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June 19, 2020

Rory McIlroy

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Q. Rory, what was the difference between today and yesterday?
RORY McILROY: It was a little more comfortable off the tee, put the ball in play a little more, and then once you do that around this golf course, you're going to give yourself chances. The greens are small, and you're not hitting very long shots into the green.

Yeah, just giving myself chances to hit iron shots within birdie range and was able to convert a few. I played the easier holes better -- you know, birdied the three par 5s, birdied the 9th, picked off a couple more. So just a solid day.

When I got myself out of position, I got myself back into position and relied on my short game to bail me out a few times on the back nine when I needed to, but overall just a much better day. I think, whenever you see -- going out there this afternoon, I knew I needed at least 66. So having a number in your head definitely focuses your mind, and you know what you need to do.

Q. Did you hear about Nick Watney, and your reaction?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, he texted me actually because we had a chat on the putting green before I went out to play.

Q. This morning?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, but we were at a distance. He was just saying, look, I hope I didn't get too close to you. He feels badly that he was here today at the golf course. I said, look, it's fine. You never know. So I said to him, if I was in your position, I probably would have been here too. Look, at this point, you just have to concentrate on getting better and getting healthy.

But, yeah, look, it sucks for him especially. You know, if you contract it, that's fine, but then it's the fact that who have you come into contact with, and who you might have exposed and stuff. Look, we're still in the middle of a pandemic. Until this thing's over, we all just have to stay vigilant and keep your distance and wear our masks if we're going out in public and keep washing our hands.

Q. When did you get the text?
RORY McILROY: Well, as soon as I finished. Yeah, I looked at my phone, and there was a text from Nick. I think he just wanted to tell me personally instead of, obviously, having to read it through the news. So I appreciate that.

Q. Jordan was just here, and he said this was kind of a matter of when, not if.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, for sure, if you look at the statistics. I read a thing today that -- look, by the end of the year, there's going to be 200,000 deaths in the U.S. alone from COVID-19. So to think that us on the PGA TOUR, none of us were going to get it was very -- I don't think anyone thought that. I think the consensus was someone is going to get it at some point, and Nick's the one that's got it, and he's self-isolating and doing what he has to do.

Yeah, it's a shame, but the show goes on. We've got 36 holes to play at this tournament.

Q. Do you still have confidence in the program now?
RORY McILROY: Oh, yeah, for sure. Yeah, when I do the things I'm supposed to do and I'm at the tournament site, I feel very safe, yeah.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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