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October 11, 2019

Graeme McDowell

Rome, Italy

Q. You've added a 66 to yesterday's 69. How chuffed with your day's work?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, pretty happy. I mean it was one of those days I felt it could have been better early. And then it got a little ragged kind of on the back nine after you and I chatted on the 10th tee, and I told you how this course is all about fairways and greens. I started missing fairways and greens.

This golf course is very straightforward if you keep it in position, but once you start getting out of position, the golf course shows how tricky it really can be.

The rough is really patchy and thick in areas, and getting the ball up-and-down from around these greens can be quite challenge because they are quite slopey and quite fast. Keeping the ball under control is key. I've got to do more of that this weekend.

Q. You talk about that slightly dodgy patch, you bogeyed 11, 13, hit a squirrelly tee shot, very unlucky with a piece of wood up against the ball. How important is experience in that stage to say, okay, don't panic, knuckle down, and you birdied the next and finished strong?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, for sure. Sometimes when you do hit a rocky patch, you can get very kind of in the moment and start panicking a little bit.

But you know, it's a 72-hole event and you're always going to have to weather a storm from time to time. 13 was unlucky. Like you say, it was a tiny little loose branch and the ball had rested up against it. You're trying to test to see if it's resting against the ball, and sure enough, the ball -- it was an unbelievable bogey made there. Sort of gathered myself and birdied the next.

Like you say, you have to look at it as a marathon and weather a few storms and take your chances when they come along.

Q. Great approach into 17 set up and eagle, and a great approach to 18, which obviously was good for a par. Which one gave you the most satisfaction?
GRAEME McDOWELL: The way I played 17 was very pleasing. Hit the tee shot in the perfect spot. 17 is a perfect example of this golf course. If you get out of position on 17, it's a challenging little hole, but if you hit a good drive, it's 240 flag, 5-wood and you can make birdies and eagles. Nice little second shot to the last after missing the fairway, but you know, just enjoying myself out there.

It's a fun golf course to play. I think it plays into sort of my type of game. You've got to grind it around a little bit, and looking forward to being in contention this weekend.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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