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June 10, 2015

Graeme McDowell


AMANDA HERRINGTON:テつ Welcome, everyone.テつ We'd like to welcome Graeme McDowell into the interview room here at the FedEx St. Jude Classic.テつ Thanks for taking some time.テつ You're making your fourth start here, got two top 25s headed into next week's U.S. Open where you are a former champion.テつ Just start off by giving us a few comments about this week.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, you know, always great to be here.テつ Sort of a lot of good things about this tournament for me.テつ I like the golf course a lot.テつ I think it sort of sets up for my style of game where a lot of accuracy required off the tee, and coming into these very tricky greens.テつ Like I say, a couple of top 25s here, probably should have done better in both, but I guess when it comes to preparing for major championships, there are various ways you can do it.テつ You can try and simulate the type of conditions that you're going to find the following week.テつ I guess Houston tries to do that, and the way the U.S. Open jumps around it's very difficult to have a solid warm‑up venue the week before, so you've kind of got to take the rough with the smooths some weeks.テつ Some years it's going to be a great preparation and some years maybe not so much. テつI think that this year the comparison of the two golf courses is probably‑‑ they're probably at opposite ends of the spectrum, but I love coming here and getting some competitive sharpness.
I think going into a major championship, obviously preparing and playing the golf course and having your game plan together is key, but being competitively sharp, feeling confident that you are playing well, those are just as important.
So for me, you know, it's been a slow enough year.テつ I kind of feel like my game is turning the corner, and coming here to Memphis and teeing it up and getting some competitive sharpness was one of the kind of keys for me.

Q.テつ Graeme, can you talk a little bit about Chambers Bay in terms of have you played the course?

Q.テつ What have you heard?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ What have I heard?テつ I've heard it's a big links course with a lot of teeing options and setup options.テつ You know, obviously guys went there a couple of days before the World Match Play in San Francisco, heard some mixed reviews.
You know, obviously when you go to a major championship venue a couple months in advance, you're not really going to see the final test.テつ You know, fairway shaping and green speeds and all of these things, you know.テつ I'm not really kind of giving much weight to the things I've heard.テつ I'm really just going to try and go in there with my eyes open and try and dissect the golf course and find out how my game gets around there, I suppose.テつ It doesn't really matter what the golf course is like and how many guys like it or loathe it.テつ Someone is going to pick the U.S. Open trophy up next week, and a lot of it may come down to the attitude that you have towards the test.
Really trying to just give it a good shot this week.テつ You know, I'd love to win one of these next two weeks, and I'm not really fussy much to be honest with you.テつ I'm a guy who's searching for some confidence in his game, and I would love to be on the leaderboard here this weekend in Memphis, and if winning here this week meant that I wasn't going to perform next week, you know, I might take that right now.
I'm really looking at it as a two‑week journey trying to play as well as I can this week, and then go over there and dissect the course and try and win another U.S. Open trophy.テつ Looking forward to the couple weeks.

Q.テつ Back to Memphis, the FedEx St. Jude Classic and what it's meant to this city, it's meant so much to the St.Jude Children's Research Hospital.テつ Have you had an opportunity to speak with some of the executives from St.Jude and/or visited the hospital itself in your time in Memphis?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ I haven't had a chance to go to St.Jude.テつ I've been talking with the people at FedEx about creating a little bit of a relationship between St.Jude and the hospital that I'm associated with back in Ireland, which is Crumlin Dublin.テつ You know, this tournament wasn't on my radar a few months ago.テつ I wasn't going to play, and we talked about maybe doing something next year with St.Jude, and I added this one late, so I really wasn't able to get anything lined up.
I've been involved‑‑ the little party that Dan Mullally throws over there at his house on 18, I obviously met a few of the St.Jude kids and actually had one of them walk down 18 with us there today, a girl I met last year, Ally, who's in remiss from a brain tumor, just amazing people.
You know, obviously the city of Memphis and what FedEx obviously means to the city and what it's done for the city from an economy point of view, and then obviously St.Jude and everything they do for that.テつ I mean, the event, I've always enjoyed the vibe here, always enjoyed the atmosphere from the point of it feels like one of the more giving events on the PGA TOUR schedule, even though the PGA TOUR is a huge giving organization.テつ But this event you can really feel it that little bit more.
Having gone to college just down the road in Birmingham, Alabama, I always get a lot of "Go Blazes" this week, as well, so the Southern hospitality is good fun here, and like I say, I enjoy a lot of elements of this week.

Q.テつ You talked about how you've kind of been struggling with your game.テつ What aspects are you looking to hone a little bit right now?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ You know, I think I'm not really sure which came first, but I've had some sort of issues regards motivation, and that's led to some technical issues.テつ I think getting married and having babies and kind of enjoying the fun things in life off the golf course have distracted me a little bit on the course, and my game has suffered a little bit.テつ Some renewed desire the last three or four months and just kind of been grinding away, trying to get my golf swing back in shape.テつ It's just been general stuff.テつ There's been nothing in particular.テつ It's just been a little lack of general sharpness, and I've just been chipping away at everything really.テつ I feel I've turned the corner.テつ I've hit the ball much more solidly the last couple months on and off.
This is golfing season right now.テつ From this week through the FedEx Playoffs I'm going to play a lot of golf, and you know, you're never anything‑‑ a couple of great weeks can certainly get a season back on the rails again.テつ I'm focused and excited about the challenge coming up.

Q.テつ Obviously we're thinking about FedExCup Playoffs, being FedEx the title sponsor here.テつ What are your goals towards the end of the season and getting to the Playoffs?テつ I think we're at the 10‑week mark.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ For sure, and like I alluded to earlier, this tournament wasn't on my schedule earlier in the season, and part of‑‑ a couple of reasons for being here this week, obviously get some competitive sharpness and keep working on my game, but also to put some FedExCup points on the board, as well.テつ I felt like I just needed to add a regular PGA TOUR event to my schedule.テつ Playing both sides of the Atlantic can be tough.テつ You're only playing the minimum numbers of events, and it's very hard to make an impact on the Money Lists unless you're performing well in the majors and the WGCs.テつ The FedExCup Playoffs were on my radar when I put this one back on the schedule.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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