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November 15, 2018

Rory McIlroy

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Q. 69, so always nice to have a total that starts with a 6. Just give us your thoughts on the round?
RORY McILROY: It's been a while. It was good. I started off well, 2-under through three. Gave those shots back pretty early on. But yeah, sort of persevered with that.

That's the best I've played in a while. I feel like I got a little bit better last week in South Africa, and then again, feel like there was a few improvements today. Driver was better. Got the ball in play more. So it was nice. It could have been a couple better, but I'm happy with that.

Q. Is that the bedrock, the driver, in a sense?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it is. I think if I drive it well, it feeds through the rest of my game. That club has been off for a lot of this year. I've had big misses with it and big misses at the wrong times that have cost me, and you know, it's good to see it back under control.

Q. On the scheduling issue, obviously caused a bit of a stir. The regulations with regards to future captaincy and all of that kind of thing, does that have any effect on what your thinking might be in terms of how and where you'll play next year?
RORY McILROY: It's 20 years away.

Q. So, no?

Q. But I mean, it's a regulation; it is something that may crop up in all probability in your career.
RORY McILROY: It's 20 years away.

Q. What's been the reaction to your sort of possible next year?
RORY McILROY: From who?

Q. Did you speak to Keith before you spoke to us on Tuesday, for example?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I had a chat with Keith Friday at Sun City, and told him what my plans were for next year, yeah.

Q. Obviously he'd like you to play every week; he knows you can't do that.
RORY McILROY: Look, everyone has to look out for themselves and next year I'm looking out for me. At the same time, I don't have to make a decision on it. I didn't say that it was a definite. It's up in the air. I don't have to make a decision till May. We'll see how it goes.

Q. Are you surprised at some of the reaction, like McGinley's written a column today on SKY Sports.
RORY McILROY: Again, everyone looks out for themselves. McGinley is on The European Tour board. He's involved and he has to protect what he has, and I get it.

Again, look, everyone has to do what's best for them, and for me next year, I'm trying to do what's best for me to help get back to the best player in the world and try to win majors again.

Q. And if it causes a stir, that's a sacrifice worth --
RORY McILROY: Geez, I'd cause all the stirs in the world if I go back to winning majors.

Q. Do you feel like there's a low one out there after a round like this?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I think so. It's a golf course that I've had low numbers on before. There's four par 5s. There's a couple of short par 4s that you can take advantage of. You know, there's a couple of new hole locations today that they haven't used before, and I think that probably kept the scoring from being lower.

Obviously there's a couple of 6-unders out there. You know, for the most part, they can tuck the pins away a little bit and that makes it a little more difficult but I definitely see something in the mid 60s out there for sure.

Q. Was that drive up the last in particular pleasing?
RORY McILROY: It was nice. There was a couple of good drives out there, and even the bad swings that I put on them. I felt like I made a really bad swing on the 8th hole that maybe with the other drive would have went out of play and today it was only a couple yards off the fairway.

So it's nice to just give yourself a margin for error. You have to make it as easy as possible for yourself I guess.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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