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January 23, 2016

Rory McIlroy

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

RORY McILROY: It was a solid enough nine. Obviously played them a bit better than I played them yesterday. I thought if it could have been maybe one better, 3-putt on 5, but I thought it was a solid nine holes, and I did what I needed to do. It's a bit of a -- your rhythm is a bit off, stop and start.

But I felt like I played well those nine holes and made a couple of nice putts and gave myself a few more chances. Decent position going into tomorrow.

Q. The leaderboard's changed after what happened on the last hole with Andy.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it wasn't great to see it. It was a bit of a weird one. No one really saw where the ball went and we couldn't find it in the bush. We weren't certain it went in the water, so went back to the tee. I was hoping he would have made that putt just to give him a little bit of momentum going into tomorrow.

It's a really bunched leaderboard. There's a lot of people around the lead, so it will be a bit of a sprint to the finish tomorrow I think.

Q. You're saying everybody, but does it spoil your momentum, the stop/start?
RORY McILROY: A little bit, yeah. It's nice whenever we play a normal tournament, you get into your routines, and for me, that would be gym time and all that sort of stuff, and that's sort of disrupted a little bit. Sort of having to do these little makeshift warmup sessions. It is what it is. It's short turnarounds but it's the same for everyone.

Q. Nice playing with Andy again?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it is. He's great. I get on really, really well with Andy. He's great fun and we have a great laugh out there. Looking forward to hopefully not just nine holes with him tomorrow; maybe another 18 after that.

Q. Like the DP World --
RORY McILROY: We sort of separated ourselves a little bit from the rest of the field in that one, where this one is a bit more bunched. I think there will be a few more in contention.

Q. Take the same result then.
RORY McILROY: I definitely would. Definitely take the same result.

Q. Can you say something about DeChambeau?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, first time I played with him. First time I met him. Great guy, first and foremost. Very polite, very courteous, and obviously the method that he has is very much his own. It's funny, even he was walking just ahead of us there down the first fairway with the cap on and stuff and whatever, and the pants, it sort of reminded me of what it was like to play with Hogan (laughter).

Yeah, lovely player. As I said, a bit of a unique method but it works for him. Looking forward to playing another nine holes with him in the morning and see how he goes. But great performance regardless of what happens. He's probably going to turn pro later this year and to play like he's playing, he's definitely ready to get out here.

Q. You're excited now with the sort of 27 holes left to play?
RORY McILROY: 27 holes left to play and hopefully if I can play a good back nine tomorrow morning and set myself up for an exciting last 18.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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