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July 16, 2016

Graeme McDowell

Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland

Q. How's it feel to have a six on the card?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I lost my concentration for a second on the Postage Stamp there. I mean, I just hit a bad shot, plugged in that bunker, had no shot. It was underground.

Q. Which bunker?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Front bunker. Yeah, I ballooned the wedge and it was plugged. Tried to come out left, hit the bank, kind of kicked behind the trap, hit a bad pitch. And I three-putted it as well just to be sure to be sure, you know?

Played lovely today. I hit the ball really, really well today. I gave myself some nice chances, and to be honest with you, after the 6, I was really happy the way I hung in there come down the back nine. I hit a lot of good shots and gave myself some looks and wasn't really expecting to be here today, so it was a nice bonus. I wish I could have taken a little bit more advantage of it.

It was gettable-ish out there this morning. Obviously back to that really strong crosswind again. I feel like I've practised a lot in this wind direction on this golf course, and I felt fairly comfortable in it. But like I said, Postage Stamp was not really what I had in mind there today. A triple-bogey is never going to work at any level.

Q. But despite that one hole, are you encouraged with the way you played?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, listen, like I keep saying, I feel like I'm playing well. I feel like I'm happy where the game's at. I'm hitting a lot of quality shots. Just need to try and stay patient. I know it's going to come. It's just a case of when. I'm looking. I'm already looking to next week, just trying to get ready for next week in Canada, and I feel like the way I'm playing, can definitely compete.

Q. What kind of score is possible out there in those conditions do you think?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Today the wind seems to be just flicking a little bit. The back nine is not going to play as much into the wind as it did sort of later on yesterday when the scores got really high. But it's across you all day.

I think it's gettable. I think there are 68s out there for sure. I don't think there's much lower than that available. It really just depends. If this wind suddenly moves back towards the west again, the back nine could play really, really difficult like it did last night when I woke up from a nap and the scores had come tumbling back towards me, and I didn't realise I had even made the cut until 7:30 last night.

Now I think it's 68s out there, and I don't think a lot less. I'll be watching with interest this afternoon. I think it's a good test. It's what I think they were looking for. As long as the rain stays off, I think this is a really good test of golf today. I think it should separate the men from the boys.

Q. You were surprised to see James Hahn have trouble at 18?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, 18 was playing really funny. It will be interesting to stand out there for the next half hour or so. Because the wind should be out there at 9:00, and the flag on the green was pumping straight down. There was a little bit of a wind tunnel effect on the last. And James is flowing the green from 165 yards. It's a complete mystery what's happened. He's overshot by 15 yards there with an 8-iron. He shouldn't be able to do that where the wind should be coming from. It was a really bizarre wind tunnel effect coming down to the grandstands. So it will be interesting to see what happens out there for the next hour or so.

Q. How many players do you think have a realistic chance of still winning this thing?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I've got to be honest, I haven't been looking at the leaderboard too hard. I kind of switched off after I finished yesterday. Obviously Phil's 10, Henrik's 9, a couple 7s. I think this is the type of conditions that's really going to blow the leaderboard open wide. I think anyone within five or six potentially has a chance to get back in the tournament today with a 68. Because I think there's easily a 2, 3, 4-over par even for the leaders out there. Guys that have been playing well, it can get away from you quickly out there. But if you play well, you can score as well.

So I think it's going to be interesting to see what happens to the leaderboard today. But I think that guys 5 and 6 back are potentially back in the tournament again. It will definitely be a fun afternoon.

Q. Do you have any view of the Postage Stamp?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I don't like it much. I'm 4-over for it this week. I've probably hit my --

Q. Does that make sense to you?
GRAEME McDOWELL: It's an intimidating golf shot. I think it's a great little hole. The big thing that I got wrong with this golf course the first two or three times I played it, I didn't realise how penal the greenside traps are. Just your normal greenside bunker. They're very, very penal. I've been greenside twice now on that par-5 4th and had no shot both times. Just happy to get it on to the green anywhere. They're very, very, very tough, the bunkers.

Q. I'm sorry, did you take two to get out of the trap today?
GRAEME McDOWELL: No, I got it out in one, but I ripped it into the lip and it bunched out backwards. It was an unusual way to get out. My first ball was plugged very, very deeply, and I thinned it into the lip and it ricocheted backwards, and I chipped it up to the green and three-whacked. I was only in the bunker once, but no, I guess, what makes it difficult is how difficult these bunkers are. I guess that's what I was getting at. In that wind direction today, it's only playing 98 yards, Postage Stamp. It's an easier shot compared to Calamity. At least Calamity gives you a bailout. The thing with Postage Stamp no good lefts, no good rights, no good fronts, shorts. So you've got to stand there and hit a very disciplined shot to a spot, and I've not yet to have done that. I missed it left of the green day one, short of the green today.

So it's great. I think it's a great little hole. I guess to answer your question, I think it's a fantastic golf hole, yeah.

Q. Comparing it to Calamity (Inaudible).
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I think he was just being funny. No, I'd compare it to 6 or 7 at Pebble. It reminds me of 7 at Pebble because the tee box is slightly elevated. You've got that prevailing wind coming hard in at you, and it's very tough to keep the flight down, and that's the key. It's kind of an elevated tee box, you're hitting wedge and it's just going straight up, and it's stalling into the wind. To me that's the hard part of the shot, you've got to really keep something down.

It's a really good golf hole. You can't stand here and say it's a stupid hole. It's a really good hole. You've just got to stand there and hit the shot. It's very penal though.

Q. It's interesting to think that (inaudible) hit a 5-iron there?
GRAEME McDOWELL: It's got to be embellished. 5-iron? Did he? I hit a 6-iron two weeks ago when I was here. I hit a 6-iron. I could see 5-iron for sure in there, no doubt. He holed a 5-iron?

Q. Were you literally waking up from a nap last night?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I did. I woke up to my phone ringing. It was my caddie on the phone. He said, "Wake up, we're T-69." I said, "Wise up. There's no shot." I like literally was taking a nap to go out for a bit of dinner and a few pints with the boys to get on a flight to Orlando this morning at half nine.

It's probably the most unexpected cut I've ever made for sure. Literally I didn't think 3-over had a chance, never mind 4. But obviously this weather had the last word yesterday.

Q. Did you still have a pint last night?
GRAEME McDOWELL: No, not as many as I was going to have, let's put it that way.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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