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July 23, 2006

Graeme McDowell


GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, obviously pretty disappointed. My putter just completely did me in this weekend. I just needed to go out and hole a few to get my confidence, but it never happened. It just spiraled out of control from there. I three putted three times in the first 12 or 13 holes. So I'm very disappointed. As good as my game has been this week, the putter has just been so bad.

Q. Have any positives come out of this week?

GRAEME McDOWELL: Yes, plenty of positives. I'm driving the ball really well again. I'm very happy with my iron play. It's been there for a while now. My short game is good. I know I can hole putts. But on these greens it just didn't fit my eye this week. I didn't get my pace good, I didn't read them well, I made nothing.

So I definitely hit the golf ball tee to green as well as I have all year this week and obviously the U.S. Open. I can take a lot of positives away from those. I'm very, very close to putting it all together.

Q. There's been some criticism of the pin positions.

GRAEME McDOWELL: The pins were very severe today. The greens were getting very shiny, very glassy. A couple of times myself and Robert hit decent putts and they just ran on six or seven feet past the hole. It was very severe out there today, especially when you're not putting well, you have no chance. You can't expect to be hitting it close, therefore you're having to scramble, and scrambling means you're having to hole six footers. I'm just not putting well, that's that. I'm disappointed, very disappointed.

Q. The putting went out of the blue, didn't it?

GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, it's the kind of bizarre spin this game gives you. When you play badly, you putt well. When you start hitting well tee to green you hole nothing. But anyway, I'm upbeat. I'm disappointed today, but I'm looking forward to Germany this week. I really feel like my game is all there, no doubt about it.

Q. The driving which was a problem a month ago is totally fixed now?

GRAEME McDOWELL: My driving's back on track again. I'm really starting to drive the ball well. My iron play is very strong. I think I was 15th in greens in regulation and 67th in putting for the weekend. No good, really. So I'll be doing a lot of work on my putting next week. I know the rest of my game is in good shape.

Q. You're 27 years old; you'll have lots more chances at this.

GRAEME McDOWELL: We like to beat ourselves up at the time, don't we? Days like that it's tough. You have to try to challenge yourself out there and try to learn from it. But it's very, very difficult. You're out there in front of 50,000 people trying to shoot 80. It's no fun when you can't hole a putt. It just really becomes a mental battle when you're putting that badly. It starts out being a technical battle, then it becomes a feel battle and then it's totally a mental battle.

Q. You shot 66 on Thursday and now you're struggling to break 80. Where did it go?

GRAEME McDOWELL: I guess I have to look and say I led The Open but I didn't even putt well Thursday, but right up until yesterday I was in the mix. Four or five putts in three rounds, I would have been in the mix to win The British Open this weekend. I've got to stay upbeat and take positives away. I'm performing really well in majors at the moment. I know I have the game to do this one time in my life. Life goes on, really.

Q. Do you think the experience of leading The Open will help you next time?

GRAEME McDOWELL: I hope so, obviously. It's a good experience. Right from the word go, right from when I was a teenager, everything has been an experience but it doesn't feel like that at the time. Obviously it's something you draw on for the future and I'll be a better player. Even with 79 today, I'll be a better player tomorrow.

It's tough to be down on yourself, but that's the reality of it, I guess. It hurts now, but somewhere down the line, after the 79 I shot today I turned an 81 into a 79, could be a 70 into a 68.

Q. Where are you playing the next few weeks?

GRAEME McDOWELL: Deutsche Bank the next week, but after that I have no idea. Between the Deutsche Bank and the PGA I don't know what I'll do. I'm in the PGA, I already have my invite. I'm not in Bridgestone, I don't think so. I haven't played Medinah, I'm looking forward to. I've heard great things about Chicago.

Today was a bit of a brutal one, but it happened, unfortunately. My game is in good shape. Today was a bit of a brutal one, but it's tough out there. The pins were very difficult. The wind was gustier today, difficult, definitely was stronger at certain points. I controlled my ball pretty well all week, but today I lost my positioning a little bit. Maybe I tried to hit my irons a little too close. But it's tough out there today, no doubt.

Q. Some people said they were more nervous today than on other days.

GRAEME McDOWELL: I was pretty nervous on the greens, just because I didn't know what the hell was going to happen. It's amazing, I just if feel comfortable with the putter at all. I wouldn't say I was any more nervous, but looking at some of those pins makes you nervous. On No. 10 it's hanging off the front edge of the green. If you play the smart shot to the back of the green, you can putt off the front of the green. There are a few pins out there where you can putt off the green. I'm looking forward to going home and watching how the leaders do this afternoon.

End of FastScripts.

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