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July 15, 2016

Graeme McDowell

Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland

Q. You had a good going.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I mean, obviously great front nine got it back to where I needed to be. And then the rains came on, on the back nine. The wind direction didn't play tough, but particularly wet. Hit a bit of a wet ball off 15, just kind of got it sliding off the face and caught a marginal lie on the right rough on 15, and had a bit of a slash at it and came out left and caught a bad lie in the trap and then I three-putted it. So that was a little bit of a kick in the stones that I didn't need at that point. I was grinding along, hitting it quite nicely and then the three-putt.

Missed a short one on 16. Three putts from short of 17, so nail in the coffin a little bit coming in. Disappointing because I actually hit the golf ball well the last couple of days. Putted ridiculously bad yesterday. I thought the greens were decidedly average especially yesterday afternoon. I just didn't think they putted well at all. A bit better this morning. But obviously they're not cutting them down because of the wind strength forecast in the weekend and they're not rolling very well, to be honest. But guys out there are getting it done, so that's just sour grapes on my part. A guy like me who relies on his putter, not getting decent surfaces to roll on is disappointing.

But like I say, the way I struck the ball the last two days should have been thereabouts, but not to be.

Q. There was a bit of a delay on 11. Did that irritate you? You're a quick player.
GRAEME McDOWELL: No, not really. Like you say, Andrew made triple on 11 and we had a long ruling there, and they're putting you on the clock, it's not very sensible, but it is what it is. We see that on a week-to-week basis. Like you say, my routine is something I've worked on hard the last few years and I feel like I'm a pretty fast player nowadays, so it's not something that really bothered me at all in the slightest.

Obviously the rain was difficult. When you get a wet ball on a wet club face these days the way these balls don't spin anymore. That shot I hit on 15 I was dicing between sort of 3-wood or driver. Shoulda, coulda, woulda hit 3-wood.

It was a marginal enough lie. It was a bit on the upslope but below my feet. I was trying to cut a three. I had 219 yards to the front. That was the problem. It wasn't a bad lie if I was hitting 6-iron, but it was a bad lie for a 3-hybrid I was trying to hit. I got a little underneath it, and went up against the face there, that trapped short left. These bunkers are very dangerous this week. You've got to stay away from them.

It was one of those lies that I wish had been a bad lie and I have chipped it out sideways, and I wouldn't have made worse than 5 from there, but I brought 6 into the equation.

Q. Did you have a number on the line? Did you think it was more something you needed to get to?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, of course, I thought 1 was getting in no problem. As the rains came on I knew 2 was probably going to have a really good shot and later on even I thought 3 had a great shot. It's obviously a lot of golf to play today. If 3-over makes it, I'll probably have to shoot myself later. But, yeah, I'm thinking 2-over cut. That was kind of the number I had in my head. It was sustained rain there for a couple hours. It was difficult enough. But after the start, obviously disappointed with the way I finished there because I putted a little bit better today and then missed a couple coming in, which is disappointing.

But game's in nice shape. I'm going to walk away from here particularly disappointed to miss this cut after hitting as many good shots as I have over the last couple days. But that's golf. It's fine lines.

Q. I guess with Ryder Cup still in your mind, how important will the next couple of weeks be?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, next couple of weeks are massive, of course. Would have loved to have put a performance on this week, obviously, in front of the home fans and as big an event this is. But every week's a big week nowadays. I'll go to Canada next week and I'll get ready to go.

Like I keep saying, the game's in nice shape. I'm happy where I'm at. I'm happy with a lot of things I'm doing. Like I said, my performance on the greens yesterday killed me. It was nothing really to do with what I did today. Yeah, I slipped a couple way down the stretch there, but the damage was done yesterday. Game's in nice shape. Two big weeks coming up in the PGA and we'll reset and get ready for the FedEx and Barclays, and if the Ryder Cup team goes my way, great. But if not, we'll move on and keep grinding.

Q. Is it just a case of keeping the faith for the moment?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, the faith is there. Yeah, it's frustrating. You walk away after a round like yesterday thinking I made two bad swings and shot 75. The guy behind me is nearly breaking the major course record all time. Like I said, I'm complaining about the greens and he has no problems with them.

So, like I said, the faith is there. I know I'm playing well. It's always disappointing to miss a cut, especially at the Open Championship, where I expect to play well. But it's a tough couple of days, but we'll move on. It's all right.

Q. Your expectations in a major, do you come in with more expectation and demand on yourself to The Open or a major championship?
GRAEME McDOWELL: No, expectations were not my problem the last couple days. I'm trying to be as patient as I can with my game. I felt like I was well prepared this week. Like I said, my putter killed me yesterday and got off to a flier this morning and just couldn't get it done down the stretch in the rain.

But, no, it has nothing to do with me going out there and trying to win the Open Championship because I know I can win a major. No, it has nothing to do with it this week. It's just a disappointing performance.

Q. Graeme, just about Troon, a statistic came up during the morning on the screen, the front nine has played 99-under par, and the back nine, 312-over par. You're an aficionado of links. Do you know any links like this? What do you make of that sort of two-sided championship?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, there is no doubt that this links golf course is quirky on a lot of levels. The two nines scenario is amazing. You get to the 10th tee and it's literally like you're walking onto a different golf course. The greens' shapes change. You get some very difficult tee shots and you get some length all of a sudden after a very benign first nine holes.

In and around as well the greens is very unusual. You get an opportunity to chip with a huge amount of loft around this golf course. It doesn't have your typical fairway runoffs that we're used to seeing in most of The Open venues. I think obviously there is a statistic that says the Americans have performed incredibly well at this golf course, and to me that's the reason why. It's very American around the greens. It's actually not very linksy. The ball rolls off and it runs in the semi-rough and you can get your lob wedge on it. It's quite unusual from my point of view, but obviously the back nine is a brutal nine of golf, especially in that westerly wind. Not the one we had today. Today is the easier wind direction for the back nine. But obviously it was lashing down, so it wasn't particularly easy.

Q. (Inaudible).
GRAEME McDOWELL: Not really. I don't really care to be honest. I know what I've got to do. Like I say, I've just got to stay patient, play some golf, show them some form. We're two and a half months away. So it's not going to be about what I do this week. It's going to be probably what I do, probably PGA, Barclays. We'll see.

Q. You played ahead of Mickelson. He's 46, he's showing form on this course. Is The Open course where the older guys can keep going and going and going? Where would you put Mickelson's round yesterday?
GRAEME McDOWELL: It's to put Mickelson in the older guys' league, even though he's sneaking up there, I suppose. But to me he's been showing as much quality the last couple years consistently as he has in a long time. Like I mentioned, it's not surprising that he's doing as well as he is because he can really kind of make the most off the scrambling here at this golf course. He's obviously controlling his golf ball well.

I got to be honest, I knew he was going well yesterday but came with a great sail later on, and obviously nearly shot 62. I knew it was going well, but didn't know it was going that well. Keeping a bit of an eye on him there today.

Obviously with the links issue, you get a firm and fast links and anyone can compete. And that's where you get the Watson factor coming into Turnberry, because it's not about how far you hit it. You don't have your Jason Days and Dustin Johnsons overpowering a golf course like this. You've got to caress it around, flight your balls and chip and putt.

Q. Does his experience have more value at this golf course?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I think you only have to look at Phil's stats here in 2004. He shot 74 I believe in the first round in the best conditions and rallied to finish second or third or wherever he finished. So he feels fairly comfortable in this golf course.

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