home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 12, 2020

Graeme McDowell

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Q. Talk about your round today.
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Very happy the way I played today, fairways and greens. About as easy as you're probably going to see TPC Sawgrass this morning, fairways were soft, greens were soft, wind was nonexistent. Just difficult morning really from a focus point of view. I mean obviously everything that happened last night, waking up this morning, a lot of chatter in the warm-up truck and the range and the locker room and just difficult to get your head in the moment in the game with all the question marks surrounding everything that's going on. So nice to kind of have a plan in place now I suppose and going forward at least we all know where we stand for the next 24 hours or so anyway. It's obviously such a dynamic situation where someone contracts in the locker room and things change right away. So it's a sad situation, but it's important that sport and certainly professional sport do their best job to realize that what we're doing is insignificant compared to what's happening out there and obviously anything we can do to help contain this thing is really important that we do so. And the commissioner and obviously there's been a lot of time and a lot of thought gone into this and thankfully there's some pretty smart people out there hopefully making some good decisions.

Q. How different, how weird or awkward would it be for you guys the next three days knowing that only essential personnel are here and no real golf fans?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: For sure, I mean especially on this golf course because this is the ultimate Stadium Course. I mean it's, this golf course is designed to have 75, a hundred thousand people on it especially on holes like 17 and 18. It's going to be surreal. I would love to be in that last group on Sunday, I would love to tell you exactly what it felt like trying to win this tournament with nobody watching, not many guys have experienced that, I know what happened at Congressional seven or eight years ago, I wasn't there, it's going to be bizarre feeling, like I say, especially this event where crowd interaction is such a big key to this golf tournament. But what we're doing here is insignificant in comparison to what's happening in the world and it's unprecedented, we just don't really know how to react and didn't really know what to expect. At one point I was nearly expecting the horns to go off out there and for us all to be taken off the golf course because, you know, obviously, we were kind of seeing the news out there, hearing the news, everything that's happening in basketball, kids walking off the court and it's just such a weird, weird unknown quantity.

Q. When you talk about no crowd here, no crowds at all to urge you on, you won 16 times around the world, there are obviously situations where the crowd have an impact?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, I think crowds are very important in every sport. Look at basketball for in particular. I mean you can only imagine what it's like to make a 3-pointer and the energy jolt that you get running back up the court. In golf you make a putt, that crowd, it's that little X factor that they give to you energy-wise. So I've won a few tournaments around the world with not too many people watching, so I'm sure it will be all right, but listen, it's disappointing that it's going to take away from this event a little bit, but it's so insignificant, I mean I'm glad we can continue to do our job, we're very fortunate that our stage remains a big enough arena where it's safe enough for us to continue doing our job, but who knows, I mean something happens this evening and we got a different story in the morning. So we just have to be smart and be safe and we'll see what happens and leave it to the people that know what they're doing. In a funny way I've been a little tired of the speculation the last sort of week or so, at least we're starting to kind of have a plan in place and we can start moving forward with that and executing that plan and knowing if there's a tournament next week or the week after or even if there's a tournament tomorrow. So it's such a weird difficult situation for everyone.

Q. Assuming you play through to Sunday, somebody on 18 is going to make a putt to win. Then what?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Well then they get a big trophy and a big check and all's good and they will be able to tell you how it felt. It's going to be weird. It's going to be very, very weird. It's ironic timing from what the PGA TOUR have done this week with every shot being live, I hope they upgrade their servers because their servers are going to get a bit more traffic this weekend with no fans here. So, yeah, so difficult, it's difficult to know what to say because, like I say, the word to me is just insignificant, sport is insignificant in comparison to what we're dealing with. And you're so insulated and in the moment and think, well this is such a major golf tournament, you know, we need to play and this needs to be the environment, this is our working environment and this is what we practice and play for. But we're talking about a global, a major global problem and at the end of the day professional sport is, it means nothing, it means nothing in the lens of making the world safe again.

Q. (No Microphone.)
GRAEME MCDOWELL: I think the result, I think, I think there was that fear. We are, our arena is so different but I mean you got to -- I don't know, the politics involved are so intricate. I wouldn't even, I would hate to even have a stab at kind of like what it would have meant politically if we would have tried to continue playing golf tournaments as they are with fans. It's so, there's so much, there's so many moving parts to it all. And I guess containment's the issue. We got to do what we can to make sure that 75,000 people aren't in close proximity to each other and spreading this thing. And it may feel like overkill, but anything we can all do to contain and stop this thing I guess is what it's all about, I figure. I mean I'm no expert, obviously.

Q. Are you at all concerned about your own welfare or would it reach a point where you wouldn't consider going to a tournament?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: I don't know. I don't know. No. No, not at the minute. But again this is an uneducated person saying it to you. I mean, again, all I've got is speculation. It's so difficult to know. I've got young children at home, I wouldn't want to take that home. My mom and dad and my wife's mom and dad in close proximity to our kid, I wouldn't want to take that home. So it's not even about me it's about other people. I feel like from what I know about it I would be fine, I may even have the symptoms and not even -- I may even have it and not even know. So it's more about the safety of other people around me and that's just something you have to be smart about and you have to be responsible about, I suppose. But no, I mean until the PGA TOUR tell me that it's unsafe to play golf I'm happy to continue playing golf.

Q. Do you think the U.S. travel ban will have any impact on golf or on the golfers moving forward?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: I don't know, it's difficult, we got the World Match Play in a couple weeks time. By definition an international golf tournament. We got players from all over the world flying in for it. To me if a guy doesn't have an opportunity to compete because his particular country has a ban stopping him from going, it starts to become unfair to the guys -- you're taking opportunities away from the best players in the world. So it's all right for the guys inside of the borders of the U.S. right now and you don't have to go very far in the next three, four weeks, but it becomes a concern when everyone doesn't have an equal opportunity to come out here and compete and do their job. So like I say, we'll leave that to some smarter people. Jordan Spieth just came in, he's smarter than me, so he'll tell you all about it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297