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July 16, 2009

Rory McIlroy


RORY McILROY: It got a bit bad and a bit ugly, but overall I thought I played very solidly. I had eight 3s on my scorecard, which is good around here, good around any golf course. And I hit the ball a lot better today than I have been the last week or so.
I struggled with my game at Loch Lomond and I found something on the range on Tuesday afternoon, and I hit the ball really good today.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RORY McILROY: Not really, it was only a 9-iron, just trying to get it up the fairway. But I was 2-under at that point and I made double to go back to level par. So I just started all over again.
So like you're level par, it's just the same as making eight pars in a row. And luckily I made a couple of birdies on the way in. And to shoot under par in the first round of a major is always nice.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RORY McILROY: Yeah, well, my coach -- it went right at my coach's feet, Michael Bannon. He knew where it was, so he went down and he was searching for it and searching for it, and he stood up and he was right on top of it. So if he didn't stand up, I would have had to declare a lost ball and I would have made an 8 or a 9 or something.
I was pretty lucky to find the ball and escape with a 6. I thought, well, sometimes bogey is a good score, and that was one of those times.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RORY McILROY: No, not really. I've struggled with that tee shot every time I've played it. It's because the slope of the fairway is left to right and you've got the bunkers on the right and you feel as if you have to draw it off those bunkers. It's quite a tough tee shot. I tried to just hit a little draw 3-wood and over-drew it too much today.
So maybe tomorrow morning I might just lay up short of the bunkers with a 5-wood or something and leave myself a longer shot.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I mean it was actually -- it was actually a good enough lie, but there was a clump of grass a foot behind the ball, so when I was coming into impact, that's obviously when the grass tangled the club up and just turned it over. I think if I just cut a little steeper on it I probably would come out okay.

Q. How happy are you with your score today?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I think, you know, anytime you shoot under par in a major in the first round is good. Obviously the scoring is very good today. But I'm only four off the lead, so going into tomorrow if I start well, I'll be right there.

Q. Do you think conditions were pretty good for scoring today?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, they were. The conditions were fantastic. Hopefully it can stay like this for tomorrow morning. I think there's a bit of wind that's going to get up in the afternoon, so hopefully I can get in before that.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I think he was just sort of -- people sort of crack their neck and stuff, and he went for one more and he got it, and then it just sort of hurt him a little bit. He's okay. He struggled for a couple of holes, but once the physio came out he was okay.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RORY McILROY: Yeah, but he came back really well. He was 2-over playing the 16th, and he was unfortunate the ball spun back into the water.
But he made a nice birdie on the last. Considering he was 5 over after 2 to shoot 3-over par I thought was a really good score today.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I mean -- yeah, they are. You've just got to take your medicine, get them out and try to make a 4 or 5 from there.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RORY McILROY: Yeah. I hit a -- there's a scoreboard out in the distance which you hit it at that's covered in green net and stuff. So you hit it right of that green thing, and then I hit it perfect right on it and had 114 yards to the pin. My sand wedge goes about 115, but where the pin was, I just saw it and so I took 15 yards off a wedge and played past the pin just to the left, so just played it smartly, and I was lucky enough to hole about a 25-foot putt.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I mean it's incredible what Tom's done today to shoot 65. It was Greg Norman last year who was doing it, and Tom's done it this year. I think he's 39 years older than me. So if I can go around Turnberry in 39 years' time in 65, I'll be very happy.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RORY McILROY: He's got a bit of experience on this golf course, I think he's done okay in the past.

Q. (Question regarding the appearance of the leaderboard.)
RORY McILROY: Definitely, yeah. There's a lot of great, young British players. You've got Ross Fisher, Paul Casey, Poulter, Luke Donald; there's a lot of us. And I think it would be nice to see a few of us contending, and if not this tournament, in majors in the near future.
But definitely for this week it would be great to see a few of us up on the leaderboard come Sunday afternoon.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RORY McILROY: I'm not sure. It's a tough golf course. You miss a couple of fairways -- I mean, I've only missed a few fairways, and the couple of fairways that I did miss cost me a double bogey and a bogey. So if you're just slightly off your game, you can make a couple of big numbers, but then if you're on your game you can make this course look very easy today, which some people did.

Q. (Inaudible.)
RORY McILROY: I said to him, I said that's one of the best up-and-downs I've ever seen. I mean, I was with JP and I was saying, I don't know if I'd play it on my knees or I'll take an unplayable or what I'd do with it. Every time, or sometimes when I've been in the gym, he's been in there and he's been stretching. I was walking up to the tee saying, "All that gym work has paid off, I guess."

Q. (Inaudible.)
RORY McILROY: No, he said, "I've had 20 more years to stretch than you."

End of FastScripts

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