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September 30, 2009

Rory McIlroy


SCOTT CROCKETT: Welcome to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship for 2009. I know it is a big week for the McIlroy family this week but let's start by you reflecting on last week at The Vivendi Trophy.
RORY McILROY: It was a fantastic week. I know I have said this before but Paul McGinley was just an unbelievable captain. He was almost inspirational. He said the right things, the preparations went well, team meetings went well and he just let us get on with it, play our own games. But what he stressed to us was, it is a team, but it is a team of ten individuals and just to do your own thing, what you normally do and not to do anything different. He made us feel very comfortable and that showed in the way we played. The team played fantastic all week, especially in the fourballs, the foursomes and the greensomes. Europe made a bit of a charge at us on Sunday but it was nice to be able to lead the guys off and get a point on the board early which was quite important at the end of the day.
SCOTT CROCKETT: It was a team event but a personal perspective your own performance must have been very pleasing.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it was, four points out of five, teamed up really well with G-Mac. We only lost one match, and the other three matches we played, we played very, very well. And then to beat Henrik on Sunday for myself, it was nice for me. He's one of the top 5 players in the world and I wanted that match all week and I got it and I was really up for it. I didn't disappoint myself.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Looking ahead to this week, nice to have another partner you can rely on?
RORY McILROY: It would be. Yeah, he's playing well. He's making a few birdies, especially from the tees he's playing. He can drive some of the greens and it makes it a little easier. Yeah, we are really looking forward to the week.
It will be a great three weeks with the family. Mum is coming in tonight. It will be good fun, and I think a lot of what this event is about is about having fun with the amateurs and obviously it's a big week for myself, as well, with The Race to Dubai. There's a lot of money up for grabs, so I'm sort of trying to focus on two things.

Q. Who tells who what to do?
RORY McILROY: Whom. Whom. (Laughter) I'm sure -- obviously I don't know, but I think it would be quite hard for a father to take advice off his son. We'll probably share ideas on the golf course. But you know what, it will be great fun.
I'll be trying to be getting involved in his play as much as I can and help him read a few putts and get a few lines off tees. We didn't get a chance to play Kingsbarns yesterday because of the weather, so I'll help him with lines off the tee. He tries to tell me what to do sometimes, so it's a bit of both.

Q. Last week and your pairing with G-Mac, given the fact that you and G-Mac qualify for The Ryder Cup, is the message you want to send to Monty, that you and G-Mac would like to be prepared?
RORY McILROY: I think that's up to -- obviously we have to make the team FIRST. If we do make the team, it's Monty's decision at the end of the day. And there's going to be 12 players on that team, and whoever he thinks is best to play together, then that's his decision, but I think we have made a strong case for ourselves.
It was good preparation, as well, for the World Cup in November, as well. But yeah, there would be nothing more I would love to do than play with G-Mac in The Ryder Cup and Wales next year. I think it would be awesome. It would be great fun. It was a lot of fun last week, and obviously the intensity level will go up a little bit at The Ryder Cup. Yeah, I'd love that. That would be great.

Q. Can you give us any more insights into the team room last week into what was happening to get you guys so fired up?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, Paul, he really wanted us to feel -- or not feel, but portray in the media and portray to everyone else around that we were the underdogs. Because then that could have made the Europeans a little complacent, a little cocky, a little whatever you want to call it, and so he stressed to us, don't feel like you're the underdogs, but portray in the media the European have a very strong side and we'll have to play very good golf to beat them. That was the thought process the whole week.
And I think we got ourselves so mentally up for it. We got into our heads that the Europeans were so strong we had to play so well to beat them, and we went out and played so well ourselves and they couldn't do anything about it I suppose.

Q. And if not G-Mac, maybe you and Chris Wood, the two youngest guys on the team as a partnership?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I haven't played team golf with him before, but I have played with him. I think the fact that if we do both get on the team, we wouldn't have a Ryder Cup between us, so might not be the best way to do it. But we'll see. We'll see.
There's still ten months or 12 months to go until the tournament. So a lot can happen in a year, and you know, it would be great to tee it up with Chris, as well. Actually it would be great for Chris to make the team because he's from Bristol just down the road, as well so, it would be awesome.

Q. Talking earlier to Padraig, he was saying he could see -- it's all speculation, but he could see you being sent out in singles No. 1 in The Ryder Cup, but not necessarily on the first day the first morning, wouldn't thought that necessarily would be a wise move.
RORY McILROY: I'm very comfortable playing the main role if you want to call it that. Yeah, it's probably -- yeah, I remember watching The Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills, and it was Monty and Harrington went out first on the first day. So you probably want a pairing like that. So maybe a Sergio and a Westwood, something like that. It probably wouldn't be the best idea to send a rookie out first thing on the first day.

Q. Does this event hold special memories for you from two years ago; how confident are you going into this that you can go a few better and win this week?
RORY McILROY: Not just two years ago. Last year, as well, I felt as if I had a really good tournament, but had a disappointing third day at Kingsbarns. I think I finished 8th in the end, so I still finished in the Top-10. And that was with shooting 6-over par at Kingsbarns.
So this tournament, it's got a lot of great memories for me, especially from that first year where I finished third. I remember I played Carnoustie the first day and I was 1-over, or 1-under, sorry. And I came out the second day at St. Andrews and hit my second shot into the burn at the first and was 1-over after 19 holes of the tournament and came back in 7-under after that that day and ended up finishing third. And that's what got me my Tour card.
So that was the week that sort of changed my life.

Q. I was going to ask you with Martin Kaymer and Paul Casey still absent, and we talked to you about this in Switzerland, I think, didn't we, how important is it to make up ground while Martin and Paul are still absent?
RORY McILROY: It's still a big deal. Obviously I had a good last day in Switzerland to move myself up the field, but I didn't have the best tournament. I still finished seventh but I felt as if I could have done a lot better to make ground up.
This is a big week for that because as I said before, there's a lot of money to play for, and if I can get -- even if I finish second or third this week, I'll be close to overtaking them. So that will be in the back of my mind all week, but first and foremost, have to get my dad around the golf course.

Q. You mentioned money a couple of times today. Is money a factor for you?
RORY McILROY: Well, it is in The Race to Dubai because that's the way it's --

Q. In general, is it?
RORY McILROY: In a way, yeah, it's obviously a nice bonus when you play well at the end of the week to see how much you've earned, but it's not a big deal.

Q. I know The Race to Dubai is a big thing for you now, but how big was it at the start of the season? Was it a goal to get a placing or win the Order of Merit?
RORY McILROY: Not really. I think the start of the season, you just sort of get yourself into the season and you sort of go along. I got off to a great start this year and I don't think I've ever been out of the Top-10 in The Race to Dubai this year. It's always sort of -- it's always sort of been there for me to look at and sort of think to myself, I'd really like to win that.
Monty has won eight of them. I mean, he won seven in a row which is very impressive. Yeah, it shows your consistency throughout the year, so if you do win The Race to Dubai or a money title, you know you've played well the whole way through the season without having too many hiccups along the way.
It would be a huge honour to win. I'll know that I've had a very, very good year and it would definitely be something to build on.

Q. Have you decided to take a U.S. Tour card next season?
RORY McILROY: No, not yet. I was looking at the schedule this morning, putting down what I could play and what I couldn't play and what I was possibly going to play.
I think the U.S. schedule next year makes it a little easier to play a few more events. So, we'll see. I'm in no rush to join the PGA TOUR, but it might not be there -- the opportunity might not be there forever, so I might have to take it while I can.
I'm going to give it some serious thought over the next couple of months, and I have to make my decision by the first of December I think. So I'll make it before then.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Rory, thanks, as always. Good luck this week.

End of FastScripts

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