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September 20, 2019

Rory McIlroy

Surrey, England

Q. You said yesterday you knew you needed to break 70 today to have a chance to make the cut and you managed to do just that.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I guess I played a bit better today. Still not quite feeling in sync with everything, but yeah, I battled well. Conditions were obviously a lot trickier out there today than they were yesterday. I definitely didn't think I was going to get myself into position where I didn't need to birdie either one of the par 5s coming in, but a nice 2 on 14 and a nice chip-in on 16.

Battled away and kept my head down and glad to be here for the weekend.

Q. Did you an adjustment?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, my alignment got off, and if I start too far left, drops behind me and the more I do that, the more my alignment goes left and creates a bigger gap between the two. I probably hit balls for about two hours yesterday after I played, and then I warmed up for a good sort of hour and a half, hour and 45 today. Felt a little better, but it's hard. When your alignment is off, you can sort of trust it on the range, but on the course it's a different story. Still a few loose ones but a little better.

Q. Describe 14.
RORY McILROY: Again, it started a bit right of where I wanted to and the wind held it a bit. Obviously came back towards the pin. Yeah, I mean, it was good enough. It wasn't -- you know, it isn't quite where I want it to be but it's always nice to make a 2 there. And then yeah, then we had to wait on 15, which was not ideal. It's the toughest tee shot on the course. Probably one of the tee shots in Europe.

Q. Chip-in at 16.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I felt I deserved it. I hit a beautiful 7-iron in for my second shot. It was a nice one. I just needed to get it on the green and let it feed down the slope. Just snuck in the right edge there, which was -- I guess took the pressure off a little bit from having to try and birdie the final two holes.

Q. You always tell me that you set a goal every day. What will your goal be tomorrow?
RORY McILROY: I'll be out early. Plus one, obviously the leaders are way up there, but the conditions are going to be tricky. The course is getting firm. If I can shoot 7-under tomorrow, get myself to minus six, you never know.

Q. You talked about going into the week, the last few weeks, having trouble getting off the sofa and getting motivated. Is the first two days a sign of rust from that?
RORY McILROY: Definitely, I think so. I haven't really done much for the last couple weeks, and then my alignment got off a little bit and the more my alignment gets off, then the more the club drops underneath the plane for me, and then the bigger the misses are each way. I'll block it out to the right or turn it over too much to the left. Worked a good bit on that yesterday and felt like I made some good strides, but it's obviously different trying to do it on range than trying to do it on the golf course.

Yeah, a little bit of work to be done over the weekend, but I'm just glad that I'm here for it.

Q. What is the goal for the weekend?
RORY McILROY: Play some better golf. If I can get out tomorrow and the conditions are a little more benign and good greens; I went low on this golf course before, so I feel like I can do that.

So yeah, just get out early, try to shoot a low one and see where I am at the end of the day.

Q. Sum up the first couple days.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I'm happy to be here for the weekend. I had to battle hard out there just to be here. I'm proud of myself for hanging in. But yeah, my golf over the first couple days hasn't been what I would have expected. But I guess, you know, I probably deserve that. I didn't really do much the last couple weeks, and yeah, you know when you don't practice, you don't keep on top of it, some things start to creep into your game. I'm just trying to creep my way out of them over the weekend.

Q. There were some big moments out there. Do you draw on that as you look now to the weekend?
RORY McILROY: A little bit, yeah. I definitely had to scramble. I'd like to keep it a little more simple over the next two days. The big par save on 10; the birdie on 14; the birdie on 16; even I think probably one of my best shots of the day was the drive on 15 after that big wait on the tee.

There were some good shots in there for sure, but I just need to get a little better over next couple days.

Q. You are the star attraction here. Usually there's a big weight of expectation with the crowd following you. What's the mind-set over the weekend? Do you change anything?
RORY McILROY: I guess I can try to be a little more aggressive, but I need to play better if I want to be more aggressive. Hopefully have a good warmup tomorrow and hit the ball a bit better. Try to make as many birdies as I can. I'm a long way back, but if I can shoot 6- or 7-under tomorrow, I might still be in it.

Q. Two days of hard work. It looked great at the start yesterday. Can you summarize what you've been through for the last two days?
RORY McILROY: Just got -- my swing is just not where it was when I putt my clubs away two weeks ago, but again, I probably deserve that because I haven't done anything to really work on it or keep on top of it.

You know, it's different doing these things in practice than actually doing it on the golf course. But you know, I started great yesterday, and then a couple loose shots here or there, and then you start to think about them and you think, okay, well, where did that one come from and you try to overcorrect, and the next one goes the opposite direction and you're like, what's happening here.

I just got a bit off. I did some good work yesterday with Michael and worked on my alignment. My alignment has been something I've struggled with all year to be honest. If you can't line yourself up properly, you're going to compensate somewhere during the swing. That's what I was doing yesterday and still a little bit today. Just trying to tease my alignment back to square rather than aiming left at everything.

Q. Good short game work on 10 and obviously 16. If you get your swing back into the slot, do you think about 2010, Wells Fargo, two shots outside the cut line with two holes to play in round two, and you went on to win; and the possibilities, that it's interest in your psyche.
RORY McILROY: I mean, look, I've done it before, so -- it's not identity of the realms of possibility that I can do that. I just need to play better. I need to put the ball in the fairway a bit more and I felt like I did that today.

But it was tough. It was just a bit of a survival mode out there. You know, the wind is gusting and you're trying to pick the right shot and the right club, and sometimes you get a gust in, it will go long or it will come up short. It would have been easy to get frustrated today but just hung in there and just wanted to be here for the weekend and thankfully I am.

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