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November 17, 2018

Rory McIlroy

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Q. Very well done, I'm sure as you reflect on that, not the score you were hoping for, but given what it leaderboard is looking like and given what you've produced on the golf course, how do you use that as motivation for now what you hope is a big Sunday for you?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I wish I was a little bit closer to the lead. I missed a couple opportunities coming in. Bogeyed 13 but had a 6-iron in my hand on 14, the par 5, and made par there.

Good birdie on 15. Had a chance on 16 and then just a really bad swing on 17.

Yeah, I was thinking if I could have got to 12-under par, I'd have a really good chance going into tomorrow, but it is so bunched. There's a lot of guys around the lead, and it's just there's so many guys between 9-under and 14-under that I'm going to need something special tomorrow to sort of get up there.

Q. Do you feel like you've seen enough positives? I know we've talked about the driver; that there is a very low one out there tomorrow.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, there is. I thought it got quite tricky this afternoon. The wind got up on the back nine and that made it a little tougher. I think the forecast is pretty similar tomorrow.

But yeah, I think even with the conditions, we've seen guys shoot 65 and 66s. I mean, 9, I'm thinking 17-under probably wins this tomorrow. So I need to go out there and shoot two 4-unders each nine and see how it goes.

Q. A lot of weary players, seeing the energy levels, how are yours?
RORY McILROY: I'm fine. I'm looking forward to taking a little bit of a break, but give it one last, final push tomorrow and try to shoot a low one and see what happens.

Q. What's your lowest around this course?
RORY McILROY: I think my lowest has been 65. I don't think I went any lower around here but I've shot a lot of them, a lot of 65s and 66s.

If I were to shoot 65 tomorrow, get to 16-under, it might hold up, especially with the conditions the way they are going to be. I just need to get off to a good start. I need to play the par 5s better, and if I can do that and just not make some of the silly mistakes I made today, who knows.

Q. How do you think it's going to go tonight?
RORY McILROY: It's going to be good. I'm going to try to stay up for it. I usually go to bed around half nine, ten o'clock, so 11.00 kickoff here is going to be a bit tough, but nothing a couple double espressos won't sort out.

Even the way England started against New Zealand last week was really good and they just chipped away and chipped away, and looks like it doesn't matter whether they play in conditions like it was last week when it was rainy and cold, or whether it's dry and they get ball-in-hand and they can pass it and they can play the rugby they like to play.

So it's going to be tough. Sean O'Brien, being out is a massive blow; Connor Murray not playing. But saying that, I thought the nines that played last week stepped in and did a pretty good job.

It's going to be a tough one. We've had good success before but we haven't won against them in Ireland for a long time, so hopefully that can change tonight.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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