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January 20, 2017

Rafa Cabrera Bello

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Q. Your thoughts on today's round?
RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: Obviously happy again. I felt I continued the line of play of yesterday. I played really good.

It was very nice this morning. Not a breath of wind. The ball was rolling on the green perfectly. I managed to putt very good and kept myself out of trouble. Didn't do those mistakes I did yesterday off the tee. In the end, very pleased with minus six.

Q. Tell us how important the bounceback 6 after the bogey.
RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: Yeah, it was. It had been a little frustrating that had a few chances, maybe not clear, but just no birdie. And making a bogey there, not really in a bogey -- I was in the middle of the fairway and missed the shot a little bit, and then hit a poor chip and bogeyed. It was a bit of a disappointment.

I hit a great shot on 7, and the putt I holed for birdie gave me lots of confidence coming down the last two holes and I played them very good and I managed to birdie them as well.

Q. What is it about the desert?
RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: It's good. I play here, I try to stay out of the desert as much as I can. Try to actually hit it on the green.

I've always said it: I like playing in warm weather. I like playing in breezy conditions, and I like watching palm trees and being under the sunshine. Who doesn't?

Q. Tell us how much you fed off Lee's play. He's playing nice golf, as well.
RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: Yes, always you learn a lot playing with someone like Lee. We've gotten closer since we played Ryder Cup together. So it was fun to play out there, and watching him play great, too, was also very motivating, yeah.

Q. Lead by three at this point. What do you think it will be at the end of the day?
RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: I have no idea. I mean, I don't know if it's going to be very breezy. I do think I'll have a very good chance coming into the weekend. That's all I care about.

Q. Thoughts on 66? Well played.
RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: Yes, I just went out there, did my hardest. Tried to focus on one shot at a time and add them up at the end of the day.

Q. Compare the conditions this morning to yesterday.
RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: Yeah, we were lucky yesterday afternoon. There was not much breeze to what we're used to on this course or this area at this time of the year.

But the greens this morning were really, really pure. The ball was running absolutely perfect. Luckily this year, the rough is not as high, so even though it was a bit more wet, even still, played better out of it than other years. I think it was very, very scorable conditions this morning and I think the same happened yesterday morning, as well.

Q. Have you practiced much on the break before you came here?
RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: My last tournament was Hong Kong, and then I took the entire of December off and the second of January, I started practicing. I had two weeks, very, very good practice, first one easing into it and last one pretty hard. I felt my game was coming into shape.

Q. What is the one thing you would like to do this year that you didn't manage to do last year?

Q. As soon as possible?
RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: Well, I'm in no hurry. I know it will come, and I just obviously wish it would come sooner than later.

Q. What would you grade yourself last year?
RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: I wouldn't give myself an A-plus but it has been the first season of my career I achieved every single other except winning. I can't really put too much blame on myself for that because sometimes you just need to wait for it to happen. I did give myself lots of chances and I'm sure if I continue on that line, it will happen.

Q. What did you take from The Ryder Cup?
RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: It was a great experience obviously, except for the final score. The rest, I enjoyed every second of it. It was great to be part of something so much greater than yourself. Played for Europe, played for my country, my continent, my teammates. Shared so many moments and then had some very good matches with my friend, Sergio. For me, it was a very, very life-changing experience, yes.

Q. You've played well in the desert and you've won in Dubai and got two second-place finishes here; what is it about this part of the world?
RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: I really like it. When I break it down, it's hard not to like it. It's normally sunshine here. The courses are great. The greens are very good. It's a little bit of breeze, warm weather, and there are lots of palm trees. It reminds me of home, of the Canary Islands. If I break it down to that, I think that's probably why I'm happy playing here.

Q. Most people would probably love to have your off-season, skiing in the Sierra Nevadas, surfing in Indonesia. Why is that good for you?
RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: Well, not all in life is golf. I like to ski with my family. I like to surf, as well, with friends, so if I can find a bit of time between our busy schedules to do it in the off-season, it's really the best time to do it. It just gets my mind off golf and gets me -- I mean, I like to be in nature, as well. It's a good combo. It's a good combo.

Q. If you had to give yourself a handicap in skiing, what would it be, and surfing?
RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: Skiing, I'm better. I would say I'm a 5 handicap. Surfing, I'm 20, depending on the day.

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