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January 4, 2019

Rory McIlroy

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

Q. You played better than yesterday. Are you pleased?
RORY MCILROY: Yeah, very pleased. I thought the conditions today were a little bit trickier. The wind was up a little bit more. Yeah, I stayed patient. The front nine's the tough nine on this golf course, and I had a couple opportunities, but I just thought if I could get through that first 9 under par, I would have a few chances on the back nine. And thankfully I was able to take advantage of some of those.

Q. So much focus on your putting, but I enjoyed watching you hit the ball off the tee today. Were you pleased with that, because I thought you drove it really good?
RORY MCILROY: Yeah, I'm driving it great. I got the new driver in the bag and now it feels really good. Obviously, I've got the new putter in the bag, and that feels good too. Everything's feeling pretty good right now.

Q. I followed you a lot and you like to build round one, round two, round three. I think you're building for something big this weekend. Do you get that same feeling?
RORY MCILROY: It's been a nice start to the year. The first two competitive rounds of year, 9-under par, only two bogeys, it's been nice, it's been a good start, it is something to build on going into the weekend. I just need to keep hitting good golf shots and giving myself chances.

Q. How would you assess your round today?
RORY MCILROY: I thought it was good. I stayed patient. I had some good chances on the front nine that I missed, but the front nine is the harder nine here, and I thought if I could get through that front nine in under par, there's some good chances on the back nine and that's what I did. I was able to take advantage of those chances again on the back nine like I did yesterday. And yeah, another solid round of golf, only two bogeys through 36 holes, and it was a nice way to start the year.

Q. How key was patience knowing that you had those chances on the back nine coming, especially in these conditions?
RORY MCILROY: I think patience was the biggest thing out here. Just knowing that it's tough to get it going those first few holes. So just stay patient and know that you've got these chances coming up. I did that well yesterday, I did it well today, and hopefully I don't have to do it as much over the next two days, but if I have to then I will.

Q. I think way back in the day the world was Tiger and Phil probably wouldn't play here because of the wind. Because they didn't want to start the season fighting the wind. You seem to relish it though, starting your season in the wind.
RORY MCILROY: Yeah, I think that -- I just said to Todd up there, with how much technical work you do in the off-season and working on your swing and mechanics, or especially what I've done this off season to come out and play in conditions like this where you just have to completely forget about it, it's a complete contrast to what I've been doing the last few weeks, which is nice because it means that hopefully some of the stuff I worked on in the winter has bedded in and then you can just focus on trying to play different shots, hit different trajectories. And it's been nice to sort of do that.

Q. (No Microphone.)
RORY MCILROY: Not at all. Not at all.

Q. You don't go to too many courses at this stage in your career that are kind of new to you.
RORY MCILROY: No, they're making us do one every year, these days. This is my one for the meantime, but --

Q. It's a good one.
RORY MCILROY: It is a good one. But I enjoy seeing different golf courses and playing different places. I think you get a couple practice rounds and you should know it pretty well. Sometimes knowing a golf course too well can be a detriment because you know where the trouble is and you're focusing on the places not to hit it. And so to be fresh at a golf course sometimes isn't a bad thing.

Q. Did you have to start getting ready earlier in the year than maybe you had in the past because of this?
RORY MCILROY: Yeah, I usually enjoy Christmas and New Year. Not that I didn't enjoy Christmas and New Year, but I went up to Rochester and -- with the in-laws for a few days, and I would go to the gym in the morning and then go to an indoor bay with a Trackman and just some video and just sort of do some stuff and Christmas Eve. So, yeah, I've had to start a lot earlier this year, but that's not a bad thing. If it means getting the clubs out a little bit early and practicing and getting ready to come here to Hawaii, it's not too bad.

Q. Does it feel weird to pack the clubs to go to Rochester, New York?
RORY MCILROY: It did. But it's good. I knew that I did some really good work in Florida in December, and I didn't want, I was only up in Rochester for four days, but I didn't want to have that gap between Florida and then getting here. I still wanted to keep some sort of continuity going and keep a feel on my swing of what I was trying to do. So, yeah, so, at least it was indoors and I didn't need to wear five or six layers.

Q. Was it snowing?
RORY MCILROY: It was. It was.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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