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June 19, 2010

Graeme McDowell


Q. Assess the round, even par out there today, is it a round you'll take?
GRAEME McDOWELL: For sure. I would have taken level par before I stepped on the tee today. It was a breezy day today. I think the USGA firmed the greens up for us.
And I wasn't quite expecting Dustin to do what he did, but he played magnificent today. He's a great guy. He's great to play with. I'm looking forward to playing him tomorrow.
But I didn't quite hit it as good today as I did yesterday, perhaps. But to shoot 71 on this layout, not being in control of my game, I'm pretty happy with that. I felt like I did my job. Three back, going into tomorrow, I think that's a good position, I'm looking forward to it.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, he was awesome today. He really just stood up and had no fear, hit the shots, hit all the shots. He hit a 3-iron from 290 yards on 4, which was pretty incredible. He hit some big, big golf shots today. He's going to go home and sleep on a 3-shot lead, and we'll see how he feels tomorrow morning. If he turns up tomorrow like he did today he's going to be tough to beat. But Sunday in a Major, I'm happy to be in the position I'm in.
Obviously I'd like to be 3 ahead, but 3 back playing with a guy, Tiger's in front of us. It's going to be a really fun day. I'm looking forward to it.

Q. They say there's going to be more wind tomorrow. Does that play into your hands, coming from the European Tour, where you play more windy courses?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Most guys are good wind players nowadays. I think the technology -- the ball flies through the wind pretty well. Dustin certainly hit some good shots in the wind today. I'm a decent wind player. I grew up on the coast up on the west coast of Ireland, I'm pretty familiar with some windy conditions. And I think I'll be a great test. I hope it blows tomorrow, I think it will really separate the men from the boys. And this is a wonderful setup. Where else would you rather be on a Sunday afternoon but the last group in a Major at Pebble Beach. So bring it on, obviously, and I'm looking forward to it.

Q. What did you find encouraging about your game today? What did you like about your game today and what would you like to see yourself doing better, consistently, tomorrow?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I didn't really flight the ball as good today as I have during the week. I didn't really control the shape of my shots well. But I scrambled well, my short game, my putting, just my hanging in there. Definitely feeling better and better on the greens as the week goes on. So definitely the putter was good. And I really feel like I can scramble well around these greens. If I can bring some semblance of my long game tomorrow, which I know was there, I'll be hitting it really, really good and I'll be in good shape tomorrow.

Q. What's the most crucial key that you're going to have to focus on tomorrow, what aspect of your game, what's the basic foundational thing that's going to have to be there for you to win tomorrow?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Obviously stay patient, not go chasing Dustin down. I've got to let him do his thing. But generally I've got to hit the fairways tomorrow, give myself some chances with my irons. If I can get the ball on the green, I know I can hole some putts. Like I say, stay patient, not really react to Dustin much.

Q. When you're out playing with a guy that can drive the ball like he does. Can that threat take you out of your game, your element, especially when you're going head-to-head to try a few things that maybe just aren't part of your normal game?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, for sure. Maybe on another golf course, he might take me out of my rhythm a little bit, but not out here. The gun is kind of taken out of his hand a little bit, there are only three or four holes he can really let loose. From that point of view, it's very much a positional golf course. If it was a big golf course, there's no doubt he would take me out of my rhythm a little bit. I enjoyed playing with him. He's a good golfer. He played magnificent today. His short game was particularly impressive. He got it up and down from some tough positions. If he turns up like that tomorrow he's going to be tough to beat. But I'll be ready to go tomorrow.

Q. You led the field in putting the first two days. While a lot of people were grumbling about the condition of the greens, others said they were fine, rolled very smoothly. Did you do anything special with your putting stroke or make any adjustment coming into the week?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Not really. I've been working hard on my putting the last few weeks. It's probably been the weakest part of my game. I've hit it good tee-to-green. I've always been a good putter. I really feel it coming back to me again. The greens are tricky, no doubt. They've got the patchwork effect going on on a few of them, especially on the back nine, like 16 in particular is pretty bad. But it is what it is. I actually made some nice putts on some of the tough greens. I actually made some nice putts on some of the tough greens. I like the speed of the them. I really like the way they roll. I mean apart from maybe three or four of them I think generally they roll really, really good. I've been happy the way I've rolled it this week.

Q. Talk about your technique, sort of this is our St. Andrews, and the classic, iconic course it is. It's going to be a golf course tomorrow. It's also going to be a theater. And talk about your thoughts about going into that theater environment and sort of what you feel that experience will be like?
GRAEME McDOWELL: For sure, I mean there's no doubt a few times out there today you couldn't help but enjoy the atmosphere. The crowds were great. They were big. They were having a good time and shouting your name. And walking down on the 8 green, it's just one of the prettiest sights in golf. You can't do anything but pinch yourself and enjoy it, enjoy the moment. Like you say, this is such an iconic golf course. To start off with a couple shot lead tomorrow or something would be dreams come true. Whoever picks up the trophy here tomorrow will be winning in a very, very special environment and I'm hoping to be in contention anyway.

End of FastScripts

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