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July 6, 2018

Rory McIlroy

Ballyliffin, Republic of Ireland

Q. We know how well you hit the golf ball yesterday and attitude has been great but how much are you going to have to dig deep with that attitude right now, I'm sure simmering with that finish a little bit?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, a little bit. Just two poor tee shots on the last two holes and just put myself out of position. It was hard to make par from there. Felt like I hit the ball okay again today. It's definitely going in the right direction. Didn't hole anything, really, again. Held a nice one for birdie on 6 but that was really it. I finished out okay. Going to have to hit it closer and hole a few over the weekend if I want to have a chance.

Q. Was the finish a buildup of the frustration that you had not holed enough?
RORY McILROY: Not particularly. It was two bad swings off the tee. The one on 8 wasn't that bad a swing, just went through the fairway more than I thought and sort of in two minds off the 9th tee about what to hit off the tee, it was either a 2-iron, a 3-wood, and I was trying to hit the 2-iron a bit hard and got ahead of it. Just two poor swings and two bogeys.

It's not as if the guys are getting away out there. It's getting firm and it's tough to get it close to these hole locations even with short irons in your hand. I'm six behind at the minute and hopefully I'm not too far more than that behind going into the weekend.

Q. Talking about the subtle nuances on the greens, are they tricky to read sometimes?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, they are. It seems a lot of putts do two things, it's going left-to-right the first half and right-to-left. If you get it a bit firm through the first half and it doesn't take that right-to-left, they are tricky. If you see a few drop, you can get some confidence and be a bit more confident in your reads. I'll just keep plugging myself away and giving myself opportunities and hopefully they will fall on the weekend.

Q. The crowds will give you motivation?
RORY McILROY: The crowds have been fantastic and the weather has obviously cooperated. It's a fantastic atmosphere. I'm sure the guys this afternoon are going to get the same. Just looking forward to playing in front of them again tomorrow.

Q. A 73, is it a case of what might have been?
RORY McILROY: A little bit I guess. I mean, I didn't play maybe quite as well as yesterday but I still had chances to make birdies. You know, I bogeyed three of the last five or something like that, which isn't great, but yeah, I played okay again. I hit a couple of loose tee shots coming in and cost me a couple of bogeys later on. The game felt okay. Didn't hole anything again on the greens but hopefully I can turn that around over the weekend.

Q. That lipout on 18, your ninth, must really hurt?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it sort of sums up the last couple days. Even the good ones aren't going in. So one of those things. We'll keep plugging away and try just as hard over the weekend.

Q. At the moment, the lead is 7-under par, six off. Do you think that 7-under par total will be topped by the end of the day?
RORY McILROY: I'm not sure. I mean, it's getting firm and fast out there. Obviously the conditions are perfect. Someone, you know, one of the guys that shot 4- or 5-under yesterday might shoot another good one today and maybe get to eight or nine. But I can't really worry about that. I just have to worry about myself and go out tomorrow and shoot a good one and get myself in the tournament.

Q. Great to be involved all four days?
RORY McILROY: It's a change, yeah. It's a success in terms of the last few years. Nice to play the weekend.

Q. Obviously a frustration finish but that is indicative of links golf, if you stray from the tee, you can obviously get into problems?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it's tough. I kept saying all week, it is a matter of putting your ball in play off the tee and if you can do that, you can score and you have control of your golf ball from the fairway. When you don't hit fairways, it's tough to hit the greens. It's tough to get it anywhere close to the holes. Those last two bogeys were bad tee shots and out of position from there. The rest of the round was okay. I felt like I drove the ball well for the most part, hit my irons pretty good. I missed a couple of shots in the wrong side which cost me but yeah, it's just another one of those days where I couldn't quite get it going.

Q. It was almost very similar on the greens, the putts wouldn't drop. You gave yourself eagle chances, so you must be enthused by the fact you're giving yourself chances and hope that sooner or later the putts will start to drop?
RORY McILROY: That's all I can do is keep giving myself those chances and not get too frustrated. If I can keep knocking on the door, hopefully sooner or later it will turn around.

Q. You talked about how much you liked the course. How much did the old girl test your patience?
RORY McILROY: A little bit. The way it's playing right now, this golf course, it's great. It's the way a links should play. It's firm and fast. You have to think about where you're landing your golf ball and what you're hitting off tees and even giving yourself angles into some of these tight hole locations.

Tested my patience obviously. Mumbling a bit from myself going from the 18th green to the first tee after that putt. One of those things. I'm here for the weekend and at least give myself an opportunity to go out tomorrow and shoot a low one.

Q. What's the approach? A place where you can't get greedy.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, if you start it take too much on off the tee and leave yourself shorter irons in, you bring more of the bunkers into play and the rough into play more and it's just not worth it I think. So it's just a matter of being patient, hitting fairways, hitting greens, giving yourself chances and if you can get a few to drop early on, then hopefully you get a bit of momentum from that.

Q. Great for you and the tournament that you're here this year.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, this is my second made cut in the last six years maybe. Yeah, it's good. It's better. I'm glad I'm around for the weekend. It's a tournament I've always wanted to play well at. It's not nice missing, especially as tournament host. At least I get to play another couple of days and hopefully play my way up the leaderboard.

Q. Are the crowds motivating you?
RORY McILROY: They are fantastic. The weather is obviously great and that's brought a lot of people out. It's a great atmosphere out there. It's enjoyable to play in front of them and hopefully I can give them something to cheer about over the last couple days.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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