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March 22, 2018

Rory McIlroy

Austin, Texas

Q. What was the difference between yesterday and today?
RORY McILROY: I just didn't get behind early. That was the thing. It was a sort of tight game up until we were all square after 7. Then I went 2-up after 9. I just played more solid. I only made one mistake. I made a bogey on 7 apart from that, it was pretty good golf.

Q. When you are Rory McIlroy and you are the favorite and you get out ahead, what does that do to the opponent, you think?
RORY McILROY: It doesn't matter who you are, if you get out ahead early in the format, over 18 holes it just puts pressure on your opponent. It forces them to try to go after a few more pins, be more aggressive with their putts. Johnny had to try and be aggressive for the last few holes out there. I just kept hitting good shots and giving myself chances. That was enough.

Q. You have a chance now tomorrow?
RORY McILROY: I do. I have got a chance tomorrow. Depending on what happens in the game behind. If Brian were to beat Peter, that would make it very interesting going into tomorrow. So yeah, I'm happy with how everything went. I wish I had -- I feel like I played okay yesterday. Had the result been different, it might have been a more stress-free Friday. I'm looking forward to the match tomorrow and at least I have given myself a chance to progress.

Q. Talking about stress, at least the mental part of this, you are coming off a win where you are in contention, played great and won. You play a competitive round a day and it's match play. A little more stressful, isn't it?
RORY McILROY: It is. I could have done with that extra day, to be honest. I came out a little flat and that hurt me. I was down early and couldn't recover. That extra day would have helped. That's the price you pay winning the week before the match play, I guess.

Q. What was the difference between today and yesterday, please?
RORY McILROY: Today it was a little tougher today. So I didn't make as many mistakes on the front nine. I got ahead sort of early. That was the big difference. I was 4 down after 9 and today I was 2-up. So it was a little bit different. I didn't make many mistakes. I made a bogey on the par-3, 7th. Apart from that, I think I made four other birdies and was 3-under par for 17 holes and that was good enough.

Q. Most important thing is you have still got a chance?
RORY McILROY: I do. Depending -- it's out of my hands, unfortunately. I wish it wasn't but if I go out tomorrow and win again, I have got a decent chance to progress. Hopefully Brian does me a favor and wins this match behind. It will be an interesting Friday..

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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