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November 13, 2020

Rory McIlroy

Augusta, Georgia

RORY McILROY: It's funny, I've had so many like in‑between numbers. Whenever I start to try to take speed off, sometimes I get the club just going left and sort of dragging it across, and that's what happened on 16, and then sort of went‑‑ obviously we didn't have much time in between rounds. I went and hit five 9‑irons and a 3‑wood in between rounds and just tried to get myself to release it. Sometimes I just get so draggy and hold on, sort of hold on to it. Just a matter of trying to release it a little bit more and being a little bit more committed to my shots and my swing.

Q. Xander was saying yesterday it's weird out here because the ball is sticking in places that it's never done. Did that take a while to get used to?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it still is taking a while‑‑ the guys that have been here so many times, even Xander, this is only his third Masters, but even the memories and the experiences that he's even drawing on over the past two years, you play this course so much by memory; this putt is fast, this putt is not so fast, this putt goes more than you think, all that, and you sort of have to throw all that out the window this week because the course is playing completely different. The greens are so much slower, so much softer, and because of that they can use some different pins that we've never seen before, either.
It's just‑‑ it's certainly a little different.

Q. Did you give yourself a pep talk in between the two rounds?
RORY McILROY: Jimmy Dunn gave me a pep talk in between rounds going on to the range. But yeah, again, I honestly have been playing so good coming in here, and then I go into the first round and I shoot 75, and I'm like, where the hell did that come from? I knew it was in there, it was just a matter of, as I said, just trusting a little more and being committed. It was better this afternoon.

Q. What did the pep talk sound like?
RORY McILROY: It was colorful.

Q. You've probably never played 13 two times that quickly; were you able to put behind what happened‑‑
RORY McILROY: Yeah, a little bit. The advantage that I can give myself on 13, to play that hole for 1‑over for the week isn't very good. I need to try to tidy that up.
For the rest of it, it was actually‑‑ it was pretty good.

Q. You teed off on 10 for the second round. Is that hole nothing to you? Is it good memories, bad memories? What is it like for you to tee off on 10?
RORY McILROY: It's nothing. It's a 3‑wood and a 9‑iron and hopefully a putt and move on to the 11th tee. That's what it was this morning anyway. Yeah, I'm much longer‑‑ going back to say 2011, I hit driver off that tee. I'm much longer now. I probably hit my 3‑wood further now than I was hitting my driver back then, so it's a 3‑wood and a 9‑iron. The course over the years but especially this year, since I've tried to add a little bit of distance, the course is playing much shorter, and because of that you don't feel like you need to take quite as much on.

Q. Do you kick yourself a little bit for the extra work you've given yourself because of this morning?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, of course. I mean, I was thinking coming into this morning, get this ball up‑and‑down on 10, play the last few holes in 3‑ or 4‑under par, get in and then go again, and I did the complete opposite. That wasn't ideal, and obviously wasn't what I was thinking of.
I turned it around nicely and shot a good one, at least gave myself a chance going into the weekend.

Q. You've played a lot of golf with DJ; how is he playing right now?
RORY McILROY: Great, same as he's been playing the last few months. See ball, hit ball, see putt, hole putt, go to the next. Yeah, he makes the same so simple or makes it look so simple at times for sure.

Q. Is that something to admire at times?
RORY McILROY: It's time to admire all the time. I think he's got one of the best attitudes towards the game of golf in the history of the game. I don't know if I can compare him to anyone else, but the way he approaches the game is awesome.

Q. You've obviously played a lot of tournaments without spectators and I know it's not different, but just this place without ropes, how does that change it?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it changes it a little bit. Like if you do hit it off line, like say for example the 2nd hole, I missed it right there yesterday, and usually where I would have hit that would have been in the patron area, but because it's so wet they usually put this green, sandy stuff down, and we're not really getting any of that. Do you remember Tiger's second shot on 11 last year on the last day out of that green‑‑ that's sort of a little different. You're not getting any of that stuff.
Yeah, it makes some shots less intimidating because there's‑‑ the second shot into 2, there's all these people around the green, you're trying to hit it into this little area and feel like you've just got a bit more of an expansive area to hit into when there's no patrons here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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