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April 7, 2016

Shane Lowry

Augusta, Georgia

THE MODERATOR: We have Shane Lowry with us this afternoon, he carded a 4‑under 68 today. He had four consecutive birdies on holes No. 2 through 5, added another one on No. 8. This is his second appearance at Augusta National.
If you want to give a couple comments about your overall impression of the day and then we'll open it up to questions.
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, it was a good day. I started off, I hit a nice iron to the first, but it just ran off and I left myself like a 15‑footer for par. That was kind of a nice way to start the day. It's almost nicer than chipping it stiff.
From there, I played great today. Didn't miss many shots. Didn't miss my targets by much. I managed to hole a few putts early doors. Really feel like it could have been one or two better at the end, but, I'll take it.

Q. That's a big putt to make on No. 1. Did that just say, hey, good save and go from there?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, it's kind of‑‑ when you do that on the first, it kind of settles you down. A bit of anxiousness or nerves that was there is kind of has gone out of the system fairly quick and you just can get on with your round. That's kind of what it did for me. That's normally what it does. It's always nice to hole a putt on the first.

Q. There were times when the wind was blowing like that, it can scare people. What was your feeling when you were aware of the forecast that you were going to have to face today?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, I knew it was going to be tough. It was going to be tricky, but it's not like I haven't played in the wind before (laughter).
I hit some good shots. I stroked the ball really solid today, which is what you need to do in the wind. You know, I've always said, I like tough golf. This is tough golf and it's going to be for the next three days. So I'm looking forward to the challenge.

Q. How nice was it coming up on 18, seeing your name on the leaderboard, especially last year‑‑
SHANE LOWRY: I was looking all day. It was there all day. It's nice. It's nice. Going out, I've seen Jordan was going quite well, and I seen Poults at 6‑under, which is a great score out there. It was nice to try to get as close as I could to him. Obviously it's early doors yet, but it's nice.
I hit a great shot into 18, as well, and felt I was a little bit unfortunate with the putt. Yeah, it's always nice seeing your name on the leaderboard.

Q. How did you feel when you woke up this morning?
SHANE LOWRY: I just said in a couple TV interviews I did there, I felt great this morning. Woke up, had some breakfast in the house. I've got a bit of a crew over, so we just sat around and watched a bit of TV, watched a bit of golf and took it easy. Before I know it, or before I knew it, it was time to come to the course.
I felt really relaxed, really comfortable, and I was really looking forward to getting out there all day.

Q. This is a considerable wind today. What do you think the worst wind you've ever played in over in Europe has been?
SHANE LOWRY: We could be here all evening (laughing). Yeah, I mean, obviously it would be tough weather in recent memories, like Irish Open last year in County Down was pretty severe. Normally when we go back to Ireland or Scotland in the U.K. somewhere, we generally get a decent bit of wind. Dunhill Links normally has a bit of wind.

Q. Since you took up the game and became a pro, how much have you been motivated by the notion of winning a major, and does it feel different being on a leaderboard today?
SHANE LOWRY: I suppose winning a major obviously, it's a big deal and it's something that you want to do as a golfer. I couldn't tell you what age I was when I started going, "I really want to win a major." Obviously I do.
You know, everyone‑‑ there's not too many people who wouldn't want to win one. And it's nice seeing my name up there. But like I said, it's three rounds to go. It's a long way to go yet, especially around this place. You're only ever a bad bounce away from a bit of a disaster, so you've just got to keep your head on. You've just got to keep trying to hit good shots and hit towards your targets and hopefully make a few putts, and that's all I'm going to try and do.

Q. What's the plan now for tomorrow, do you have any conception?
SHANE LOWRY: Going to stand on the first and try to hit it straight and hit it on the green and go from there. That's the way I play golf.
We'll see what the weather is like in the morning, see what the wind is like and what direction it is, and we'll take it from there.

Q. Doing what you did in Bridgestone coming down the stretch last August, what does that do in a major championship like the Masters, can you go back to that?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, obviously like if you look at the field at Bridgestone and here, it's pretty quite similar, not too far off. I think it's a little bit bigger field here, but we've got most of the world's top golfers, or got all the world's top golfers here.
Winning a tournament like that, especially beating the players I did down the stretch, kind of does a lot for me. Obviously gives me confidence going forward. But I look at that there, that's behind me, and I'll hopefully use that Sunday afternoon when I'm hopefully going on the back nine against some of the bigger players with a chance of winning hopefully.
But unless I'm in that situation again, I can't really keep going back to Bridgestone. I won that; that's last year, that's in the past, and obviously it was great to win it, but I'm looking forward to the future and I'm hoping to do bigger and better things.

Q. You had those four birdies in a row; were you just really seeing it and rolling it?
SHANE LOWRY: Well, I hit it just over the back of the second in two and pitched it to 2 1/2 feet.
Then I hit driver down 3 and I pitched it basically stone dead.
Then holed like a 15‑footer with about four feet of break on it on No. 4.
Then holed a nice putt from about 20 feet on 5, as well, with a decent break. I was seeing the lines quite well. I obviously managed to hole them, which is nice.

Q. You alluded to sort of keeping your feet on the ground over the next few days, but what's the key to doing that, to not letting your mind wander at all, perhaps thinking ahead to Sunday afternoon?
SHANE LOWRY: I mean, it's hard not to. I'm sure I'm going to be sitting back tonight thinking at some stage about wearing a green jacket. I'm only human. I'm going to do that.
But I've just got to kind of give myself a slap in the face and get myself back into reality and try to get down to business and keep hitting good shots and see where that leaves me at the end of the week.

Q. Even though it was a missed cut last year, how much more comfortable are you here after having one Masters under your belt?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, I feel‑‑ I've said it a lot this week. I am here since last Saturday. I've played a lot of golf here this week, and I do feel really comfortable around the place.
It's a bit intimidating driving in the gates, driving in the gates of Magnolia Lane to play the Masters. It was last year. And hopefully I'll be coming here for many years and hopefully I've got that out of the way now. It's the greatest players in the world, best golf course, best place. Yeah, that's the only way I can describe it is best place in the world.

Q. How many practice round holes do you think you played?

Q. You went really low with 5‑under on the front nine today, but do you generally see the back nine as presenting more opportunities?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, probably does. You look at obviously‑‑ well, 13, 15, depends on the pin positions.
16 can be playing quite easy.
12, if there's not that much wind, but we're not going to get that this week.
Yeah, there's a good few chances on the back nine. But in golf, there's chances on every hole if you hit good shots. So that's all you're trying to do and that's all I'm trying to do. I made my birdies on the front nine today, maybe it will be on the back nine tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much.

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