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July 18, 2010

Graeme McDowell


Q. Your general reflections on the final day of The Open?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I played beautiful today, I really did. It's the best I've played all week. Finished in an ambulance, three-putted 16 and four-putted 17 from the front edge of the green, so didn't quite get the job finished. But it was a frustrating week, you know, it just kind of summed up my week really. Just kind of didn't have it on the greens at all. Actually tee to green controlled my ball pretty well, chipped it pretty well, I just putted diabolically to be honest with you, kind of unlike me. I normally like this type of green, this kind of linksey green. I normally read them pretty well.
This golf course just asks you to pace putt so well, and I just didn't pace putt well enough. My long-range putting wasn't good. Kind of kept leaving myself at awkward length. Didn't clean up well this week compared to the way I cleaned it up around the hole at Pebble. From inside 10 feet I putted -- from that kind of forward of 10 feet range I putted pretty badly this week. That was kind of the key.
I gave myself enough chances to compete at some level. Obviously Louis is playing fantastic. 15-under would have been a good effort. But I felt like I could have competed if I would have putted properly this week. But that's -- it's difficult. You know, obviously I'm not quite myself at the minute as far as getting the head screwed back on. But these last two weeks could have been a lot worse, but today, it would have been nice to finish off on a nice note today. Yesterday was disappointing obviously, but it would have been nice to rescue a few shots today. But that's golf.

Q. It's gotten a little bit interesting there on the front nine and around the turn.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I actually played that front nine well for a change. That was kind of my goal today, go out and try to do the job on the front. I birdied 1 and birdied -- had a great chance on 3, birdied 4 and 5. You know, I'm off and running at that point. I missed a short one -- actually I could have went really crazy today. I missed a ton of chances. Like I said, I birdied 4, 5, had a great chance on 7, birdied 9, great chance -- did I birdie 9? I can't remember. Had chances all the way in, three-putted 12. I played that hole 3-over par from off good tee shots all week. I three-putt-whacked there from 25 feet. Just stupid stuff, really. Very unlike me.

Q. After what you went through a few weeks ago, what do you think is going through Louis' and Paul's minds right now and they're battling on the course?
GRAEME McDOWELL: There's probably a sense of disbelief that they're having this opportunity. But you know, they're very experienced players, as well, so they'll be certainly enjoying the task, trying to control the ball out there. It's tricky, tricky wind this week. It's been very difficult because this wind direction helps you nowhere. It's kind of across you all day long, and it's a very, very difficult wind. It's been four days of that now, and it's kind of -- you've really got to flight the ball well. Louis seems to be doing that right now. It would be great to see him win it. Obviously it would be great to see a bit of drama coming down the stretch, as well. But they'll be out there just -- they've both won golf tournaments, they know what it's like. But there's that little lingering sense of disbelief that it's the Sunday afternoon of a British Open.

Q. The weather conditions today, it seemed that the wind was still troublesome?
GRAEME McDOWELL: It was troublesome. Beautiful out there. The sun was shining out there today. It's a beautiful day to play golf. It's what this golf course needs. If it doesn't blow around here, it's a scorefest.
But this is a good wind as opposed to Friday afternoon which was unfair. This is a fair wind. You play good golf, you get rewarded out there, simple as that.

Q. How much are you looking forward to going to the Irish Open?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I thought you were going to ask me how much am I looking forward to my week off. I'm very much looking forward to my week off, definitely. I've got a lot of rest planned this week, just really trying to recharge the batteries. It's been a busy five weeks, and I'm looking forward to some time off. But very much looking forward to the Irish Open. I think Killarney is going to be a fantastic venue.
I've done a great job sort of reviving the Irish Open if you'd like, and I've been telling everyone to get themselves down there. I think it's going to be a great weekend, so I'm looking forward to that run of events, the three - Irish Open, Firestone and the PGA. I'm really looking forward to those three weeks. Like I said, recharging this week.

Q. What's your best Louis story?
GRAEME McDOWELL: My best Louis story? I really don't know Louis all that well. I haven't spent a huge amount of time with them. I used to be managed by SM who now manages him. Obviously they call him Shrek, but I'm not sure why. He's a great kid. Quiet, very softly spoken, confident kid. You know, we've known for a long time that he's extremely talented. For a long time he worked with the same coach, Pete Cowen, as I do. We've known for a long time how good he is. He's just been one of these guys that seems to underachieve somehow. He's got all the tools, and it would be great to see him do the job out there today.

Q. You said you're not quite yourself at the moment, you're not quite switched on. How does that manifest itself?
GRAEME McDOWELL: You know, maybe just that killer edge, just that kind of grind, the dig deep, holing those six- and eight-footers. I think that's probably how it manifests itself. I tried hard this week to be focused. It's just difficult. I wouldn't change it for the world. I wouldn't change it. It's been tough, you know, and I mean, I got tired yesterday. I bogeyed 12 and 13, and the crowds kind of all disappeared, and the whole atmosphere went flat and I went flat and I didn't finish great last night. I felt very tired and very exhausted last night. I felt good today, kind of a bit more bounce in my step. I've been sleeping like a log this week and waking up feeling like I could sleep all day, that kind of feeling.
But no complaints, like I say. I had my chances this weekend. Yesterday was a big day and I didn't do the job, and like I say, the putter was a little cold. I obviously wore it out at Pebble.

Q. Was it too soon for you to be (inaudible)?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Maybe. I maybe could have done with using those two weeks after Pebble a little bit more wisely, but it is what it is. You want to celebrate, you want to do all those things, enjoy yourself, and I prepared as well as I could the last two weeks. I rested, I practiced. My game felt like it was coming around. I really felt when I came off the course Friday that I was back. I really felt like I was back to hitting it the way I was, the way I left things, and like I say, the putter just gave me no momentum on the greens this week. Like I say, I normally putt these greens pretty well, but I didn't have it on the greens this week.

Q. Has this week brought you down from cloud 9 or are you still up there?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I think cloud 9 is down to about cloud 5, yeah. There's definitely been a sense of coming down this week. Obviously there's going to be a new major champion this evening that's going to take the focus off me a little bit, and there's definitely going to be that little bit of coming down, which is good. I need to. I need to reset, rest up this week and get ready for a big three weeks, and then get ready for a big end of the season. I'm looking forward to it. Looking forward to it.

Q. Is a week off enough?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Should be. Like I say, I've rested well the last two weeks. I stayed out of town this week, stayed out of trouble, tried to eat good and sleep good. Like I said, I've been sleeping well. Last week in Loch Lomond my sleep wasn't good as it normally is. I kind of had that excited sleep going on, that kind of busy mind. This week I've slept well. I'm not going to do anything this week at all, I'm just going to lay low, maybe hit the odd ball at Portrush but generally just lay low and get ready for a big three weeks.

Q. Talk about learning from big days. What will Rory learn from that second round, when 75 would have been a great score and he didn't realise that?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, that round yesterday -- was it yesterday? Friday's round will somewhere along the lines help him. There's no doubt about it. He'll learn a lot from that day. A bit unfair, though, because compare that to Saturday at Birkdale where I had my very kind of tough learning experience. But Friday was unfair, let's be honest. It was very difficult out there, and I don't think it really reflected -- he maybe played a little better than that. It was an unfairly testing day for the boys out there.
Like I said, I watched it at home and certainly enjoyed it for a little bit, and then was kind of like, this is a little too much. He'll pull on those experiences at some point. They will stand him in good stead. They hurt at the time, but he definitely -- I feel like I learned a lot from my tough days more than I do my good days.

Q. You mentioned a big end of the season. How much are you looking forward to the Ryder Cup?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I'm very excited about the Ryder Cup, definitely. I think we're going to have a magnificent team, and it's great to be part of. It was one of my goals this summer. I wanted to have a big summer to try to get myself on the team, and probably one of any favourite spinoffs from winning the U.S. Open is being on the Ryder Cup team.
I'm very excited about it, prospect of getting a game with Rory, and obviously winning the trophy back. I'm very, very excited about that. Obviously the Race to Dubai, as well, I've got a really good chance to contend and maybe have a chance to win that. It's a very busy end of the season, and there's no doubt I will take a bit of time off after the U.S. PGA and get ready for a big run.

Q. How likely do you think it is Pádraig will get picked for the team if he doesn't make it on?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I think it just depends how he's playing at the time. On current form, maybe not. But Firestone -- he played pretty well at Firestone last year and the U.S. PGA, he's got a pretty good track record round there. If he starts playing a bit better he's the kind of guy we need on the team. He's the kind of guy you tee it up against him, you're going to be scared of him. He's going to grind you down in match play. He's a great match player and if he's playing well enough, yeah, he's definitely a great pick. There's a lot of players needing a pick. Paul Casey obviously could get himself on the side today, and there's a lot of top, top players, Henrik Stenson. So there's a lot of stuff to happen between now and the picks, and I'm sure Monty was wishing maybe he had an extra pick at the minute. Things will unfold a little bit more in the next six weeks.

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