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June 15, 2007

Graeme McDowell


GRAEME MCDOWELL: After the way I started on the greens yesterday, it was the complete opposite today. I hit two decent shots today, and finished on the front edge of the green and made a putt from 60 feet maybe, right in the middle. That just got me off and running I have to say.
I didn't feel as good today as I felt yesterday but I just felt a lot better on the greens generally. I felt like I played some good golf. I really hit a lot of greens again today. I missed two greens out there with chip shots. It's that kind of golf course, though.
Generally very, very content to be reasonably in contention I think for tomorrow. So I feel like I'm playing well enough to do a little bit of damage this weekend.

Q. What's to say about your game that you were able to recover from those three bogeys can?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, I think it says a lot about my belief in my golf swing which I didn't have for one last year. Mentally I think I'm in a good place and I feel good about a lot of the things I'm doing. I have a great caddie on the bag who helps me a lot.
I think the experience of playing my third U.S. Open, I think you learn as you go along that five, six shots is nothing out here, because I mean, there's double-bogeys around every corner. You miss a fairway, you hit in the wrong place on the green, it's just so much trouble out there, and you've just got to hang tough really and I feel like I've done that well the last couple of days, apart from maybe the end of the first nine holes yesterday where I was kind of feeling a little bit down on myself and beating myself up a little bit.
I feel like the last 27 holes I've been in a really good state of mind so I hope that continues for the weekend. It's absolutely brutal out there. I have to say I've really grinded hard for 36 holes and what's my reward? I have to go and do it all again on the weekend.

Q. Do you feel tired mentally?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: I feel good mentally. I've paced myself well this year for this very reason, to make sure I'm feeling fresh for this time of the season. Generally I felt great on the golf course today. I was really happy with my energy levels and hopefully I can keep my head screwed on for the weekend really.

Q. To what extent will that course allow you to scramble or must everything be hit precisely?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Scrambling is very, very difficult because the rough is very penal around the greens and the pins are starting to be tucked away. So, you know, I've scored with good iron play. I haven't scored by scrambling.
I actually feel like that's an area of my game that I'm going to have to work on if I want to compete on this weekend. I have not scored from scrambling at all. I've hit some fantastic iron shots. The guys who are scrambling -- I had a really good lesson from Thomas Björn yesterday on the chipping green yesterday. He's got a 64-degree wedge in the bag this week, primarily just to get it up-and-down from these greens and he's probably one of the best in the world at that. I want to try to find him again this evening to see if he can help because I find it very difficult to get the ball up-and-down from this rough. It's very severe.

Q. It's the most severe examination of that type?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, this is not the toughest golf course I've ever seen tee-to-green but on and around the greens, this is by far the toughest test I've ever played in my life, bar none; Augusta. It's treacherous around the greens and really, really tough.

Q. How do you think you will react, the weekend?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: I've been there before. I had 27 holes to go at Winged Foot last year, two back, and didn't react very well there last year because I didn't feel it in my golf swing.
I believe in what I'm doing now. I have a lot of confidence in what I'm doing. For two days I've hit some really lovely iron shots. I did the same at Winged Foot last year and it's great to come to another U.S. Open and be controlling my ball better than I have for a very long time.
Like I said, short game, getting the ball up-and-down from around the greens is the key to me contending this weekend, and I'm off to the chipping green here in a second.

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