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May 30, 2009

Rory McIlroy


RODDY WILLIAMS: Rory, thanks very much for coming in. Terrific round out there. We were just talking about the finish as we were walking in, you're pretty pleased to come in with three pars on those last holes.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, you have to make your score on the front nine of the golf course today. The back nine is playing seriously -- well, after 14 through I think even the par 515th is playing really tough.
I was happy to escape the last five holes in 1-over par.
RODDY WILLIAMS: And you're right in contention going into the final round, another great Saturday for you.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, another great Saturday. I said my Saturdays of late haven't been that good and I turned that around, and I shot a nice 65 last week. I shot a really good score today again.
So it's nice to know when you have to be able to put yourself into contention and I've been able to do that the last few weeks.

Q. What have you learned about following that up after last week?
RORY McILROY: It depends. I didn't play that badly last week in the last round. I just was put into the shade by a certain Ross Fisher. Yeah, I mean, I don't know what the weather forecast is like tomorrow, but if it blows that strong again, it will be tough.
But as I said, just have a go at it and make your score on the first few holes on the front nine, because I hit a drive and a sand wedge on the fifth par 5, so it was playing like an easy par 4 if you got your drive.

Q. Is this a course that you have to decide which hole you're going to attack and which you're not?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, in a way. The way the wind is today, the first, second, fourth and fifth are all big birdie opportunities.
And then, yeah, the par 5s here are pretty much where you can make your score. You know, I didn't actually -- they moved the tee up on 13, as well so it's only 180 yards to the pin or whatever. Yeah, as I say, you've got to make your score on the birdieable holes, and then you just sort of have to hang on.

Q. Survive the rest?
RORY McILROY: Exactly.

Q. What did you do at the fifth?
RORY McILROY: The fifth, I hit a great drive. I had 118 yards to the pin (chuckling). I hit a sand wedge to 15 feet. Pretty routine eagle. (Laughter).

Q. You mentioned yesterday you were feeling a wee bit tired, did you have a good night's sleep?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I had a really nice bath and got into bed and watched the golf over in the States. Watched that for a bit and then went to bed, so, yeah, a good night's sleep.

Q. But seriously you are feeling a little bit --
RORY McILROY: Yeah, a little bit, mentally I'm fine but physically, when I play a lot of golf, I do get a little niggle in my lower back, which I've just got to keep on top of, and after this, I'm going to go and get a little bit of physio.

Q. Are you intending a rest at some point soon?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I've got two weeks off the next couple of weeks. I'll probably put the clubs away for the first half of next week and get them out again. When I hit a lot of balls, I do just -- it isn't that good for me when I'm a little bit tired so, just put the clubs away for a while.

Q. Speaking of you going home last night and watching golf on the TV from the states, do you basically just eat, sleep, drink golf?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I'm a bit of a golf geek to be honest. Yeah, it's nice to see how especially with Casey doing pretty well again, and Luke Donald is up there again; Stricker shot a couple of 63s. It's good, as well, just to see how the guys around me in the World Rankings are doing and just to see what I need to do over at this side of the pond to try to jump them or keep with them or whatever.

Q. You don't feel like you need to switch it off at night?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I quite enjoy it.

Q. Britain's Got Talent final tonight.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, big diversity.

Q. Why watch golf then?
RORY McILROY: I think Britain's Got Talent might edge it tonight (smiling).

Q. Are you worried about the slight back problems?
RORY McILROY: No, we are on top of it. I had MRI scans at the start of the year, and we know what to do and what's wrong with it. It's just a matter of keeping on top of it and keeping the muscles around my lower back as strong as possible so I don't get these niggles and injuries.

Q. Having won in Dubai, how much smarter will you be?
RORY McILROY: It depends where I am on the leaderboard going into tomorrow. If I'm in the final couple of groups -- it was a little different in Dubai. I led going into the last round and then started off with three birdies in a row, so sort of had a bit of a lead.
It would be great to come from a couple behind to win, as well. But you've just got to go out there, and it's another round of golf and another opportunity to shoot a good score. If I can shoot another good score, I know I'll have a very good chance to win. So, yeah, just got to go out and do it.

Q. Would you take the end of this round?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, with the tough finish, you never know. Chris Wood is in the clubhouse at 6-under with myself, so you never know.

Q. How many shots lead would you like to have standing on the 18th tee tomorrow?
RORY McILROY: I don't think there would be enough. If I needed a five to win, I would blast it down there with all the crowds. Yeah, we were actually talking about it at dinner, and if you hit it up the 10th, it's quite a good play up the 10th, left, but no, probably won't do that.

Q. Who was that?
RORY McILROY: G-Mac and Ollie Wilson.

Q. Robert Karlsson took 3-wood today and worked out very well.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it was an awesome shot. He cut it close to the water and he wouldn't have cleared it where he pitched it, but yeah, it was just sort of a little like a linksy shot.
I'd rather just take it all out of play.

Q. How about playing the 10th hole today, the second bit of fairway?
RORY McILROY: Oh, the second bit of fairway, yeah, it was 350 to that fairway. Actually, I did it last year because the wind was quite strong and I was able to get it onto that fairway last year. Again, it takes everything out of play, takes the bunkers on the right out of play and takes the water on the left out of play.
You know, you would be very unlucky to get -- I only had, what, 50 yards to the pin or whatever today. So you would be very unlucky to get a bad lie where you couldn't get it on the green.

Q. You talked about the 5th where you hit driver, sand wedge downwind. Can you give us a horror into the wind yardage?
RORY McILROY: I had 16, 7-iron, 153 and came up 30 yards short.

Q. Caddie error then?
RORY McILROY: Ahhh, no. I hit it good, just kept climbing in the wind and just about cleared the bunker, about 50 yards short.

Q. In normal condition, what would you hit a 7-iron?
RORY McILROY: If it's warm and it's flat-calm, I would hit a 7-iron 180 yards.

Q. Do you enjoy having the gallery with you? Do you feed off that?
RORY McILROY: I do, I definitely do. I feel as if when I'm playing in front of a gallery, I play better.

Q. Do you like the atmosphere?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, exactly, I like the atmosphere.

Q. Entertaining, or trying to, anyway.

Q. How closely do you study the World Rankings do you know what a win would do for you?
RORY McILROY: I don't know how many points would be for the winner this week. Couldn't do me any harm, I know that.

Q. Some are calling the 18th the toughest driving hole in the world with the wind.
RORY McILROY: There's a few, the 6th hole at Carnoustie, that's a pretty tough driving hole. It is one of the toughest we play all year, definitely.

Q. Just the pace of the greens, you seemed to roll a few past, were they quicker today or what was going on there?
RORY McILROY: I'm not sure. I think the couple of putts that did run by were into the wind, so I thought I needed to hit them a little bit harder because a few putts were affected by the wind.
So I thought I needed to hit them a little bit harder and obviously I didn't.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Rory, thank you very much, indeed.

End of FastScripts

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