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June 15, 2019

Graeme McDowell

Pebble Beach, California

Q. What an amazing way to finish your round. Just talk about what happened on 18?
GRAHAM MCDOWELL: Yeah, really cool to make 3 there. I think Tiger did something similar in 2010, from memory, hitting that 3-wood from behind the tree. Mine wasn't as fancy as that. It was a nice little cutty 3-wood from 245 slightly to the right and came off nicely.

And I was telling my caddie, I quite fancy this one, it would be nice to roll this one in. And obviously the fans have been fantastic this week, and it was nice to get a cheer like that on the last green. And cleaned up what was a frustrating day. I made three really big mistakes today, two, really. I short ironed one on twice, and made bogey off a short iron, which you can't do on this golf course. Because there's not a ton of chances out there, not a ton of real easy holes. In the middle of the fairway on 4, and make bogey in the middle of the fairway of 11 and make bogey, that's just unacceptable.

But 11 was just a lack of respect for the pin position, to be honest with you. I didn't realize how tight it was and hit an awful shot.

All in all happy enough with 1-under par today. It was funny out there because the pins seemed easy, the conditions seemed easy, but obviously no one really got away with it today. So I'll take it. Obviously somewhat in the mix tomorrow, but I'll need something pretty special.

Q. You take two guys off the board, you're three off the lead, but you can't take them off the board. You never know what's going to happen tomorrow?
GRAHAM MCDOWELL: We talked about it yesterday, there's an element of just having -- you have to try to hang around. There's no point getting frustrated and go out tomorrow and chase something that may or may not come back to you.

You just have to respect this golf course, hitting the fairway and hit it on the right side of the greens and see what you can do.

Tomorrow will be another day of patience. I feel like I've executed my game plan pretty well generally this week. Big difference from 2010, I feel, this golf course this week, how long it's playing, the fairways are extremely spongy, there's no fire in them whatsoever. Holes like 9 and 10, for example, are playing 20 or 30 yards longer than I remember them playing.

So certainly doesn't suit my game as well as 2010 did, but obviously hanging tough and scrambled well at times today. And I feel good with the putter.

Looking forward to the test tomorrow. And looking at some of the pins we've used so far this week and some of the pins that are left, it's going to be interesting to see how they set it up tomorrow. Could be a few eagle pins out there tomorrow.

Q. Matt Kuchar is up on the leaderboard?

Q. What do you make of him marrying the best season of the year with all that he's had trouble escaping controversy?
GRAHAM MCDOWELL: Well, I don't want to talk about his controversies because I wasn't there and I wasn't really personally involved in any of them. So aside from that, he's done an unbelievable job of staying mentally focused on what he's doing. Huge amount of negativity off the golf course. It's incredible what he's done. He's a great player. Huge amount of respect for his game. To remain as focused as he has this year is pretty amazing, really. I'm not sure I could have handled it as well as he has.

Q. Gary Woodland looks like (indiscernible). What sort of advice would you give him?
GRAHAM MCDOWELL: The first time last group of a major championship on Sunday, I think I won, somewhere. You know, Gary Woodland is a fairly experienced player. He's a great player. A guy I know reasonably well. Shane Lowry played with him the first two days and came in yesterday and said what a golfer this guy is. Said he putted incredibly well Thursday and Friday and maybe was he going to be able to maintain that level of putting.

But obviously it's a lonely place out there, and this golf course, it's a little bit of a sleeping giant. And it doesn't take -- it doesn't take but a few loose shots before you can be in scramble mode out there. Stay patient, keep hitting fairways and greens, stay in the moment and the present. He's been there a few times. He's won a few events. He's a big boy. I'm sure he can handle up himself.

Q. How did you handle it?
GRAHAM MCDOWELL: How did I handle it? In a funny way for me Saturday was a big day. I led by 2 going into Saturday. Dustin shot 66 and I shot level par. Saturday was a big day for me to acclimatize myself to the pressure. I felt in a funny way going into Sunday I was more prepared because of what I'd gone through Saturday.

Coming down the back nine, I just remember counting the shots down, counting the holes down: Five to go. Four to go. Hang in there, stay in the present. All the cliches. Sports psychology lessons that we've ever taught ourselves and read in books and be told by people. It's hard. And like I said, it's a lonely day out there. But he'll be all right.

Q. When you're involved in a final day like that, what's the one thing that you can cling to that's going to keep you going?
GRAHAM MCDOWELL: I mean, obviously I can only speak for myself. But I'm going to be remembering Lytham and Olympic tomorrow when I'm out there. Because I didn't give up both back nines there, but I thought my race was run. I mentally kind of stopped executing my game plan well. Maybe started chasing.

And tomorrow I'm going to try and be very disciplined and try and just stay in moment, execute my game plan, not take anything on too silly. Just try and play patient golf. I'm going to try to hang tomorrow and see what happens.

Q. When you finish with an eagle like that, do you feel like momentum you're gathering at the moment seems to be growing and growing and confidence is growing with it, too?
GRAHAM MCDOWELL: Yeah, for sure. I spoke yesterday and I said the two days playing with Phil and Dustin out here this week were just another little building block in this kind of rebuilding process I'm on. I'm not there yet by any stretch of the imagination. I've got a long way to go in this game to get me back where I want to be.

These three rounds have been important, and the confidence continues to build. That was fun in the last, but I'm not kidding myself, I'm not in this tournament yet. So it requires strong seven holes to open up tomorrow to try and give myself something to hang on to coming in. We all know that the first seven is where you make your score here, and it's a case of hanging on 8, 9 through 14, and 15 through 18 you can kind of do some things.

So looking forward to it. Enjoying being out there. Like I say, all those little building blocks continue to pile up. My game is trending in the right direction, but still a lot of work to do.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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