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March 15, 2018

Graeme McDowell

Orlando, Florida

Q. Well played. Good start. It's a home game for you this week. Just reflect on your round today at Bay Hill?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, it's been a golf course that's been good to me in the past. My sort of history here's been a little up-and-down. I've had a couple seconds and a lot of missed cuts. But when I do play well here, I play well. And like you say, home game, which I'm not sure if I get more sleep or less sleep when the kids are in the house at a home game. No, it's great to be home, lots of family and friends here this week. And this is a golf course I like. Second year without Mr. Palmer here and great to see such a good field and the golf course in the type of shape it's in.

Q. Players really talking up the golf course, saying kind of the best shape a lot of guys have seen it in. Would you agree?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: I think the golf course's evolved a lot over the last 10, 15 years here. Going from having a lot of rough around the greens to lots of run off areas, greens continue to get better and better here, and that is one of the big things about the legacy of this tournament and Mr. Palmer is this is a bit of a love/hate golf course for a lot of guys. Obviously with the type of quality of the shape it's in and the way the golf course has improved over the years, I think we'll keep seeing the best players in the world coming back here.

Q. I talked to you in L.A., great couple of rounds there at Riviera. Just reflect about what you took from the performance that week into the last couple of weeks and TOUR and where you are right now?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Obviously L.A. was a disappointing Sunday. But it's nice to be up there. I would have rather done it that way than have a bad score on Friday and go home. It was nice to be in contention for three days, to feel the heat on a Sunday. I played pretty solidly at Valspar last week, the game continues to be trending in the right direction. I feel like mentally I'm starting to gear into where I need to be and it's just a case of really being patient. It's rounds like today that I'll really kind of gain that confidence and belief that I need and I just got to keep pouring that back in and some day, some where, we'll get it going again.

Q. Is it an advantage being a home game this week?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: I just said that I'm not sure if I get less sleep or more sleep when I sleep in my own bed, to be honest with you, with the kids running around. I got two kids under four. So it's a mad house, but, no, listen, great to be home this week. This is a home game for me, lots of family and friends here and a golf course with great memories. My history around here's a little rugged, I've had a lot of missed cuts, but I had a couple of seconds and couple of top-10s and I do like this golf course.

Q. How about playing at the King's place and the memory there?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, listen, the legacy of this event's very, very important and I was very honored to be a part of the Host Committee last year and to be part of starting to brainstorm about what we need to do here at Bay Hill to maintain the legacy of Mr. Palmer. I think the way the golf course has evolved the last 10 years here, lots of run off areas, the rough around has really been shaped and contoured and the shape that it's in this week -- I think this is a love/hate golf course for guys, but I think the type of field that we have here this week obviously Big Cat in the field and obviously lots and lots of top players, it speaks volumes about what guys thought of Mr. Palmer and what they think of his tournament.

Q. What were the keys to this morning's round?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Kept it in the fairway. Obviously hit a lot of greens. Burned a lot of edges with the putter, but I hung in there. I think that the between why guys like Tiger do so well around this golf course is you have to be really smart with your iron play, have to really position the ball. It's an iron player's golf course. Fairways are not, they're not the most narrow on TOUR at all, you can hit a lot of fairways out here, but your iron play really has to be dialed in and you got to putt it well. So I think that if I can continue to keep hitting it in the fairway the way I am and my iron play feels pretty good we can continue to compete this weekend.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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