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June 3, 2018

Graeme McDowell

Brescia, Italy

Q. Level par in round three, not quite what you're looking for, bounced back today. Tell us what the difference was?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I think last-group scenario a little bit yesterday. Kind of psychologically, being in the last group, you feel you're sort of protecting something, and I think we all got off to a slow start really, all three of us.

I just didn't really recover on the back nine the way the guys did. My putter let me down coming in. I missed a short one on 16 and 17 and bogeyed the last to take the edge off unfortunately. I look back with regret on yesterday.

Obviously today was a lot more like it. Played a lot better tee-to-green than I have all week, and the putter remained hot again. You know, I'll be happy with that, taking the positives away. It's been a positive two weeks for me and something to pour into the confidence for the summer.

Q. Since being announced as vice captain for The Ryder Cup, you've never looked more likely to be part of it. With the play right now and what happened last week, is there a part of you that's been spurred on to be part of that situation as a player?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I think so. These 72 holes, as you say, are probably as two good of tournaments I've put together this year after ironically being ruled out of The Ryder Cup Team, well not really ruled out, but you know what I'm saying.

Yeah, I think I took a lot of inspiration, just being part of The Ryder Cup thing last week, and I also felt like it was a weight lifted off my shoulders, as well, from a point of view of coming back to Europe and having nothing to lose and enjoy playing golf, and it seems to have paid off the last couple weeks.

Just trying to take this belief and confidence forward into the summer and I've got a lot of work to do. This has really been a nice two weeks.

Q. Don't put your clubs away just yet. Might be more action to go.
GRAEME McDOWELL: I don't think so but I like your confidence. Lots of birdies. I'm happy where I'm at. I'll be packing them up.

Q. How pleasing is that after a difficult start yesterday to get off to your best round of the week and finish the tournament?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Always nice to go low on Sundays, and that's the X-factor that's been missing in my game a little bit the last few years really. Days like today are really important. Really pours a lot of confidence and belief back into the game.

Saturday was disappointing, with a level par in easy conditions, being in that last group I think maybe had that sort of protecting mentality a little bit, when deep down, I knew we had to keep the accelerator down. But we all got off to slow starts and I missed a couple short ones coming in last night but great to bounce back today and play as well as I did.

Q. How nice to have two solid tournaments and take plenty of positives going forward?
GRAEME McDOWELL: This was a really important two weeks for me. I've still got work to do in the States, so making the commitment to come back here was step one, backing myself to play well.

I think The Ryder Cup vice captaincy announcement last week inspired me a little bit. To be part of The Ryder Cup setup and be talking about it and feeling it, and also lifted a weight off my shoulders, that subconscious pressure of trying to make the team. It freed me up and I managed to play well the last couple weeks and take some nice confidence into the summer.

Q. If your form continues, you could be on the team as a player. What would that mean?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Since I got announced as vice captain, as someone said earlier, I've never looked more likely to be on the team than I have the last two weeks. It's ironic, but listen, being a player on The Ryder Cup Team in France this year is still a huge goal of mine this summer and I think it's achievable, still. It's going to require a lot of great golf. There's a lot of great players ahead of me. But you know, listen, if I can play pressure-free golf and enjoy my golf the way I have the last few weeks, I think I can give it a run.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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