredible week.テつ Royal County Down, everything that Rory's did this week just elevating it week, bringing Dubai Duty Free on board, and the crowds, it's been a great week.テつ It's been an unbelievably tough test of golf.
Going into a summer of unprecedented amounts of links golf we have ahead of us, this is really a baptism of fire, and it's not really going to get anymore difficult than this from here.テつ I can't really imagine an Open Championship playing this difficult.テつ This golf course is hard to start with and you whip a breeze across like we've had this week, this westerly wind, has not helped us anywhere on this golf course.テつ It's been a grind and it's been tough but I have really enjoyed the week and it's been a lot of fun.

Q.テつ Is it almost too difficult?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ It's borderline too difficult, it is.テつ But what is too difficult?テつ It's tough to quantify.テつ Felt too difficult for me out there today.テつ I couldn't get the ball in the fairway which is not a very good start.テつ But too difficult, it's a term; what does it mean?
It's very hard out there.テつ I think The European Tour did a nice job setting the course up, not getting too tough with the pins.テつ This is just a hard golf course, simple as.テつ I enjoyed it.テつテつ I think it's got some fantastic golf holes and I really enjoyed the atmosphere this year.

Q.テつ Anything specific you need to work on in terms of your own game for the U.S. Open?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Well, they always say, make your preparation more difficult than the real thing.テつ So I think this is going to be more difficult than the U.S. Open.テつ I can't see how it gets any tougher than this, I really don't.テつ Obviously Chambers Bay is going to be a unique test.テつ This was a unique test.
Playing the type of golf we do the last five, ten years, I grew up in this stuff, and I'll be the first to admit that I don't know how to play this anymore.テつ You lose the creativity and the art form that is playing golf in the wind.テつ It's great to come out here and get punished for a few days and really play some raw golf and realise that you don't have the skill set you used to have and you might want to get it back if you want to win some Open Championships.テつ This is a really good test for me this week.テつ I really enjoyed it and it's going to prepare me well for the summer.

Q.テつ How would you assess this week?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ It's been a very successful week.テつ I spoke to Colm McLoughlin, Dubai Duty Free this morning, and they really enjoyed their week.テつ Everything Rory has did to drive this week forward and create the event that people have supported as well as they have this week.テつ We have had massive support from the crowds and have really enjoyed it.テつ Big thanks to them.
The golf course has been incredibly difficult.テつ This is a tough golf course before you start.テつ But this westerly wind that we played in all week, it's been cold, it's been hard.テつ It has not really helped you a lot.テつ When you play links golf in this style of a wind strength, you normally get like a few holes which are easy.
There's no real easy holes on this golf course.テつ The par 5s are very narrow and tough to hit fairways.テつ The par3s are really difficult.テつ It's been a real baptism of fire I think for all the links golf that I've got ahead of me the next couple of months, because I need to get back to the golfer I used to be when I was a kid, being able to play in these conditions.テつ You lose that creativity that you need.テつ You play far too much straightforward golf I guess and not enough of this stuff.テつ It's really cool and I've really felt like it's been great preparation this week for the summer.

Q.テつ How much would you like to see The Irish Open come back here in the future?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ I'd love to.テつ I'd love to see it go to Portrush.テつ I'd love to see it come here.テつ I enjoy playing up here in the north.テつ I think the two golf course that is we have used the last few years have been incredible and the crowds have been incredible and the hospitality have been amazing.
But I think it has to be shared both sides of the border and there's so many great‑‑ I say the border.テつ Hopefully we don't think one exists anymore really.テつ From a golfing point of view there is no border.
So let's take it to the best and greatest golf courses in Ireland and let's showcase this thing and keep driving it forward.テつ Huge thanks to Rory for taking the leap that he did this year to real areally commit to this event and that's all we ever really wanted.

Q.テつ The weather has been tough this week.テつ Do you think a change of date would possibly help this event, perhaps push it closer to The Open Championship if possible?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ You know, June, July, August, who knows.テつ I think Britain and Ireland, anything can happen this time of the year.テつ So I don't think this is a bad date, I really don't.テつ A couple weeks before the U.S. Open, week after Wentworth.テつ I think this is a good date in the calendar, I really do.
Obviously the Scottish Open has that weekend before The Open Championship and they have been there for a very long time.テつ So it's tough to wrestle them out of that one, and obviously going to Gullane this year, going to be fantastic prep for The Open.テつ I'll be there.
I like this date in the calendar.テつ I think it's very good and obviously the weather has not behaved itself this week but it's been very playable.テつ It's been a lot of fun.

Q.テつ And how much are you looking forward to the U.S. Open in a couple of weeks' time?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Very much so.テつ They always say, you should try and make your preparation harder than the real thing.テつ This certainly felt harder than any U.S. Open could be.
It's been very windy and like I say, kind of mentioned earlier, it's good for me to kind of test myself in these conditions because I don't get to play in the stuff enough, and this is kind of what I was born and bred on and this is kind of what rounded me into the player that I became.
So it's nice to get back to that and see‑‑ find my way around these golf courses and get better and prepare myself for Chambers Bay, which the weather could resemble this very easily.

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