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October 2, 2009

Michael Hoey


Q. 66 at Carnoustie?
MICHAEL HOEY: Probably as easy weather as you can get, hardly any wind but still played really well and played really well yesterday and hit the ball nicely. That's probably one of the best rounds I've ever played definitely. I'd say that's probably the best round of golf I've ever played. Maybe the final round in Portugal in the situation I was in was maybe better, but to get me in this position, it's a great tournament.

Q. What was the key?
MICHAEL HOEY: Hit two irons off the tee, got it into good position, didn't really miss too many fairways on the par 5s, and you know, eagled 14. A really good drive down there. Birdied the 12th which was a good up-and-down from the bunker. Scrambling but hitting fairways with 2-irons.

Q. How long was the putt on 14?
MICHAEL HOEY: For eagle it was 30 feet, 25 maybe.

Q. Not many mistakes out there.
MICHAEL HOEY: Same yesterday. Well, it wasn't the same yesterday. I made a double-bogey and a bogey and hit it in the water on the 15th, par 3, which wrecked my score, because I was 6-under. But yet I'm really pleased today that I didn't mess up in the wind because the last two were really tough finishing holes, and just got up-and-down for par so I was really happy with that. Because you feel even if you've shot 5-under, you just feel like you've lost a little bit.
But it's just great. I'm enjoying the links golf. Played it as an amateur and it's great to be on the links.

Q. Does that help playing it as an amateur?
MICHAEL HOEY: Yeah, there are certain shots that we see. We probably keep the ball lower to the ground. Like I said I'm using 2-iron, punching it around, and just judging the wind, it got really cold this evening and the ball wasn't going as far. Just knowledge like that.

Q. At Carnoustie, much experience?
MICHAEL HOEY: We played home internationals here. Played for Ireland against England, Wales, Scotland 2000, so probably six or seven rounds. I know it quite well. But no matter how well you know a golf course, you just have to hit the shots and the putts. But my caddie has been helping me a lot. He did the Open here a couple of times. So it's been good.

Q. What about St. Andrews, a place you like?
MICHAEL HOEY: Yeah, home of golf. It's awesome. Might not be awesome tomorrow with the wind.

Q. But you would rather be there?
MICHAEL HOEY: Yeah, probably more room off the tee around there, hit it lower and sort of get it around. But it will be interesting to see what it's like, tough for everyone. I'm really happy with the position I'm in. I have struggled this year with my putting and I used the long putter. Used the long putter for the last few tournaments, but I played better in Austria but I missed by one. But it actually was slowly coming, but just been a bit frustrating so I'm really happy that we can do well in this big event. That's my goal to do better in the big events because I've struggled with them.

Q. In Czech, you said you had been not well.
MICHAEL HOEY: Yeah, I don't know, just been a bit tired. But I think I've just been -- different situation now because tournament winner and different draws and just change to everything. So just a matter of adjusting. Yeah, a bit tired but a bit better now. So we'll see what happens.

Q. Did it take a bit of time to get used to that idea?
MICHAEL HOEY: Yeah, I struggled a few years on Challenge Tour, and always sort of put it on a pedestal and when I did win Portugal, realise to yourself, tournament winner and all, I can't actually believe that, you know what I mean. Well, I can believe it, but took a while to set until and maybe not give myself enough credit for it, because I did play really well.
And I struggled with the putter this year and that runs through your whole game. I've been working a lot with the long putter and back to short putter and the pro at royal Belfast has been helping me with my putting.

Q. This is the first time you've been contending since Portugal probably, does it give you the experience of having been -- I know you came a little bit from --
MICHAEL HOEY: Definitely a bit of experience. It's all tough, but I think just trying to play your own game. It's easier said than done. I was doing quite well in Czech but I had a bad last day and I was 10th going into the last round.
Glad to get things going again.

Q. You know how you can do it, so does that give you confidence?
MICHAEL HOEY: Yeah, but obviously the players here are a bit better than -- well, they are the best players in the world, so if you can be one shot behind against them after two rounds, on tough links courses, you've got to give yourself credit for playing good golf.

Q. Another Irish man at the top of the leaderboard, be nice for you and Rory to go down St. Andrews on the last day together, wouldn't it?
MICHAEL HOEY: Yeah, that would be awesome, but it's going to be a long day tomorrow. It's going to be tough. Just be interesting to see how we do. I look forward to every day out here on the links and in events like this.

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