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January 18, 2019

Shane Lowry

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Q. How good a 67 was that?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, it was good. I played good. I felt very comfortable out there today and very happy with that. Very excited about tomorrow.

Obviously I'm in a great position. It's been a while since I've been up having a lead going into Sunday. I'll enjoy it. Have a nice dinner tonight and get ready tomorrow and give it my best tomorrow and see what happens.

Q. The par 3s, you made nine 2s on the par 3s?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, on 15, I just started laughing when I birdied 15.

Yeah, look, my iron play has been good. I think if you go back to Race to Dubai, I was 6-under par for the par 3s that tournament, and it's just been good. I managed to hole a few good putts, as well.

Play the par 3s well and the par 5s as well, and you should shoot a decent score.

Q. What do you think as the back nine unfolded?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, I didn't know what was going on. There's actually only a few leaderboards out there, which is pretty nice. I got to, I don't know what hole it was, but the 12th green, and I seen Richard Sterne was making a few. I was just all about my own game and trying to make as many birdies as I can and when I got in trouble, trying to make pars. I thought I did that well today.

Q. Three ahead of second place and five ahead of third going into the final round.
SHANE LOWRY: We're in a world-class field here this week so I know they are going to come out firing tomorrow. So I need to stay aggressive and try to make as many birdies as I can and see where that leaves me on the 18th green.

Q. After the blip on 16, how pleasing to see that birdie putt drop on 18?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, it was nice. I think the up-and-down on 17 was huge, because I knew Richard was making a few birdies, and it's only the third round but it's nice to be in the lead. To hit one in after 17, I was happy to make birdie.

Q. Were you aware what was going on behind you?
SHANE LOWRY: Somewhat. There's actually not that many score boards out there. So I only somewhat knew what was going on. Look, we've got plenty of golf to play between now and the end of play tomorrow. It was just like play my own game, try and make as many birdies as I can and when I got in trouble, try and get up-and-down or make par.

You know, I thought I did that pretty well.

Q. Your fantastic record on the par 3s continues this week. That's nine 2s over the first three rounds, that's quite incredible.
SHANE LOWRY: I've been playing well obviously. I've got some nice numbers and hit some nice iron shots and rolled a few putts in. It's one of those weeks.

Q. Three-shot lead going into the final round. Your thoughts?
SHANE LOWRY: Obviously I need to go out and play my own game and stay aggressive and see what the lads behind me can do. I think, you know, it's the same old golf clichés, one shot at a time and try to not get ahead of myself and just enjoy the day and enjoy being in the position I'm in.

Q. That was an important birdie at the last, wasn't it?
SHANE LOWRY: It was. Obviously I hit a pretty dodgy first putt but I hit two beautiful shots in. Look, if I didn't birdie, I'm still two ahead, so it was nice to birdie the last, knowing what I had to do, so I'm pretty happy, yeah.

Q. How invincible are you feeling on the par 3s at the moment?
SHANE LOWRY: I'm not going to say I feel invincible because we all know that this game is not easy, and it can jump up and bite you when you least expect it.

So I'm just trying to go out and do what I've been doing. I've been hitting some lovely iron shots. It just so happens that I've hit them on the par 3s and holed a few putts. It just shows when I get myself in position, I can give myself chances and that's kind of what I need to do.

Q. Has a big impact on the scorecard when you come in nine holes in just 18 shots?
SHANE LOWRY: Yeah, it's huge, obviously. I'm not sure what I'd be beating the field by in that regards but it's quite a few, I'd say.

Look, it's just nice. Obviously I was laughing about it when I birdied 15 today, but it's something I try not to think about because I just go out and see what number, like the 4 will be the first par 3 tomorrow and whatever number I get, I'll just try to hit as good of a shot as I can.

Q. In terms of the lead that you have going into the final round, what's the mental approach in terms of, are you looking to protect it, extend it?
SHANE LOWRY: Look, obviously we're playing in a world-class field on a very difficult golf course. So I think I just need to go out and stay aggressive and just play my own game and try and make as many birdies as I can. That's the way I play golf. If I can do that, hopefully I can be up there at the end of the day and give myself a chance coming down the last few. It's hard to answer that question, just after coming off the 18th because I've got a whole evening and a morning to think about it.

Look, I just have to enjoy my dinner tonight and get up tomorrow and relax and get out and get going.

Q. Is that going to be easier said than done?
SHANE LOWRY: No, my family's here. I've got a two-year-old that will be keeping me occupied over the next how many hours. It's fine. We've had the same routine pretty much every day and we'll be doing that again tomorrow.

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