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July 1, 2015

Graeme McDowell


SARAH GWYNN:テつ Thank you for joining us.テつ Welcome back to the Alstom Open de France.テつ Going after your third title in a row, how does that feel being back?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Very special coming back to this tournament and having a chance to win a tournament three times in a row is very special.テつ I've always enjoyed this golf course, right back in the early days when I would come here.
The golf course has developed so much over the years.テつ I think back in those first few years, the fescue was incredibly high and this golf course could play really, really difficult.テつ I really think the guys involved at Paris National have done a great job shaping the golf course and really helping it develop to the golf course we've been playing for the last few years now which has really become a great course.
It's changed a lot over the years and become a lot more fair but still, big emphasis on hitting fairways here and hitting greens.テつ The par3s are some of the toughest par 3s we play all year.テつ It's a great golf course.テつ Always enjoyed coming here but extra special this year, chasing three in a row, it will be very special.
SARAH GWYNN:テつ You've got the family here this week; is that right?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yes, exactly.テつ They were heading into Paris this afternoon.テつ This is my first trip overseas on entourage, if you like, and it's been a lot of fun.テつ We were in Ireland for a couple days, Sunday, Monday, sort of into Tuesday and we flew in here last night and the girls are having a lot of fun.テつ They are looking forward to sightseeing.テつ The crew here at The French Open have been really looking after us and set up some fun things for the girls to do.テつ We are excited about the week.

Q.テつ Does the fact that the course will be a Ryder Cup course give you any type of more motivation?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, very much so.テつ I figure in 2018, I'll be 39.テつ I'll be pushing 40, so at least I'll perhaps be a good call for an invite for a wild‑card pick for 2018 if you don't make the team off my own merit, being a little bit of a course specialist around here, certainly will be expecting to be part of things.
I think the fact that the Ryder Cup coming here in 2018, I think it legitimises how good this golf course is.テつ I always believed this was a great course even before I won the tournament a couple times.
But I think speaking to a lot of my friends on the PGA Tour, I think the interest level is starting to heighten for Paris National and what this tournament is all about.テつ I know a few of the players have been here the last few years, Matt Kuchar and Bubba, and Brendan Steele here again, he enjoys coming here.テつ A lot of the Americans starting to be very interested as to what they are going to expect in 2018 and I think we can expect to see a few more of them the next couple years.
It's great for French golf and I think you guys are going to have a fun five, ten, 20 years ahead of you.テつ You have some great young players and with Ryder Cup inspiring young French kids, I think French golf is going to have some fun.

Q.テつ Very French question, but what can you say about Alex Levy who you will be playing with tomorrow?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, very talented young player.テつ I think they play with a lot of flair and a lot of passion and a lot of skill.テつ Yeah, I think Alexander and Victor's games are very similar.テつ They are very long hitters and very, very talented, and certainly wear their hearts on their sleeves.テつ I think even Romain Wattel, I played with him, also, again, very similar, long and talented.
Like I say, I think potentially young, great players.テつ They can definitely go onto sort of be Top‑20, Top‑10 players in the world if they keep going the way they are going.テつ But I've played with Alex many times and I always enjoy his company.テつ He's a great kid and a lot of fun and like I say, very talented so I look forward to playing with him Thursday and Friday.

Q.テつ How do the two wins, 2013 and 2014 compare, and how good is it to get back to a course where you won twice, after Chambers Bay?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ The two wins were obviously very different.テつ You always like to win a tournament, as opposed to be given it to a certain extent.テつ So from that point of view, I guess 2013 was a bit more special than 2014.
But winning a tournament back‑to‑back is also very special.テつ In the aftermath, winning last year was very special to me but in the flavour in which it was won, I would have much rather won in a playoff in the end.テつ But you take what you're given I suppose.
Second part of your question was what?

Q.テつ How you've been sort of beaten up to Chambers Bay and getting back to a course where you've won twice?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I felt like I've had the train back on the tracks a little bit through Wentworth, Irish Open.テつ I was really starting to kind of like the momentum I was starting to gather.テつ Got to Memphis, physically didn't feel well that week, sort of carried that hangover into Chambers, which was a highly difficult test.テつ I certainly look back and had no regrets about the golf course.テつ I just didn't play the golf.テつ I just didn't control my irons.
But yeah, you know, stopped my momentum a little bit.テつ Felt like I was starting to get somewhere and those two weeks knocked me become a little bit but coming into the summer here now, got an incredible run of golf coming up.テつ I'm going to play six of the next seven and go into the FedEx Playoffs.テつ So no shortage of golf coming up.
Really I have to start the ball rolling again and start that momentum gathering.テつ I feel a lot happier where I am mentally now than where I was four or five months ago.テつ You know, look at the World Rankings and I'm very conscious of not panicking.テつ I know I'm good enough and I know that if I keep doing what I'm doing, that things will come back.
So it's been a lot of fun the last year just personally.テつ I wouldn't change that for anything.テつ So just got to get back at it, and I have been getting back at it.テつ Like I say, momentum was killed a little bit last couple weeks, but there's no better time to start playing well than right now with all the golf ahead of me.
SARAH GWYNN:テつ Good luck this week and thanks for coming in today.

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