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July 7, 2007

Graeme McDowell


RODDY WILLIAMS: Graeme, thanks very much for coming and joining us. Great round out there and puts you right back in the mix again going into the final round.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, hopefully as long as the leaders don't go crazy on me. I knew I needed a low one today. I knew I had one in me, as well, if I could just hit the ball in play a little more off the tee. I feel like the rest of my game has been in pretty good shape all week. I did that this morning. Probably could have been a few better, left a few putts out there on the greens.
Generally, solid play, and always nice to keep bogey off your card and nice to hopefully get myself back in the mix a little bit.
RODDY WILLIAMS: That eagle on 3 got you off to a great start.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah. Got me off a great start. Surprised my 3-wood came up short. Hit a good 3-wood for my second and hit on the front edge and stopped and had a pretty straightforward chip shot and made it, and it was a really, really good way to start and played some lovely golf after that.
Felt like I could not capitalise on some good play and birdied the 7, par 5, which was a drive and hybrid pin-high and got it up-and-down.
Generally, like I say, I feel like I played a little better than that. My iron play wasn't quite on the number, and as I say, I've struggled on the greens a little bit this week but hopefully I'm saving them all up for tomorrow.

Q. You needed a low one today; can you produce a low one tomorrow?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I think I'll probably need it. I'm pretty -- I'm able to do that. I feel like I'm playing well enough.
I found a little something in my swing yesterday afternoon on the range, and it was just a little bit of a sequence, a little bit of a rhythm issue. And certainly struck the ball a lot better today and hit some great shots and great drivers. If I can just get my irons on the greens, read them a little better; they are quite subtle, great surface. You feel like you should make everything on them. But I really haven't made anything of note this week apart from the odd one. But yeah, I'm certainly prepared to have to go low tomorrow.

Q. Can you have a go at the flags?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I think it's soft enough where you can be aggressive off the tee. You can certainly attack the pin positions. The greens are soft enough, doesn't matter where they put the pins. You can certainly attack in the conditions out there. So, yeah, like I say, I think there's low numbers to be had and I'm hoping nobody goes crazy in front of me.

Q. Good momentum going into Sunday?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, momentum is everything. We talk about this fine line there is between 65 and 75 sometimes. There's no doubt momentum is a big key. If you can get off to a decent start and feel like you can get some reward from a decent play; there's nothing worse than feeling like you're getting nothing out of your round. It's frustrating when you make a bogey, but if you can get off to a decent start, get some momentum and wind in your sails as such, you feel like you're getting something from your round, that keeps you in a much more positive frame of mind and certainly allows you to go a little bit lower.

Q. How important was the start?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Obviously nothing better than starting with a few birdies to get you going and get the adrenaline pumping and see the ball get in the hole a few times. It's nice to get the crowd cheering and get everyone going.

Q. Which ones do you think you left out there?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I'll have to think pretty hard, but, you know, I feel like I hit it to 15 feet a lot today and didn't really make much. I scrambled a lot of times, as well.
Maybe I'm being a little harsh saying I left a few out there because it could have been a few worse if I didn't get the ball up-and-down, but that's golf, really, isn't it.
10, I hit driver, 3-wood to the edge, had a straightforward chip and didn't get it up-and-down. Hit it to about 12 feet on the next and missed it. It was just around the turn sort of 10, 11, had a few chances.
I hit it stiff then on 14. I kind of broke the deadlock a little bit as such, kind of four holes where I had been playing good and made nothing. Yeah, No. 14, I just about made a 9-iron up the hill and that got me up and running.
I made a good putt on 15. And 16, 17, 18, pretty tough little finish, so I had a good chance on 17. Burned the edge on 16, actually, and 18 I hit it well short of the green. I was lucky I didn't get it in the water, there was so much wind, but I got it up-and-down, nice way to finish.

Q. Fairways and greens?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah. I generally drove the ball very well today. I can't think of any missed fairways. I'm sure I missed -- I can think of one missed. I probably missed a couple, but it's probably my best driving round of the week by a long stretch.
I think the key to the golf course is A, driving the ball very well because you can't play it from the rough, at all. The rough's dead.

Q. How many greens did you hit?
GRAEME McDOWELL: The greens were maybe 14. It wasn't a prolific iron-striking day. I didn't knock the pins down as much as I would like to, but I feel like I have a lot more in the tank for tomorrow.

Q. Can you tell me how long the 3-wood at 3 was?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I had about 258, 260 yards to the hole, something like that.

Q. What club did you chip-in with?
GRAEME McDOWELL: It was a 58 degree.

Q. Any rain?
GRAEME McDOWELL: One heavy shower in the 10th fairway, but other than that we had no rain at all. Actually felt like summer a few times out there this morning, and the rain came out and reminded us it wasn't summer after all. Generally got pretty lucky with the weather.

Q. Were you worried with the weather coming here?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Well, I think the field this week is reflecting that unfortunately. Guys are not wanting to come this stage of the season. They are not wanting to come battle the weather for a week with the British Open looming.
I'm sure the fact that it's not on the Ryder Cup course has affected, as well. Let's hope last year we can get back -- The K Club is synonymous with the Ryder Cup course, and that's the one we all want to play really to be honest. Not that there's nothing wrong with this golf course. We've played it for a few years now with the terrible weather and we've never had a chance to see it in all it's glory. So we are probably unfairly criticising this place.

Q. Thoughts of the World Cup?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I mean, I've always said I've love to get the opportunity to play in the World Cup. It's up to Padraig, really if he's going to play or not. I've love to get the opportunity to play but, you know, it not on the horizon for me at all.
Trying to keep my head down and stride to get through these next three or four weeks toward the US PGA and as soon as The Ryder Cup points kick in, I'm really trying to get my schedule sorted out for the rest of the year. I want to putt some points on the board before Christmas and really give myself something to play for next year.
World Cup, if it comes along, would be a fantastic bonus.

Q. What is your US PGA situation?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I've got to get into the Top-100 in the world. Not sure when the deadline is but generally I need to move in the right direction and certainly a low one tomorrow wouldn't hurt things along.

Q. How are you feeling?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I'm feeling pretty good actually, despite this little but of flu I've had. Generally my energy levels are feeling good. Making the decision to not practise too hard between rounds and just trying to rest up as much as possible, stay off the Guinness, and just generally rest up.
Next week, obviously qualifying at Sunningdale gives me an advantage of not having to go to Loch Lomond needing a result, so I can go there and just keep working on my game as I say and try not to work too hard off the course and get ready for Carnoustie. I want to stay strong for these next three weeks. I don't want to take any of them off if I don't of to. Like I say, I'm feeling pretty good right now, so I'm pretty happy.

Q. Relax on Monday?
GRAEME McDOWELL: No, I'm not -- actually Monday, no, I've got Karl Morris, my sports psychologist, coming up for a few hours. I'll do some work with him and maybe go to the range. And Monday, Tuesday I'll be spectating; watching my little brother play in the north of Ireland. I'm not sure if it will be relaxing or not, normally I find it a lot tougher watching him than I do playing. Like I say, it will just be relax really Monday, Tuesday and like I say getting ready for Loch Lomond.
I would love to caddie for him but A, I don't think I'm allowed to, and B, I don't think I could handle the stress. (Laughter).
RODDY WILLIAMS: Graeme, thanks very much.

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