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March 5, 2020

Graeme McDowell

Orlando, Florida

Q. Some birdies on the card, a couple bogies, the putt you made at 18, I know your mouth was wide open when it went in, I was calling it as it went in, I'm thinking, oh, man, it did a 360. 140 feet worth of puts today. Tell us about the round.
GRAEME MCDOWELL: I putted well. I putted very well. Seeing the greens well, feeling really good on the greens. The surfaces are fantastic this week. There's not a lot of grain on them at all. They're not up to speed yet, obviously, with the wind forecast today, I assume the maintenance crew decided that they were going to try to take the sting out of them a little bit. I'm fully expecting these greens to be pretty firm and pretty fast come the weekend here. But, listen, pleasing to putt like that. The save on 15 was probably the most important save of the day. I hit a 4-iron in there over the back, kind of knifed my bunker shot, put it in the front bunker and hit a phenomenal drop shot. I made a 20-footer for 5. It's putts like that that really turn good rounds into great rounds and the putter certain served me well today.

Q. The guys who finished in the morning who looked at the afternoon forecast thought, Oh, this is not going to be good for those guys. But we have seen some good numbers, including yours.
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, we were lucky to get two and a half, three hours where it really wasn't blowing particularly strong. But eventually it did arrive and it made those last five or six holes quite tricky. And the golf course remains playable, because I think there's a lot of cross winds. There's not a lot of into-the-teeth type shots. 9 is probably, 9 and 15 are probably the two standout really difficult holes on the course, and the rest are just kind of playable.

So we're going to see a completely different wind direction tomorrow, so it's going to be interesting. I always like that because I feel like guys put a game plan together and then when the wind switches game plans are out the window, so you have to be smart and have a great caddie and be able to think on your feet.

Q. You call Orlando home now you're a restauranteur, a dad more than once, a husband, major champion. First time you played here was 2005 and you finished second. What does this tournament and the legend of Mr. Palmer mean to you and this Orlando community?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, I think this tournament continues to grow as far as what it means to me. I think having both my kids in the Winnie Palmer Hospital, to be an ambassador to this tournament the year after Mr. Palmer passed away, having two seconds here, having my family here. Like all of the above really makes this a special event for me. It's a golf course I feel comfortable on, which is very nice. And, listen, love to, dearly love to have this one on the resume. But the most important thing this week is Mr. Palmer's legacy, just taking that extra second to be a great role model, to be a great professional and living up to the standards that he really, that he laid out for us all.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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