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July 8, 2018

Graeme McDowell

Ballyliffin, Republic of Ireland

Q. You were saying yesterday you were going to take next week off, but you're going to tell me that's not true, aren't you?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I think I may have changed my mind there slightly. I was frustrated yesterday. Frustrated is probably overstating it a little bit. My game was so close and I was feeling maybe a bit of fatigue in my body and I was maybe overreacting a little bit. I've played so much golf and there's no point quitting now when we have more Open spots up next week. Last Chance Saloon. Go home, mum's home-cooking, go up to Portrush, recharge and get ready. I played pretty well at Gullane last time we were there. I just need to get focus and can get my head into it.

Q. How was The Irish Open 2018 for you?
GRAEME McDOWELL: It was a great week, sun shone, crowds were great. Golf course was more of a test than I expected, shall we say. I think I called for 20-plus earlier in the week. I got that slightly wrong, shall we say. Birdies were much more difficult to come by than I expected. The golf course is firm and difficult to get close to flags. It eluded me all week.

Happy the way I hit the ball this weekend but just couldn't get it going. Onwards and upwards. Enjoyed my experience here.

Q. It's been well documented why you missed out on Open Qualifying but still chance to be there via The Scottish Open.
GRAEME McDOWELL: It's felt like an awfully long week since Sunday night since I lost my clubs and the 48 hours that followed and trying to come here and refocus and get ready for The Irish Open.

Just have to reset now. Go over to Scotland. Played all right at Gullane last time we were there. It's my last chance to try to get into The Open, a championship where it's a golf course I know well and I feel like I can compete if I was there.

You know, it's going to be a good field next week. I'm going to have to play well but we'll be giving it everything.

Q. How was the week for you?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Every day felt like the same. Felt like I hit a lot of good shots. Couldn't really get it going. Hit it really well on the weekend to be honest with you. Hit a lot of fairways. Felt like I figured this place out a little bit off the tee but still, very difficult to get your irons within 20 feet and it was a really slow week on the greens. Walk away feeling okay about my game, which is nice, going into next week.

Last Chance Saloon for The Open Championship, and just reset the next couple days and get ready to go.

Q. You changed your mind yesterday. You said you were going to take a couple of weeks off?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, changed my mind. The Open Championship is very important to me and I think I overreacted a little bit yesterday. You make a lot of bogeys on the golf course; you have a lot of time to think out there and sometimes you come up with the wrong answers.

I slept on it and think it's important that I go there and be focused. Played so much golf the last few months, there's no point giving up now.

Q. Small margins out there, but do you feel your game is nearly there?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Very much. So I saw enough this week to keep me happy about where my game's going. This golf course was tricky off the tee. Like I say, felt like I figured it out as the week went on. Iron play continued to be pretty solid. Got a little bit of work to do with the putter. I'm going to putt it simply down to a set of greens that weren't really fitting my eye this week. Couldn't complain about the surface; they were perfect. They were just very flat, very difficult to read. We'll put it down to anomaly on the greens and move on and hopefully get it cranked up next week.

Q. How nice to play at home?
GRAEME McDOWELL: It's been fantastic, crowds have been great and really proud for Ballyliffin and the way the course played. Really proud for The Irish Open.

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