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September 14, 2008

Graeme McDowell


GRAEME McDOWELL: This week was about preparation really. I was a little rustier early in the week. Didn't really drive the ball particularly well and short game was a little rusty and worked fairly hard on it during the week and actually quite happy with what I'm seeing out there. Drove the ball much better and really happy with the way I'm putting the ball, as well. I've got a little bit of work to do when I get there next week, but basically the game is pretty much intact and all eyes on Valhalla. Really looking forward to it.

Q. Is it the preparation you expected? You said the course would be good preparation.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Obviously when the rains came Friday, Saturday, unfortunately the golf course got a little bit softer and I would have liked it to stay a little firmer and faster. I think the greens are going to be quick next week. Generally it's also great preparation, and this is a fantastic tournament. Obviously wasn't quite on my game like I should have been earlier in the week, but like I say it was preparation for next week and nice to play three, four, solid rounds of golf.

Q. You did say your thoughts would be in a couple of days; so were they more looking ahead, as opposed to this tournament when you're out of contention?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I fast-forwarded a week a few shots the last couple days and trying to put myself in the kind of environment next week in my own head and trying to putt myself under a bit of pressure and trying to acclimatise mentally, and so, yeah, a few times out there I was certainly thinking about next week a lot. As I say I worked very hard off the course this week just working on my short game, my putting and I'm very happy with the way I drove the ball the last couple of days.

Q. What's the plans now before you get on the plane tomorrow morning?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I'm straight home to Heathrow right now. Meet up with the family later for a bit of food, good night's sleep, get ready to go in the morning.

Q. Now that this tournament's out of the way and you have the preparation you're looking for, do you now start thinking about next week?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Absolutely. It's been hard to think about anything else the last few weeks. It's been pretty forefront of my mind. Like I say my game feels pretty intact and nothing to worry about. Obviously an exciting few days and a lot going on.
I've had a few good conversations with Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke and a few of the boys, a few of the Ryder Cuppers in the past. And obviously playing with Miguel Thursday, Saturday, just really trying to find out what to expect really this week. Obviously there's going to be a lot going on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, but the general consensus, opinion is really make time to get your own practise and preparation in and make sure you prepare the way you always prepare and I'll certainly be trying to do that.

Q. Did you seek them out or did they come to you?
GRAEME McDOWELL: A bit of both. Getting drawn with Miguel was kind of cool. Good to see him on the leaderboard. He played unbelievable when I played with him on Thursday and Saturday and we kind of laughed at the fact that we might get a game of foursomes together. I think our games are quite suited and got a bit of practise in with him this week.
Darren, he said to me at the start of the week, he would love a chat with me just to help me out and I really appreciated that. I was speaking to Paul yesterday on the range, as well. It's great to glean the experience of these guys, they have a few Ryder Cups under their belt and really nice to know what to expect really.

Q. Is there anything one thing that sticks in your mind?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Like I say, I knew it was going to be a tiring week but hearing them reiterate that to me is important, and like I say, getting my own preparation done, obviously apart from the look of the golf course and preparing the golf course, I think that they said that there's always something to do unless you're on the range or on the golf course.
So really make sure you prepare the way you always like to prepare for an event and certainly I'll be trying to do that.

Q. As long as you don't take it too far and do what Mickelson did a few years ago and go practise on a different golf course than everybody else?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Did he really? Wow, I don't think I'll be getting away with that.

Q. Have you tried the uniform on that you're going to wear tomorrow?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I tried it on a couple of weeks ago, trousers are about three inches too big in the waist, so obviously lost a bit of weight and a bit too long.

Q. Were you standing in front of the mirror admiring yourself, that sort of stuff?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I always do that! I haven't seen the rest; it's going to be waiting for us. It's going to be exciting lots of goodies this week. I just want to see the bag with my name on it. I've always dreamed to represent Europe in The Ryder Cup, and, you know, here we go.

Q. Got your parents with you and your brother?
GRAEME McDOWELL: My mom and dad and brother, and I have some really good friends coming out, as well. Probably not going to get a chance to see them much but it's going to be an exciting week and good to have some friendly faces in the crowd.

Q. Who do you know least about on the U.S. Team?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I played a lot of college golf with Hunter Mahan but don't really know it the guy too well. Trying to think -- Boo Weekley, Steve Stricker. I've played golf with most of them before. I probably know them as well as most of the guys do on the team to be honest. There's a few unknown quantities no doubt about it and I think we have the same on our team. I think it's going to be a pretty even match up and I think we have the firepower to give them a good run and maybe take it home again.
I think I'll sleep well tonight. It's been a good week's preparation and it's been tricky. The conditions have been tough, so I really have no problem sleeping normally, so I may be eating my words come Thursday night.

Q. From a team point of view as well, clearly Robert is winning this week, and Søren is up there, couldn't have been better.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Walking down 13, I said, I'm the only idiot not on the leaderboard this week. I'd better get my act together. But it's been a solid performance from me. I haven't been knocking the flags out like Miguel was and like I say, I feel I'm taking a bit of form over there. I'm sure Nick's taking note of what's going on, and great to see Robert obviously doing the business this afternoon. Great for team morale, team spirit. Guys coming in with that amount of confidence; he was the guy with a bad neck three weeks ago, so I guess that's gone.

End of FastScripts

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