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March 20, 2016

Rory McIlroy

Orlando, Florida

Q. 65 and that monster birdie putt on the 18th to give the fans something to cheer about. What a week for you up and down, really.
RORY MCILROY: Yeah, up and down. It's been the story of the week and sort of been the story of my year as well. I've played some great golf and not great golf. I've made a lot of mistakes as well.

It's just something I need to work on going into next week at the Match Play but that's -- the sort of golf I'm playing, that tends to do well in Match Play. Lot of birdies, lot of mistakes but I need to figure it out going into Augusta.

Q. That's the main thing. I think it would be encouraging because you had those rounds over-par then you responded magnificently the following rounds especially today with the 65 to match the best round of the tournament thus far.
RORY MCILROY: Yeah. That's why I'm not -- these high scores, I know it's nothing to do with my game, really. It's nothing to do with me technically. It's more mental.

I'm beating myself up over mistakes that I'm making on the course and then I'm not letting myself get over it so that it sort of lingers there for the next few holes.

I might make another mistake and all of a sudden like yesterday I was 2-under par after 8 holes and all of a sudden I shoot 3-over par and 5-over the last 11. I need to stop doing stuff like that, but today was a great place to start.

Q. Thoughts of Mr. Palmer as you're going around the course today being apart of this field and playing in front of him.
RORY MCILROY: Yeah. It's awesome. Anytime -- you know, I missed this event for a couple of various reasons but after being here last year I said to myself I'm never going to miss it again. It's a great golf course to honor one of the legends of our game that grew the sport exponentially.

He's the reason why we're all here playing for so much money. So it's great to be here and you being able to catch up with him time to time during the week and Jack's Memorial tournament, the same thing there, also, you know, it's called the legends of the game are still around the sport and the younger generation and interact.

Q. Interesting week.
RORY MCILROY: Interesting year. It's been very up and down. I've been alluding to, you know, pretty much every week there's a lot of good golf in there which you've seen on Friday and today but then I'm just making a lot of mistakes.

Even today, you know, throwing in my customary double bogey. I've had more double bogies this week than I've had bogies.

If I can limit the mistakes. I felt like I was on the right road to doing that at Doral. But this week it sort of popped its head up again. I just need to -- lot of great stuff in there and if I can limit those mistakes.

My par saves are good but like that double today on 14, missing it in the wrong spot, trying to get too cute with a bunker shot. You make 5, you're sort of unhappy going to the next hole and thankfully I didn't let it linger too long and was able to finish well.

This week what I've done is I've let it linger. I've mentally not been able to get over it and I haven't bounced back. That's why there was two 75s in there because it was nothing technically or anything else. I feel like my game is in great shape. Really good with my putting. Good with all aspects of my game, really, so mentally being better and not being so hard on myself.

Q. Do you feel like you've been able to pinpoint the source of these big numbers at time?
RORY MCILROY: Missing it on the wrong side, not being smart. When I do miss it, not take my medicine, trying to be too cute with it, trying to make up for the bad shot I hit instead of maybe giving myself that 12, 15-foot putt for par.

And I hit a lot of balls in the water here this week which doesn't help. Just trying to make my bad shots a little bit better.

Q. Do you feel like this round was almost as good for going into the Match Play because you and Bryson were really feeding off of each other?
RORY MCILROY: I'm looking forward to the Match Play next week. With the sort of golf I'm playing with a lot of birdies and mistakes it sort of goes well. I'm looking forward to it. I can't make worse -- I only lose one hole. So, yeah, I'm excited for it.

I'm excited with that Match Play element because I don't feel like I've been in contention enough this year and getting those Match Play sort of head to heads next week will feel a little bit like that and it would be great to progress to the weekend and get some good matches under my belt and go have my last competitive start before Augusta be a momentum builder and confidence builder. I have a week off to prepare and get ready.

Q. Is today a confidence builder too, though?
RORY MCILROY: It is. For sure. I played the best I played all week. I played well. I mean the last two starts that I've had again, there's been a couple of 65s in there, lot of good golf and rounds but mistakes. The good stuff is in there. So, as I keep saying, I just need to eradicate the bad stuff.

Q. (Inaudible).
RORY MCILROY: Yeah. I think the first day it was more of a shock element more than anything because I was -- I played so well in practice and I practiced well at home and I get here on the first tee on Thursday and hit one OB left. Don't know, where does that come from?

I just told myself to keep trusting my swing and obviously there's a lot of trouble left and water left on this golf course. I find out a couple times after that. So, yeah, more mentally than anything else. Just need to try to get over it quicker and rebound and not -- just not be so hard on myself or sort of get so angry, I guess.

Q. Thoughts on Bryson. I know you played with him earlier this year.
RORY MCILROY: Abu Dhabi. Look, he's a great young player. He's very mature for his age, very smart. He's got a really, really bright future. Seeing the way he played out there today, you know, he has real control of his golf ball. He can hit it both ways, control the trajectory.

You know, he thinks well around the course, is a good putter. He's got every aspect of the game. I said to him, "If you keep plying like this I'll be seeing a lot more of you."

He's really good. I think it's an exciting time for him. He was telling me obviously he's got the Masters coming up but then all his starts coming up after that to try to get his Tour card.

Again, if he plays like that there's no reason why he can't get that Tour start card in 7 starts.

Q. 78 in Abu Dhabi, how do you think he played today?
RORY MCILROY: Again, just control. He didn't really do much wrong. He missed a couple shots but apart from that, he scored very efficiently the chances he did give himself, he was able to convert and then, you know, he made a couple of really good up and downs as well.

One of the big things that impressed me today I felt like he chipped and pitched the ball a lot better than he did in Abu Dhabi.

If I had to say, one of the things he had to go away to work on after I played with him was that but he hit some really, really nice short shorts around the green today. I was impressed.

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