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July 19, 2019

Graeme McDowell

Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Q. How satisfying was that and how nervous were you on that back nine?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, anytime you're trying to make a cut on a Friday afternoon, especially at a major championship, you're always a little tight, a little nervous. But this one obviously means a lot, to play the weekend here.

And anything can happen. I mean, it looks like a tough forecast on Sunday and a great forecast tomorrow. So go out and shoot a low one in the morning, you never know.

But like I said, just how much this meant, how symbolic this weekend is, and to make sure I was in there was very important to me. And I couldn't seem to get a putt to drop 15, 16, 17. And thankfully made two nice swings at the last and gave myself a look.

It was satisfying. I'm proud of myself to reset and get the attitude right after yesterday. It left a real sting yesterday. I couldn't face the range and I just went home and watched a little bit of the coverage and tried to reset.

Q. If you shoot 64, 65 in your home course and feel like you're around for the weekend?
GRAEME McDOWELL: For sure. You can go out tomorrow and free up a little bit. Not that I've been playing super tight but I could be very loose tomorrow. I can go out there and certainly got nothing to lose.

Certainly a mid-60, certainly very capable of shooting that. Need to drive it better than I drove it today. Struggled with the driver. But my iron play certainly good enough and I felt better on the greens today. So I think there's a low one available.

Proud of Shane the last couple of days. Obviously out there playing with Phil Mickelson, and doing what Shane does, which is go low. I really hope he can keep it going. But I'd love to be able to get close to him come Sunday.

Q. Shane is a great pal of yours. You're very different people. What is it that Shane has, do you think, that has made him capable of the stuff he's done in his career, like win a World Golf Championship event and put himself into this position?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I'd say Shane Lowry is probably one of the most competitive people I've ever met in the life. Doesn't matter whether you're playing credit card roulette for dinner or playing cards or whatever. Certainly playing nine holes on a Tuesday, Shane's the guy trying to beat you. He's the guy trying to win. Like I say, his competitive spirit is unbelievable.

Mix that up with a guy who can drive the ball really well. He's one of the best chippers I've ever seen. And he's obviously got his eye on with the putter, as well. I don't like -- the word "balls" is one of those words we don't like to say. But it's like when he's under the gun he knows what to do, and he's not scared. And I certainly wouldn't put it past him to put his name on that trophy. I'd be very proud of him.

Q. Talk about the home crowd.
GRAEME McDOWELL: It was great. It was late out there. It wasn't as crazy as it was yesterday. Obviously it's a long day for these people and they're saving themselves for the weekend.

But it's been an amazing atmosphere. That was part of what I wanted to do today was have a great attitude for them. I don't want anybody out there feeling sorry for me, whether I triple the last or not. I'm in a very privileged position and I need to keep my head high and obviously show these people I'm proud to be here.

But obviously yesterday was tough. But I managed to kind of reset and come out, like I say, with the right attitude today and continue to hit some pretty good shots.

Q. I want to talk to you about, you mentioned the symbolism, what this means. After the history, we know the history, can you tell people who maybe don't understand why this means so much to this country, to this city.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Without getting into politics or religion, because that's not a good thing to get into around here. It's symbolic -- it's a shift. It's a move on. It's a step from our past. It shows how many hurdles we've overcome, how far we've come as an island, really.

This is not just about Northern Ireland. This is about the whole country of Ireland. Because we're very proud of our golf. And golf has always united this country. This event and the people that have come out to support this event, it means a lot to this whole island economically and really just from a showcasing of this amazing place.

It's history and everything that's gone on, it's more about the present and really where Ireland can go, north and south. And hopefully we're one place in the future.

Q. What was the most emotional moment for you the last two days?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Listen, first tee yesterday. It was Bill Murray, tears in his eye. I did have a tear in my eye, very unusual on a golf course. But it was emotional because it's been an amazing journey to get here, and played a small part in it. And I'm very proud of what people achieved around here.

The golf course looks amazing and the place looks awesome on TV, so I'm just proud of people.

Q. Is there a different feeling, a different type of pressure here?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, there's a different type of pressure because typically when you're on the cut line you're maybe not playing great. When you're making par to win you've done some good stuff and maybe you're more confident.

Standing on the 18th tee today having whipped it right into the stuff yesterday and made 7. Thankfully it was easier today, obviously downwind, and it was 3-wood, 7-iron. It was nice to make two solid swings, especially the second shot was a very nice shot.

I wish I could have made one of those putts on 15, 16, 17, that would have taken the pressure off a little bit. I just couldn't seem to get the thing in.

It was a good day. Looking forward to two more good days. Quite enjoying hitting the golf ball the last couple days. I'm looking forward to being back out there.

Q. How much sympathy do you have for Darren? He was level par today and took a 7. How much do you feel for him?
GRAEME McDOWELL: That's a couple of 7s and an 8 for me, Rory, and Darren. Listen, there's no words. I felt exactly what he's feeling yesterday. He's feeling that times ten today because he didn't have a chance to go and try and make up for that. Gutted for him.

I know how much this place means to him. He's been probably the most pivotal of the three of us, Rory, myself, and him, just because he was the first guy to win a Claret Jug. He's made his home here. He's spent more time here in the last 20 years than any of us put together.

Hugely disappointed for him and feeling for him. And like I say, hats off for everything he's done for this tournament.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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