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February 1, 2020

Graeme McDowell

King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia

Q. Excellent round in difficult conditions of 66. So many highlights. I want to start straight away with one of them. The third hole, par-3, over the green. I was there to witness that one. That was incredible.
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, that was kind of a sign of things to come today really, I didn't realize at the time -- we felt we hit it in the left bunker -- it was a bad shot, it was a flushed snap hook and I couldn't believe it when it flew that bunker and I got up and saw that ball way over the back. And I was like, oh, no. It came out just perfectly killed and literally it was a lot of luck involved with the shot -- and a really good putt. So it was a nice way to kind of hang in there and keep the day going.

Q. Having bogeyed the 8th how important was the par save at 9 to keep the momentum going into the back nine?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, the putt on 9 was massive just for general, just for, because I just bogeyed 8 and the putter was cold. The putt on 9 was massive. Those are the kind of putts you look back on the round and you go that was the one. But then there was a couple more that came after that. Those two putts from off the green on 12 and 13, those are just massive bonuses at that point. You can't really expect to make those type of putts, but sometimes when the putter's cold you got to bunch them in a bundle and those putts on 12 and 13 were massive.

Q. And then went on to birdie 14 as well. Another putt at the last. It looked like if the head had fallen off your putter you would have holed it with the shaft.
GRAEME MCDOWELL: I always tell my kids we live in a nice house because daddy can putt, that's about the heart of it, really. But the putter's been a little ice cold the last sort of two rounds, but I got it heated back up on the back nine today and I'm going to have to putt well to have a chance tomorrow. Conditions were very tough today, very pleased with that back nine because I really felt like the back nine's played very difficult this week and to sneak a few birdies out there coming in was very pleasing.

Q. How cool to be out there tomorrow with your Ryder Cup partner Victor and I know you're great friends.
GRAEME MCDOWELL: We shared a car up to the course this morning and I was chatting with him and I always look out for him, great experiences with him in 2014 at Gleneagles. He's such a great guy, he hasn't had the best form the last few years and I'm really, really happy to see him at the top of the leaderboard and looking forward to being with him tomorrow. It's going to be tough to try and play tough against him, but we're both competitors and we'll go out there and try and do our job.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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