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July 20, 2017

Rory McIlroy

Southport, England

RORY McILROY: Yeah, like I was nervous going out. I was a little anxious, timid. Just not really probably just not as much belief in myself as I should have had. JP gave me a good talking on the second tee box, and sort of reminded me of where I was. That helped, that got me back in a positive frame of mind. I had a good pitch shot on 7, even though it didn't hit the green. It was better strike, better golf shot. And then I took a little bit from that. From there it was, well, you know, it's 12 holes and try and emulate that (inaudible).

I was thinking, geez, here we go. Those thoughts ran through my mind, I was thinking, geez, here we go again, but I just needed to stay patient and stay with it. I didn't get angry out there at all. I didn't let my head drop too much. So I kept a good, positive attitude. And it turned around for me, thankfully. It was nice to see the putt on 18 go in and close out today with something really positive.

With the weather we're expecting tomorrow, I still feel I'm in the golf tournament. If I can go out and play a good quality round of golf in the morning and try to get in the clubhouse somewhere around even par, under par, I'll still be around for the weekend.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it was big. I guess after I got -- I got it up and down on 7. I hit it left off the tee -- yeah, it was big. There's a big difference between 5-over par and 6-over. And that was big. And then I started hitting some real quality shots coming in. Hit two good shots into 9. And then I started to hit a lot of greens and give myself a lot of chances. It was a big momentum, if you can say you have momentum being 5-over after 7.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RORY McILROY: Just a bit of lack of confidence just over the last couple of weeks, and just letting that get in my head a little bit. Yeah, it's a major championship. These are the four biggest tournaments of the year. And you want to go out there and shoot a good score and get off to a good start. I'm always more nervous playing in these four tournaments than I am anything else. And I felt that out there today just because of the lack-of-self belief I had going out. But somehow I was able to find it halfway through the round and, again, that's what I'm going to concentrate on going into tomorrow.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RORY McILROY: Yeah, a little bit. I felt a little something, yeah, I just -- I trusted what I was working on on the range. I sort of felt I was caught in between on the first six holes. Yeah, I found a little swing thought or a little trigger that I think is going to help. JP, he reminded me who I was, basically. He said, "You're Rory McIlroy, what are you doing?" (Laughter).

I said, "Yeah." At that point I mumbled and said, "Whatever." But it did, it helped. It definitely helped. It kept me positive. So he did a great job.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RORY McILROY: Yeah, thankfully he's not had to do it too often. But, yeah, he's had to do it a few times. And he's never afraid to do that. And I feel today it helped a lot more than at other times because I needed something. It wasn't I couldn't look within myself. I was trying to look within myself. But JP kept me positive out there, so that was very much appreciated.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RORY McILROY: Yeah, yeah, it's turning -- I could be standing here and hit 18 greens and shot 1-over and missed every putt and feel terrible. But because of the way I started, I actually feel really positive. It's a bit like Ryder Cup at Medinah in '12. We're 10-6 down on Saturday night but we feel like we were right in with a chance, because we won the last two points. It's sort of like that. Even though there's a lot of golf left, in other circumstances it might have been a disappointing day. But just with the way I finished, I feel really good about it.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RORY McILROY: No, not at all. I was up, I'm an early riser, so I followed the guys going off really early. And first hole looked like to be playing about a par-6. I thought that would have an effect on me. We knew this was probably going to be the best day of the weekend. And I expected something around 5-under par to be leading at the end of the day.

Again, I'm really happy with what I've done this afternoon after the start. If I go out tomorrow under bad conditions and shoot something in the 60s, I feel like I'll be right there for the weekend.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RORY McILROY: I hope so. I don't know what the -- yeah, I was 4-over through three holes last year in Boston. And won that tournament. So I've done it before.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RORY McILROY: It was on the 6th tee. 10th tee -- yeah, I mean geez, 5-over through 9, it wasn't the start I was really looking for. It wasn't going to be all happy and whatever. But, on the 6th tee he just sort of reminded me who I was and what I was capable of. And gave me a few positive thoughts.

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