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July 4, 2019

Graeme McDowell

County Clare, Republic of Ireland

GRAEME McDOWELL: Sort of thought I started steadied ship around the turn and hit a bad drive around the par 5, 12, which is playing pretty easy today and made 6 there. Everything was a battle, really.

But you know, funny day, really, because I really felt like I didn't play badly. Kept missing fairways by a yard, you know, in the semi-rough here. It's just thick enough to take control out of your hands. I got a couple of flyers and then a got a few that didn't come out at all.

Consequently, didn't hit my irons very close which didn't give me many chances for birdies. It's not like I'm coming off, thinking, man, I've got to go to the range for five hours. I didn't play badly. Just a case of resetting, sharpen up a couple things and get back out tomorrow.

Q. You didn't play badly, but you just didn't score as well as you wanted to. What do you need to do tomorrow?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Just got to place the ball more in the fairway tomorrow. A few of these tee shots are tough. They sit across you and it is tough to get it in the cut grass and I didn't do that well enough today. Maybe that was a case of not knowing the course super, super well in this wind direction. More fairways tomorrow, give me a chance to hit my irons better and a little closer and make some birdies.

Like I say, it's not alarm bells. Didn't play terrible. Just back at it tomorrow.

Q. I know it's been a long time before this week since you were last here, but how would you assess your first round?
GRAEME McDOWELL: It was a slow start. I steadied the ship around the turn and then made a bad bogey down 12, easy par 5 today. Kind of flared it off the tee. Got a terrible lie and missed a short one, and that sort of stopped the comeback, if you like. It was just one of those days that nothing seemed to happen. I seemed to be missing fairways by a yard and the semi-rough is just thick enough here where I got a couple of flyers and then a few that didn't come out at all. Consequently, didn't hit my irons very close at all.

It was one of those days. It wasn't a bad ball-striking day. It wasn't like, alarm bells, let's go to the range for five hours. Just need to clean a couple things up and get back at it tomorrow. I mean, there is a score to be had out here, and you know, looking forward to getting back at it.

Q. When the conditions are like this, is it all the more disappointing to not post a really good score?
GRAEME McDOWELL: For sure. You don't get Lahinch more benign than this. It's beautiful out there, light breeze, and the course is sort of there for the taking, although it is a tricky little track. The greens are uninviting at times because there's a lot of run-off areas and some of the pins were quite tricky today. But you know, should have done better and we'll do better tomorrow. Just got to get it on the short grass off the tee a little bit more tomorrow to give myself a chance to attack some pins.

Q. Two weeks today till the start of The Open. How big of a relief is it for you and has it been for you to know you're going to be there competing there as a player?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Massive weight off my shoulders. It would have been tough enough coming into these two weeks trying to compete, but if I had the shadow of The Open looming over me trying to qualify for that, kind of like what Martin Kaymer has on his hands the next couple weeks, would have been difficult.

Especially with it being Portrush, my hometown, etc., etc. Massive relief. Allows me to come and focus well on the Irish and go to the Scottish next week and focus hard again.

First and foremost, a little practise this afternoon, and get back out there, shoot 65 tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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