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March 13, 2009

Rory McIlroy


Q. Do you see any end to the form at the moment?
RORY MCILROY: Not really. As I said, I've been playing well, and it's a golf course that suits my eye and my type of golf course; hit it long and hit it high. The greens are pretty firm.
No, it's been a great few weeks, and obviously it's another good week this week.
You know, going into the weekend with a good mind-set and hopefully picking up another really good finish.

Q. No plans to change --
RORY MCILROY: Not at all. It's the way I play. It's the way I enjoy playing. If you don't enjoy playing golf, then you shouldn't really be here. I get a kick out of it when I'm trying to go for greens and trying to go for pins over water, yeah.

Q. How close did you come -- the TV saw you taking the club back --
RORY MCILROY: Oh, he caught it, it was fine. He was expecting it. Yeah, they were the two best shots I think I've ever hit to be honest. That 4-iron on 18 was up there, as well. Two great shots today, and, you know, it's nice to convert both of them.

Q. Kenny Perry said he might have physically been able to do what you're doing at your age but not mentally; what do you say to that?
RORY MCILROY: It's been said, a lot of guys my age have the same attributes and the same physical talents, but I suppose it's how you deal with the attention and the pressure. I seem to deal with it pretty well.
As I say, I just go out and enjoy playing golf, and if I can keep that mind-set for the rest of my career, I will be doing pretty good.

Q. How is it being known?
RORY MCILROY: It's nice to be known. You're obviously doing well if you're getting recognized and you get more well known.
But you know, I just think that it comes with what we do, and as long as I keep playing good and a lot of people recognize me, I know I'll be playing well.

Q. You're going to play in your first Masters.

Q. Within a month. Have you thought about it, a lot?
RORY MCILROY: Not really. I suppose I've got Houston before Augusta, and I'll be concentrating on that. Obviously by the time Sunday comes around, then I guess then I'll be thinking about Augusta.
No, I can't really think forward. Like I said before, I'm trying to treat it as just a normal event. I know it won't be a normal event, but I'll try and prepare like it was just any other week.

Q. Was it a bigger event than anything, the Open?
RORY MCILROY: Yeah, The Open Championship was a lot bigger for me growing up, definitely, because it's our home tournament. It's the major that's closest to us. So The Open Championship was a lot bigger for me, but obviously watching the Masters on TV, you know, waiting for April to get around so you can see it.
No, it will be a huge week for me, but I'm concentrating on the next few weeks before it.

Q. What were your expectations for this tournament?
RORY MCILROY: What's that?

Q. (No mic. )
RORY MCILROY: No, I sort of like being the center of attention. It's nice. (Smiling).
No, I feel very comfortable in it. You know, I've been doing a lot of media since I was quite young back home, and I've become used to it. You know, as I said, if you're doing well and you know, people want to ask you questions; you know, you would rather be getting asked questions, because you know you're doing well then.

Q. Is there anything about being on the leaderboard, going to Augusta, so on and so forth, do you find it at all overwhelming?
RORY MCILROY: No, it's what I always wanted to do. I always expected to get to this point but I never thought I would do it so quickly.
No, it's just what I've always wanted to do. I've never wanted to do anything else.

Q. Are you surprised you're doing so well against the best golfers in the world?
RORY MCILROY: Well, it's so soon. Only eight months ago I was 200th in the world. It's been a fast rise. I know all of the guys out here so I'm very comfortable now.

Q. Have there been any changes now knowing where you are?
RORY MCILROY: Just trying to get into contention on the back nine on Sunday and that's all I'm trying to do. That's been my mind-set every tournament over the past year or so, and I've been able to play myself into those positions. On the weekend we'll see what happens.

Q. Is there a golfer growing up you admired?
RORY MCILROY: When I was really young it, was Nick Faldo, when I started playing the game. Then when Tiger came on the scene in '97, he was -- he still obviously is the most well-known athlete in the world, let alone golfer. I think everyone my age looked up to Tiger, and it's nice to be able to compete with him and play in the same tournaments with him now.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RORY MCILROY: He stopped playing majors in '96, so I had to go with someone else.

Q. A lot of guys hit 3-wood on some holes where theoretically you hit driver. Aggression is one of the things you're known for, are you having to reign it in a little bit?
RORY MCILROY: No, I think I'm long enough to carry most of the bunkers. There's a few doglegs, but even if you pitched it in the rough, the rough is not that bad this week, so you can still get a little bit of control out of it.
But yeah, as I said, I enjoy being aggressive on the golf course. I'm not going to change it. I get a kick out of it, and I'll keep playing like that.

Q. Are you hoping to get a practice round with Tiger at the Masters -- or maybe there is something he can learn from you?
RORY MCILROY: I think I can learn a lot more from him than he can from me, thank you.

End of FastScripts

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