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August 11, 2017

Rory McIlroy

Charlotte, North Carolina

Q. You had a mini-come back at the end. How was the day overall?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I mean, I thought conditions were just as tough, if not tougher this morning, as they were yesterday. You know, I was battling. I was scrambling well to be under par for that back nine this morning.

I probably didn't quite hit it as well off the tee as I did yesterday, and wasn't putting myself in positions where I could go at a lot of pins. But greens are firm. Some of the pin positions are really tricky. Anything under par today is a really good score.

Had a little bit of a mini-rally at the end which I needed, but you know, the four bogeys on the front nine, that's just down to being out of position off the tee and not being able to get it very close with my second shot.

Hopefully tidy that up going into tomorrow, but you know, obviously Kis is on fire right now. He's 8-under par for the tournament. But take him out of the equation, I feel like I'm still right there in the tournament. It's only going to get a little bit tougher, I'd say, as the day goes on, as this course dries up a little bit more. Wind is up a little bit, not much, but these guys going out this afternoon, they break 70, they have done a hell of a job.

Q. The 10th hole on the third shot, how difficult was that and how pleased were you with the result?
RORY McILROY: On the first hole -- or sorry, the 10th, the first of the day. Yeah, I didn't expect it to be there. I knew it was a little right with the second shot but a little bit unlucky to get it going down the cart path. It was really the only option I had. It was -- I had a 6-iron. I dropped it in a pretty bad lie, so I couldn't carry it over the cart path. So hit a 6-iron. Just said, okay, I'll bounce it up the cart path and see where this goes.

Luckily it got out of the bunker and on to the other side. That could have been a six or a seven quite easily. So to actually get away with a five, I actually felt pretty good about myself going to the next tee.

Q. Where would you have wanted it to finish? What would you have been happy with?
RORY McILROY: That shot? The bunker. I was just trying to get it in the bunker and luckily I hit it with enough speed and it got up and out of there.

Q. Have you had a shot like that before recently?
RORY McILROY: Fortunately not. I've been hitting it a bit better than that. No.

Q. The long break on the seventh tee, what are you thinking?
RORY McILROY: Whether I should go over and say Andre or not. That's the only thing I was thinking. A little pissed at the minute. Just gathered my thoughts. I knew there was a couple of chances coming up. I said to Harry, "Let's birdie two of the last three."

He said, "No, let's birdie the last three." So I was able to do the first part. Had a good chance at the last and didn't quite convert. I feel a lot better about myself being 2-over for the tournament instead of 4-over. I think it's quite a big difference. Get out tomorrow, get off to hopefully a better start. I feel like I'll still be right in this tournament.

Q. How much hope and momentum, as a result of that strong finish, do you take into the weekend?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, as I said 2-over for the tournament instead of 4-over is a much better position to be because even making two shots up on this golf course is tough at times. I feel good. I have to see where I'm at the end of the day.

Right now Kis is 8-under par. We'll see if he finishes at that. He's playing the last now. But you know, as everyone says, there's no winning post there. There's still 36 holes to go and a lot of golf to be played. As I said, I still feel I'm right there in the tournament.

Q. Yesterday you said you were hoping conditions would be better this morning. Were they worse than you thought?
RORY McILROY: They were a little trickier than I thought. I thought just with the dew on the ground and being a little more humid in the morning, I thought the course might be a little softer. But the greens were rock hard.

The putting surfaces were better, definitely. They weren't quite as grainy and there wasn't as much traffic on them obviously this morning as there was yesterday afternoon. Surfaces were a little bit better but overall it was still pretty tough out there.

Q. You've gone low on this course a couple of times in the past. Different layout obviously or slightly different. Do you still see a really low round out there?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, but I guess a low round used to be a 61 or a 62. A low round now is a 66 or a 67. You're playing your ass off to get that. I'd say, if I shoot two 67s over the weekend, I'm going to have a really good chance.

Q. On 14, did you want to leave it there?
RORY McILROY: That was a chunk 5-wood. Yeah, that wasn't quite what I had in mind. I guess my -- I still had the shot I hit yesterday in my head, and I was trying to sort of, yeah, make sure I wasn't going left. I made sure of that part. I just didn't get enough clubface on the ball.

Q. Do you feel like you have two 67s in you?
RORY McILROY: I do, for sure. If I drive it a little bit better than I did today, I do, yeah.

Q. Looking at the overall leaderboard, does it surprise you, or did you expect so many players over par?
RORY McILROY: Look, it surprised me; this is not the Quail Hollow we have gotten to know over the last ten years. It's a completely different golf course. Even if they didn't do anything else with the golf course and just changed it to full bermuda like it is now, all of a sudden makes the golf course two shots more difficult. Just with the lies that you get in the rough, trickiness around the greens.

Even just that -- so yeah, it's a much tougher practice, and I'm not -- after what I've witnessed over the past two days, no, I'm not surprised to see so many guys be over par.

Q. Just on the 10th, the ball bounced on to the grass, and you took a drop because you were still on the edge of the path?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, and dropped it in a very nice lie.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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