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May 25, 2017

Shane Lowry

Surrey, England

SHANE LOWRY: Obviously I love this place. I love being here. I love the tournament. The crowds are great. I like the golf course. Yeah, I'm happy with that.

Q. Now you got off to a nice start, a couple of birdies in the first six holes and then back-to-back bogeys. Obviously that's not what you want. But then you responded with three consecutive birdies?
SHANE LOWRY: If anything, I feel good with my putter. Like Dermot said to me walking off -- goes your putter. I obviously made a couple of bogeys on 8 and 9, but I didn't hit too bad of shots. They weren't necessarily destructive shots and obviously I made a few birdies in a row. I knew the back nine is gettable and you've got three par 5s, although it be -- 17 and 18 are quite tough par 5s.

There are a lot of chances out there when you hit it good off the tee. And like I say around here you need to par the tough holes and try to make your score everywhere else.

Q. In general the season has been bubbling beneath the surface. There has been the prospect of four good rounds in a row. This place, when it brings the best out in your golf, could this be the week, basically.
SHANE LOWRY: I hope so. Obviously there's a long way to go but I definitely got off to a good start and got myself right in the tournament. You can't win the tournament on Thursday but you certainly can lose it and I've been doing that quite a bit this year. Been struggling making cuts, and when you make the cut on the number, you're struggling to get yourself in contention on Saturday.

Hopefully can go out there tomorrow, shoot a decent number again and get myself out late on Saturday and see where that leaves me.

Q. You know when you come somewhere and you feel comfortable, you've played well before, how important is that?
SHANE LOWRY: I do feel comfortable here. There are certain tee shots I don't particularly like but you just have to step up and hit a good tee shot.

Like for instance, I'm not a big fan of the tee shot on 18 but hit a great shot down there today. To be honest I was planning to play it as a three-shotter but when I got down there, perfect number for a 5-wood and just hit that.

It's a lovely place, stay in a lovely hotel and my family are here. It just a nice week this week. BMW do a great job, and European Tour do a great job this week. So it's a great tournament to be at.

There's a long way to go. Still three rounds to go. I think it's going to get, if anything, get more difficult. A lot of people were saying the golf course is going to play quite easy and I was looking at the leaderboard early on, and Graeme Storm was 6-under after ten. I was like, that was obviously wrong because everyone was saying it was difficult.

Conditions out there, it's tough. You look at 17, Ross hit a pretty okay tee shot and he goes down and he's got to leave himself -- he can barely advance it 120 yards. Quite thick rough out there. It's a place I love coming to and I'm happy to be here this week and hope I can do a decent job.

All the tee shots are the same. They have obviously taken out bunkers and lowered bunkers and changed the green complexes a little bit but I personally don't think there's that many -- doesn't feel like there's that many changes and they have done a great job and they have made it a lot better.

Like there's holes that needed to be changed, like any of them, 16 are really good holes, and 16 is just a lovely short par 4.

You know, the eighth hole is a really good hole now, because you can't hit it over and leave yourself a wedge in. You kind of have to lay it back and leave yourself 7- or 8-iron into that green. But the green is fair, unlike the last few years, the green hasn't been fair.

The changes are great, but like you say, the course has not changed all that much.

Q. Are the greens putting well?
SHANE LOWRY: The surface is perfect, yeah. If anything, not as quick as what -- but they are perfect.

Q. What was the perfect number on 18?
SHANE LOWRY: To be honest I was just trying to get right half of the green or in the right bunker I thought would be straightforward enough up-and-down. I had 230 front, 242 flag. A perfect 5-wood and caught it lovely up in the air and landed softly. Didn't hit a great putt but was happy to make four.

Q. What are your plans leading up to the U.S. Open?
SHANE LOWRY: I'm playing Memorial next week. Yeah, head home and fly to Memorial Monday morning and have a week off after that and come home for a few days and head back out.

Q. Do you know much about Erin Hills?
SHANE LOWRY: I've seen pictures. Be interesting. I'm hoping the rough isn't as long as it looks in the photos. Yeah, I mean, we just have to see when we get there. I hope it's nice. I personally don't like when they try and make inland links golf courses, but listen, that's the course we're at and we'll have to go there and try and do a good job.

Q. Mixed memories possibly from last year's U.S. Open, played so well but didn't go the way you wanted in the final round. What did you take away from that week?
SHANE LOWRY: Don't know. To be honest. I've talked about it that much over the last year. Didn't win. End of story. I finished second. It was a great week. I showed that I can win and I showed that I'm as good as anyone.

That's what I had to take out of it. Obviously I didn't do a great job in taking the positives out of it the end of last year, but look, that's all behind me now. I feel like I'm playing good golf.

But to be honest, I feel like I'm doing everything I can to play good golf and that's all I can do. I'm going out every day on the golf course and every day on the range and giving it my best and that's all I can do.

Q. Those bounceback birdies on 8 and 9?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, they were big. I hit a great a great shot into 10, a 7-iron and holed a nice putt from about 15 or 20 feet.

11 obviously is a good chance. Good drive and hit a wedge to six feet.

12 is obviously an easy par 5, but I had to lay off. Hit a great wedge in there to three feet. If anything, I probably could have made a few more on the way in. 14, chance on 14, and power lip out on 13. Missed a good chance on 17, as well. 16, as well. Good chances coming in. Made a good par on 15.

Q. You said that you weren't able to take the positives out of the U.S. Open. Why was that? Why was there a hangover, do you think?
SHANE LOWRY: To be honest, if I knew that -- I don't know. I don't know. Obviously I was quite disappointed. It's not easy, I suppose you go into the next major, saying you went to the British Open and PGA and people are talking about you winning, and I've never had that before. It's just not easy. And then obviously The Ryder Cup, was trying to make that and didn't do that.

So all in all, I was pretty disappointed with how it ended up last year, but look, that's behind me now. We're here this year and I've obviously not played that much this year, and when I've played, it's been a bit rusty I feel.

I have a great run of tournaments coming up over the summer, so looking forward to doing well and trying to get up that FedExCup and Race to Dubai and back up the World Rankings and back to where I feel I belong, I suppose.

Q. In general do you like the U.S. Open style of test?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, I love it. You know, even though, shooting 4- or 5-under, around here, I think it's a proper test of golf. You need to go out there and every shot demands proper attention. I think that kind of golf suits me. You look at the courses I do well on. I do all right on Torrey Pines every year. I need to go out and just play proper golf, that's what I feel like, and suits my game.

Q. Firm and fast, suits you as well?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, you get there, like I shot 11-under for four rounds around there, when it was rock hard. Obviously won by two and that's the best golf I can play. I love places like that. That's why I love playing those tournaments.

Q. With Bridgestone and the French -- looking back, did you second-guess yourself on that? Did you get it wrong?
SHANE LOWRY: I was always playing the Bridgestone to be honest. You win a tournament like that at my age, and to be able to not go back and defend it would be very disappointing.

Obviously I didn't go back and play well. I didn't go back and give it a good chance. But look, I had a great week and I was there defending that tournament. It's just the little things. You don't get to win many tournaments. It's hard to win tournaments. So when you do, you want to enjoy them and you want to take the perks that come with it.

Q. Delighted with that?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, I'm pretty happy with that score. Got me in a nice position. Obviously a long way to go, but have a nice afternoon and nice morning tomorrow and go out tomorrow afternoon and try and shoot a decent score again.

Q. Bit of a momentum stopper on 8 and 9. But you really turned it around nicely.
SHANE LOWRY: Two difficult holes and I got myself out of position. Kind of that's the way this golf course is but there is chances there when you hit good shots. I gave myself a lot of chances coming in, and I played the back nine on 4-under. To be honest it could have been five, six, seven, it was that good. But I'm really happy. My mother and father are here and I'm sure they are happy enough. It's nice to go out and play well in front of them. I'm happy to be here. I love this week and looking forward to tomorrow.

Q. What's your comfort level on this golf course?
SHANE LOWRY: I said to my caddie walking off the last green, if we could play here every week, I would be happy enough. Yeah, I love it around here. Great tournament. BMW do a great job, and The European Tour, and the golf course, the changes they made are great, and the condition the golf course is in is the best I've ever seen it.

Q. A lot happening, a new father; how are you balancing fatherhood and professional golf?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, it's great. It's obviously harder to leave home now and I'm doing a bit of traveling, especially over and back to the States. I love it. She's great and my wife's great, as well. We're having a great time and it's great to see her growing up and getting bigger. She's getting a little personality. I miss her when I'm away but that's the job I'm in.

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