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February 2, 2008

Graeme McDowell


Q. Playing 18, great finish.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Unconventional is a different way to describe it. Obviously hit it a little left off the tee in the sand there. Obviously got bunched in the trees and stuff, there was a heel print as well so trying to hook it around the trees in front of me, and came out a little straight obviously. Thought I hit it in the water, came up short. I had a perfect lie, 150 yards and hit a little 7-iron, pretty conventional, eight feet, made it, birdie, thanks.
Disappointed with my tee shot because I really didn't hit that bad of a tee shot. We were a little bit all over the place coming down the stretch. I drove the ball great today.
It was a reasonably solid day all the way around. I made a few nice putts. It was tricky. You know, I mean, I think looking at the leaderboard there, you can see that the leaders really didn't go nuts today apart from Ernie. I was just thinking it's tricky enough out there. The course was burned up, fired up and kind I deserved. I was trying to pick 1-up coming in. 3-under, I'm content and 2-under, I wouldn't have been terribly disappointed but 3-under gives it more of a shine so very happy to birdie the last in style.

Q. Nice position for the final day.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, three back is perfect. Exactly where I wanted to be at the start of the week. I wanted to give myself a chance. I think I'm playing well enough. Iron play is still not on the ball. If I can get my irons just sorted out for tomorrow, definitely putting well enough. So just a matter of giving myself the chances tomorrow.

Q. And you will relish being in that company at the stop?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, this is what the game is all about. You want to putt your game against the best in the world and I'm going to get that opportunity tomorrow. It's early in the season and I wanted to get the juices flowing early and that's what I wanted to do coming out to the desert and very content with the game.

Q. Did you get to speak to Damien; were you envious of him out there today?
GRAEME McDOWELL: No. I was happy with where I was. Great experience for him. I'll be looking forward to chatting with him. I had the experience a few years ago. The guy, he's a different class the rest but I suppose, you know, I don't know what it looks like. I might have a chance to play with him tomorrow myself.
But he's the guy you want to play with on Sunday, no doubt about it. Even a Saturday will do. I'm sure Damien will learn a lot from him. End of the day, he's got to get his ball through 18 holes as well. But we all know we're pretty privileged to be playing golf on the same golf course as this guy because he's best ever and probably won't ever see another player like him for many years to come.

Q. Talking about getting yourself in position, how much are you looking forward to it now?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I'm excited. Like I say I've got a lot of belief in what I'm doing and I have a short game to match up with a decent long game. That's kind of one of the areas I'm concentrating end of last year and my short game stood me in great stead this week. I haven't been hitting all the greens, and I've been keeping the momentum going well with good chipping and good putting and that's what the best in the world do and that's what I've got to keep working onto get myself back up to the upper echelons of the game.

Q. How far short of the water were you on the 18th?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I was well short of it, 15 yards short of it but ten yards left of it, plenty of room in the end. It was a nasty lie and didn't have a whole lot of option and had to take the big hook on and obviously didn't hook.

End of FastScripts
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