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August 1, 2010

Graeme McDowell


Q. How did it go for you?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Today was very similar to yesterday, which was very similar to the previous two days. I struggled on the greens early this week big time. I hit the ball pretty good at times. Just couldn't seem to read the surfaces here very well at all. Just made nothing. So it's tough to get any momentum going. I made very few birdies and any time I made a mistake, it was tough to scramble.
Yeah, frustrating week but the signs are all there. My game is in good shape.

Q. Hangover from the U.S. Open in a good way?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Not a hangover from partying too much, just mental drain energy really. I'm trying hard to get back to being my normal self. It's difficult. I felt good. I felt good this weekend. I felt like I played well enough to shoot some low numbers. I couldn't seem to make any putts. I'm really looking forward to these next two weeks in the States. Like I say I'm starting to feel fresher by the week and I feel like my game is ready to go.

Q. How do you feel going back the first time to America as the U.S. Open Champion?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I'm looking forward to getting back on U.S. soil. That's going to be cool to get the response to the U.S. crowds and see how that's changed a little bit. Firestone next week is a great warmup for the PGA and looking forward to that. And going back to the States as the U.S. Open Champion is going to be fun.

Q. Last major this year on a course that should suit you?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, Whistling Straits, I played there in '05 when the US PGA was there and has a lot of Irish in it, a very linksy-style golf course, very impressive golf course. Looking forward to getting back there. It's a tough track and you have to hit fairways, and the wind can blow like an Irish links course.

Q. Your immediate reaction after coming off the course, you mentioned already a pretty frustrating day and four days?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, it's been a pretty frustrating four days. I played some good golf at times and couldn't seem to find the bottom of the hole at all. I read these greens terribly week and got no momentum going on the greens, and that has a way of filtering down through your game in a way. I started struggling with my whole game really but just could not seem to make it happen out there. Disappointing weekend, and I'm just disappointed I have to be here.

Q. What was Kerry like to play and how do you think the reaction will be from the rest of the professionals?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Everybody really enjoyed Killarney. The town has a great buzz to it, and the golf course, it's stood the test, no doubt about it. I think they have made the pin positions very difficult every day, which has made for a quality leaderboard, and I mean, we have all enjoyed the golf course here; and the weather has been kind to us today and I really let the guys go out and do their thing and really enjoyed being down here in Kerry.

Q. And the assumption the course would be taken apart over the four days never really came to fruition.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Apart from Ross Fisher's round on Friday, never really happened. Like I say they protected this golf course with pins, and you can do that. These greens are undulating, slopey enough to where you can hide the pins away and the best players in the world will have difficulty finding them.
But like I say, when you set a golf course up like that, you get a leaderboard like we have behind us just with top, top players on it. It's good to see that happening here.

Q. What's your schedule over the next few weeks?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I'm off to the WGC in Firestone next week and I'll cross to Whistling Straits for the US PGA, so two big weeks coming up.

Q. Are you ready to win another major?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I think I'm ready, yeah. I mean, at this second in time do you mean, right as I stand here?

Q. Mentally, are you ready to win another U.S. major. The U.S. Open is not an end in itself, as it were.
GRAEME McDOWELL: I'm on my way back mentally, there's no doubt about it. It's been a lot more difficult than I could have imagined. My schedule could have been more difficult either with Loch Lomond, the British Open and here; it's probably three of the toughest events of the year for me from the point of view of the focus and attention and carrying the U.S. Open trophy into these events and just having the reaction. It's been much more difficult than I ever imagined, but every week I'm feeling better and better. And this week, I felt a bit fresher and I'm kind of looking forward to getting across to the U.S. in a way. It should be a little bit more controlled and a little bit more -- the reaction shouldn't be quite as full on as it has the last three or four weeks, so from that point of view, I should be able to go about my own business a little bit better.
It's been enjoyable. The only thing that's annoyed me is that I haven't been able to play my best golf through it. I've enjoyed all of the periphery stuff and it's been great and I wouldn't change it.

Q. Have you talked to Pádraig about dealing with all of that, the attention and demands of your time?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I haven't had a chat to him yet. I mentioned to him on Thursday that I would like to go for dinner with him next week. I told him I was struggling with it all a little bit, and it's been tough to keep my focus, and he said, "Welcome to my world. We'll have that conversation over dinner."
I'm looking forward to that. It's difficult. You dream of achieving these things but dealing with them is another thing but it's good problems to have and you know, frustrating, like I said. I didn't want to come here and not compete. I feel like my game has taken over. I feel like I played well enough to compete at some sort of level this week but the greens had me foxed.
When I won my first event, it was intense for a couple of days and then it went away very quickly. This one has lingered. Everyone reminds me of it all the time, so this one has been much much more difficult to deal with, just everything that goes with it. The level of intensity, just everything you do, just makes your weeks busier and makes everything else more difficult.
So I'm still learning how to deal with that, but you know, like I said, hopefully I'll have a chat with Pádraig next week and getting back to the States should help me as well. It should be the end of it all here, back in Europe, like I say, those three weeks are probably as tough of weeks as I'm going to have the rest of the season. Should be all over back here and by the time I get back to Europe, there will be a new US PGA champion and maybe it will be me and we can start is it all again.

Q. Is that a realistic target for you?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I'm going to Whistling Straits to win, no doubt about it. I feel like I've got the game to do it.

Q. I'm just thinking mentally?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Mentally, yeah. I don't know until I get there. I'm feeling better but this was a frustrating week on the greens more than anything. My game is there or thereabouts. Firestone is a great week to get out and get some work done, especially on my short game and my coach will be there next week, and I'll be going to Whistling Straits ready to go, definitely.

End of FastScripts

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