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August 10, 2019

Rory McIlroy

Jersey City, New Jersey

Q. Considering where the first one went, are you fairly happy with the round?
RORY McILROY: I am, yeah. Yeah, I hit both tee shots left on 1 the past couple days. So I said, you know, I'm just going to aim down the middle of the fairway, commit to hitting a good swing and hit it a bit too far the other side.

But yeah, you know, to play the course 2-under par from there, I thought was pretty good effort. It's tough out there. It's tricky. I made a couple of sloppy mistakes, but I made a couple nice birdies coming in.

So I thought it was a pretty solid day. I'm still right there and have a chance tomorrow.

Q. What is the trickiest part about the wind, just gust at certain times?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, so one of the big things is timing when you hit shots. You know, so on 15 there, we're getting ready to hit the shot and it was pumping back into the wind and it was 190. It was a perfect flighted 5-iron and by the time I was over the ball and swinging, the wind had laid down and all of the sudden my 5-iron pitches ten yards over the pin and I'm at the back of the green struggling to two-putt for par.

Sometimes it is just about, if you hit it 30 seconds earlier or whatever, it makes all the difference sometimes.

Q. How important were those two birdies going into tomorrow?
RORY McILROY: Very important. You know, I thought 16 was a good birdie chance anyway, but 16 is playing quite tricky straight back into the wind. A lot of guys are laying up and if you do lay up, it's not a very nice wedge shot in there. I played it aggressively and got it to the front of the green and made a good up-and-down.

To birdie 17, as well, it was -- the putt on 18 had a look, as well. It was just a bit too hard. But yeah, they were big. Just to shoot under par today going into tomorrow, a nice little bit of momentum there.

Q. Do you feel personally there's a low score out there for you?
RORY McILROY: I do. I would like to see this wind play down a little bit so we could play a little more aggressively. Today was just about trying to hit it into middles of greens and two-putt and try to make birdies on the par 5s and sort of, you know, try to plot your way around.

But if the wind lies down a little bit tomorrow, I think maybe fire at a few more pins and try to be a bit more aggressive.

Q. You talked about the conditions and the scoring -- in terms of your own game, how are you feeling?
RORY McILROY: Okay. I'm driving the ball well. Chipping it and putting it as good as I have done in a long time. Iron play, it's just not quite there. I've hit some good iron shots, but it's not quite where I want it to be. You know, I had a decent range session today. I'll try to get in a good range session again tomorrow before going out to play, and you know, hopefully I can tidy it up a little bit.

But if I can just give myself a few more putts for birdies out there, hit a few more greens, I think I'll have a chance.

Q. How much firmer is it than the first few days?
RORY McILROY: I can't believe how firm it's getting. With the rain that this course has had this week, there's some parts of it that are really -- like up on little elevated areas, it is getting pretty firm. It's definitely playing different than it has done the last couple days.

Q. But do you feel you're within striking distance?
RORY McILROY: For sure. Depending on what the guys do coming in, if 14 is still a lead by the end of the day, I'm right there, get off to a good start and I'm right in the tournament.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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