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July 29, 2010

Rory McIlroy


STEVE TODD: Rory, thanks for joining us. Opening round of 67 there, solid start, and a nice day here in Ireland.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it was a good day. I made plenty of birdies and a few bogeys, as well. You know, to shoot 67 the first round, definitely is a good start and a score to build on. You know, it could have been a couple of shots better, definitely, but it's still a nice way to start, and as I said, it's a score that I can hopefully improve on the next three days.
STEVE TODD: A good fight back on the last five or six holes, as well.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I made a few birdies on the way in which was nice. I had got it going and then dropped three shots in the space of a few holes, and it was nice to get those back in the last few. It will make lunch taste a little bit better today.
STEVE TODD: Just a quick word about the crowds, a massive following for a Thursday morning.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, fantastic. I don't think I've ever seen so many people on the first hole for an eight o'clock tee time before. It's fantastic.
Obviously the weather is bringing them out, and you know, with -- yeah, the weather's great and everything and people just really enjoy their golf down here and want to go out and watch.

Q. You seemed to go all out to entertain them; you really went for it today, didn't you.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I just tried to play my normal game. I made a lot of birdies and I made a few bogeys, as well. But yeah, there's definitely birdies to be had out there, and you know, I made a few. It is, it's a golf course where you can get it going and a lot of wedge shots and you're going into the greens and stuff. You can please the crowd a little bit out there.

Q. It can draw you in, too?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it can. Everybody was talking about it being so easy and it was going to be 20-under par that's going to win, and it's not as easy as everyone thinks it is. They can tuck the pins away and they can put them in awkward positions, and I wouldn't be surprised if 6-under led by the end of the day.

Q. Is 17 receptive, or are most of the greens fairly soft?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, they are pretty receptive. I was only hitting a sand wedge in, so I wasn't really worrying about it. I was more worried about spinning it back off the green.

Q. It's a difficult target, isn't it?
RORY McILROY: It is, yeah. Where the pin was today up on the right-hand side, it's a lot easier but when they put the pin up on the left, it becomes a lot trickier.

Q. I asked Darren a similar question. Do you think this golf course is worthy of an Irish Open? Beforehand everybody was talking about 59s and 61s and so on?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I don't think people are giving it the respect that they should I think.
It's a fantastic venue, a fantastic location. I think it's definitely worthy of an Irish Open.

Q. But as a golf course?
RORY McILROY: As a golf course, I mean, there's better golf courses in Ireland, definitely, but if they don't want to have the Irish Open, that's the way it goes.

Q. Darren was making a point that a lot of players will be left scratching their heads because of the undulations on the greens. How did you find them?
RORY McILROY: I think that you had to leave yourself on the right side of the hole, not because they are quick, but because some of the putts can break four, five, six feet just because of the undulations and where the pin positions were today.
Yeah, they are slopey enough, and you've really got to -- unless you're hitting it to five or six feet all the time, you're going to have a tough time holing putts out there.

Q. Darren, he's 20 years older than you, what do you see, similarities between your game and his and how do you see him playing?
RORY McILROY: I mean, similarities, we are both very good ball-strikers. We are very solid from tee-to-green. And you know, he's playing very, very well at the minute. He's on a nice run of form. His confidence is up from playing -- getting into contention in Scotland and playing at St. Andrews and playing quite nicely, playing with Tiger on Saturday. I think he's happy at the minute. He's going to be moving home in the next couple of weeks back to Portrush. He got the vice captaincy of The Ryder Cup and I think he's just enjoying himself at the minute.

Q. Does he seem rejuvenated in some ways?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, definitely.

Q. Do you remember playing with him before in a tournament?
RORY McILROY: I've never played with him before in a tournament. I think that was the first time. I played a lot of practise rounds with him. Been on the receiving end of a lot of massive.

Q. He said Tuesdays, Wednesdays?
RORY McILROY: He's not bad on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. He's pretty good on Thursdays now, as well, obviously.
STEVE TODD: Thanks for joining us, Rory.

End of FastScripts

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