April 23, 2021
Avondale, Louisiana, USA
Q. Graeme, just your reaction to the ace?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, you know, I haven't saw the replay yet, but I had sort of taken my eye off the ball because I was just fairly relieved that it was on line. I think my partner was reasonably relieved, as well. This golf course is so great because there's so many opportunities, but there's half a dozen shots where you have to stand up and hit a shot, and 17 is obviously one of those today.
I was kind of between clubs. I was between a 4 and a 3 and I just felt like 3 was -- it's a hybrid and it's pretty strong, and I just felt like it was a lot of club and I decided to try and hit a 4 and pitch it in the front half of the green and sort of take my medicine and get out of there, and it came out perfectly, and I think I said to it, somehow get up, like as in get back there to the flag. I picked my tee up and walked over to the bag and I could hear the crowd starting to go, and obviously when it dropped in, my playing partner mugged me and the caddies all attacked me.
I was sort of in a state of disbelief because I was just relieved to get the ball on dry land there, and it was cool. It was a nice little shot in the arm for us, and we birdied the next, and we put ourselves in a nice little slot going into the weekend.
Really enjoyed playing with this guy this week. It's been a lot of fun. He's been a breath of fresh air and some great intensity and energy for me to week, so really enjoying ourselves.
Q. First on the PGA TOUR; how many do you have just in casual golf?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: You know, I think my running total is around 14. I don't make -- it's weird, the better I get, the fewer I make. I'm not sure what it is. I felt like I made more when I was a kid. I'm not sure what you're like, but I guess playing easier courses -- that's probably what it was. When you're a kid you're playing easier courses and a lot more wedges in your hand.
Get out on the PGA TOUR, 200-, 220-yard par-3s, it's tough to make them. But I think competitively that's about my fifth, but obviously like you say, my first on the PGA TOUR. It's a sweet one, obviously. It means I can share the bar bill with Matty, as well, which is great. I think we sent a few beers over to the caddie tent and we sent a few beers to the media center, as well, just in case you guys are thirsty.
Q. Matt, have you ever celebrated someone else's shot that much?
MATT WALLACE: Actually, no, but deserved because it was such a good shot. It was playing tough. I knew the yardage, I knew Graeme's distances that he was hitting with those clubs, and I thought if he could get this somehow to the front edge, it's going to release up, and 3 on that hole is a great score. But he hit such a good shot that the better he hit it, the further back it would get and then we'd have a chance at a 2, and then it went in and you thought it had maybe went off, but I knew it was such a good shot it deserved to go in for me.
Q. Don't want to spoil the mood here but it's not official, like on the PGA TOUR.
MATT WALLACE: Nah, that counts.
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Official? I don't care if it's official, unofficial. I'm pretty sure it says 1 on the scorecard.
And like a little side note, the interesting thing is that we played Callaway most of the day because Matty was a little uncomfortable changing ball this week, so we decided to play his most of the week. That was the first time the Srixon was in play today on 17. In. Just a shameless sponsor plug there.
Q. Is there enough Guinness in New Orleans for tonight's celebration?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: I think we'll be behaving ourselves tonight. We do know a nice Italian restaurant with some fine red wine. We may have a glass of wine, but we'll save the celebrations hopefully for Sunday night. We'd love to compete this weekend. That's what's special about this tournament and why Zurich have done such a good job here is they've created an environment where you can get two competitors who get a chance to experience this together, and hopefully have a chance to win a tournament and go down the back nine on Sunday sharing that experience.
Q. Do you think this experience, playing foursomes, can help for Ryder Cup maybe later this year?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, I mean, this guy is going to play many Ryder Cups, no doubt about it, and I think stuff like this is really important. I genuinely believe there should be a 72-hole stroke foursomes tournament, alternate-shot tournament, just pure alternate-shot, because I kind of believe it's like the purest form of the game. There's nothing more difficult than having to hit one and then hand it over to your partner and then having him hand it back to you.
It really is -- it's a fun game, and to me it's something I think the Europeans are pretty good at in the Ryder Cup generally because we play a lot of it growing up actually, like in international golf, in amateur golf.
I think it's a great format, and like I say, it's nerve-racking, but I think this guy is going to play plenty of Ryder Cups, and these weeks are really important for him to get ready for those days.
Q. Graeme, when was the first hole-in-one?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: I think I was around 14 or 15. Sunday medal, Rathmore. I kind of had like a solid four-ball on the weekend with three adults, and we always split the twos. You know you put a pound in for the twos and you split the balls, but you hole in one you win all the balls, so my four-ball was very happy with me. I remember it, it was on No. 3 at the Valley at Rathmore, 9-iron. Little baby cut 9-iron in.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports