April 14, 2022
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA
Harbour Town Golf Links
Q. Graeme, how would you assess your round today?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Pleasing. First six holes it was pretty benign, sort of a morning in Hilton Head, but the wind eventually showed up, and it was pretty tricky. It was gusty, so you had to really pick your moment to hit shots.
The golf course is in great shape. I think it will continue to firm up going into the weekend. And it's always a great test of golf here. I felt like I controlled my ball well, kept it in play off the tee, which is number one key, and obviously iron play and I felt good on the greens.
Decent start. Got to continue doing the same things going into the weekend. Like I say, getting it into play off the tees is so huge around here.
Q. You were playing well in the Dominican a few weeks ago. You had some back spasms, if I'm not mistaken. How are those feeling? What did you kind of have to do to alleviate some of that pain?
GRAEME McDOWELL: For sure. What happened in the DR is really disappointing to me because I really felt like I had a chance to win that weekend. Thankfully it was a muscle strain rather than some sort of joint or spine issue. Fortunately, it just required rest.
I tried to play San Antonio. I probably shouldn't have traveled in hindsight. Watched plenty of Masters last week, got plenty of rest. Thankfully, I've been able to pick the game up where I left off, where I felt like I was really swinging the club well, controlling my ball flight, and really hitting a lot of good shots.
So it was pleasing to come here the last few days and see that obviously the back hasn't really affected my golf swing much at all.
Q. Not to sound negative here, but you said you watched a lot of the Masters. Can that be motivating for you to have to watch it from home and not be at a major?
GRAEME McDOWELL: It's always great to watch the best players in the world and realize that you were there once and you can be back there again.
Augusta, it's such a special week. I know every golf shot so well on that course. It's just great to see the guys out there, especially in tough conditions. It's also motivating and inspiring, and obviously I want to be back up there competing with the best players in the world.
I feel like I've got some renewed energy the last few months and want to obviously continue that momentum, continue playing well. This is always a fun golf course and a challenge I enjoy.
Q. Graeme, this golf course, overall setting, how would it rate for you as being a special place? Is it most comfortable for you?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I love the island here, especially coming off the back of Augusta back in the years where I played there, and I'd come here the week after. It was always such a decompress. It was always such a great event, but it had a different feel from what you just came out of. You just came out of like an amphitheater into a phenomenal golf course where people are just happy to see you.
Great food, good hospitality here. I've got the family with me this week, which is cool. We haven't really traveled much the last few years as a family to golf tournaments. It's a nice distraction kind of chasing the kids around the house in the evening and takes my mind off golf just nicely and keeps me feeling fresh.
Q. If you could steal one player's talent, would it be Shane Lowry's chipping?
GRAEME McDOWELL: It would probably be Shane Lowry's chipping, yes. Although Scottie Scheffler's chipping looked pretty insane last week as well. But no, Shane, to me, is one of the best chippers of the ball that I've seen. There's a lot of talents I would like for myself -- Rory's driving, Tiger's mind. Shane's chipping is right up there for me.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports