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June 14, 2007

Graeme McDowell


GRAEME McDOWELL: It was a little softer this morning. I was trying to land it to the front edge and chase it down to the pin. Hit the front edge, and it stopped and left myself a 30-footer down the hill across the slope. Whipped it 12 feet by and said, "Welcome to the U.S. Open." Missed the one coming back.
I hit 16 greens in regulation today. Played really well. Missed like two, maybe three fairways. I mean, I really couldn't have faulted my tee-to-green game today. But my putting was not good for the first nine holes at all.
I don't feel like I prepared well enough on the greens this week. I felt the putting green was really disappointing. I haven't been able to get any work done at all. There's only like six holes and it's obviously on the back of the ninth green and there's not enough room to get a feel for these things. It's difficult because the pins, we don't know where they are going to be when we are out playing practice rounds.
It's tough to focus on pace and really get your head around these things, because they are the hardest greens I've ever putted on in my life, there's no doubt about it. They are very difficult, very tricky. I just didn't get off to a good start. As I say I hit two good shots on the first, walked off with a 5 and 3-putted from about 25 feet on the par 3, No. 13. I put it in the bunker on 18 and left myself about a 90-yarder. Flew it about two yards too long and stuck it on top of the mound and I was staring 6 in the face with nearly an impossible 2-putt really. Yeah, I walked off there with six.
So I hit eight greens in the first nine holes and was 4-over par and was tearing my hair out to be honest. Was not in a very good frame of mind when I stood on the first tee box, my 10th hole. My caddie had to "talk me in off the ledge," as he likes to call it; I wasn't feeling very good.
But on the back felt I got my head around the greens a little bit, eight pars and a birdie on the back. Hit some great irons today. Like that second shot on 9, right down the pin there and looking for a skip and stopped dead. Stuff like that all day, as I say, I feel I played well enough to do the job today. I just got off to a very slow start on the greens.
I have to say, I have never felt so uncomfortable on a putting surface in my life as I do out there. Doesn't matter if you're ten feet, 20 feet, 50 feet, they are awful. They are scary. They are really scary.

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