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October 3, 2010

Graeme McDowell

Rory McIlroy


GORDON SIMPSON: We are going to keep this short and sweet, let's rattle on. Graeme we'll start with you as the senior partner, you started two points down and you're already level, there's a lot of blue on the board. You seem to have got the crowd on fire today.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah for sure. The crowd were on fire. Yesterday, session two, we were all very disappointed, Rory and I especially, walked off the golf course feeling disappointed because we feel like we were winning that game, we are in pole position on 16, lose the hole and inside on 17 and lose the hole. We were disappointed -- I think the Westwood match, 2-up two to play and walked off with a halve, so one of those ones we had to pick ourselves up. The crowd out there, they really helped pick us up and we went straight back out in session three and it was a full, blue board.
Last night, we felt great. The team room was elated, and we were very keen to make sure we got back on that golf course today and make sure that Team USA were going to be fired up and they were going to come after us, and it was important to keep that foot down. It was great to get our point on the board.
GORDON SIMPSON: This was massive for Europe's hopes for regaining The Ryder Cup tomorrow.
RORY McILROY: (Checking for working microphone, pulling Graeme's closer). Sharing everything else this week, may as well share a microphone. (Laughter).
Yeah, it's absolutely huge. This session, we had to get in there. If we can even go 8-all into the singles, it's much more -- you know, it's huge to 9-7 down, whatever. Even we can go even a little bit ahead; but going out in this session 6-4 down, if we can get any sort of a lead going into the singles, it's massive. We can carry that, hopefully that momentum through that we have got today and carry that into tomorrow and start off brightly.

Q. What did Monty say to you after the second session yesterday and what did he say to you last night? He talked about giving a big, rousing speech or something.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, Monty has been as fired up as anyone on this team this week. You know, he has been desperate to get us charged up going to that first tee. He's been -- putting us under pressure is probably the wrong way to put it. He's been asking us to go out and do a job for him. Between sessions yesterday, he asked us to go and do a job, and we did that, and then last night, like I say, we were very keen to make sure that we didn't rest on our laurels.
Yeah, the board was blue, but they were not points; they were simply games that we were up in. You know, he very much stressed that we had a note above our door as we walked out the locker room this morning that said, "Team USA are going to come out fast, make sure we come out faster."
We were very conscious of the fact that as charged up as we were, they were going to be even more charged up, and, you know, we had to make sure that we were in the right frame of mind this morning -- well, this afternoon, as it turned out.

Q. Given that the Americans were in the hole for three at 15, I would imagine that the putt you holed was absolutely crucial in both of your minds.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, it was kind of big. You know, this guy hit a fabulous pitch shot to even give me that opportunity. I wasn't supposed to miss that flag left, but I did par, but yeah, it was a big putt. It was a big putt. You know, standing there watching Zach Johnson over his putt on 16 and I'm like, "Please, no." And again, guys just keep --
RORY McILROY: God, yes.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Back on, partner. You have to expect these guys to hole, but they keep seem to be doing it. Stewart Cink beat us up with the putter in the first two matches, and it looked like Zach Johnson was trying to do the same.
Yeah, the putt on 15 was big. This guy has played great. You know, yesterday, especially, he played fantastic, and you know, he's been a great partner to have. Makes my life easy.

Q. Can you put into words the difference of emotion you've felt between the 17th green yesterday and then closing down that match today?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, you know, complete opposite end of the spectrum, coming off the 17th yesterday, I wouldn't say -- I wasn't disappointed, I didn't let myself get to that point. We had a job to do going down the last, and we needed a good tee shot on the last and needed a win to give ourselves to get something out of the match and obviously were not able to do that.
Today felt great, to get that first win under my belt in The Ryder Cup is fantastic, and you know, to do it alongside this guy is even more special. He's been great for me this week, and he's made my life a lot easier, you know, walking the fairways with him. It's been great.

Q. Colin Montgomerie said yesterday that he felt The European Team were not playing with the passion that he would have wanted the team to be played. Did you feel that yesterday, and has that changed today?
GRAEME McDOWELL: You know, it's been difficult this week. Friday was a long day for everyone. It was very difficult to get in -- The Ryder Cup is all about momentum, and Friday we had none. You know, apart from maybe the four or five holes that were a bit of a lottery in the morning and we seem to come out best out of those.
But when we went out Friday evening, we kind of rushed to the range and by the time -- especially Rory and I, when we got on the golf course, we felt very out of rhythm and very out of sorts.
I felt like yesterday we were better, you know. Saturday morning, we rescued our game with a half-match and I really felt like yesterday was a big day for us, because we lifted ourselves, especially between sessions two and three, and the crowd really got behind us.
It's been a difficult week for everyone and the crowd obviously are out there and Friday they didn't get a chance to get into it. The weather has kind of dampened everything a little bit, especially the spirits of the crowd, but they have been magnificent.
I really thought our spirits were good yesterday. There's been good energy among the team. I think we have been trying really, really hard. We just got on the wrong end of some putts yesterday, and I think Monty's attitude will be a little different if we can pinch a couple more points out there this afternoon.

Q. How important was the start this afternoon, the way you got up, and very, very quickly.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I mean, as Graeme said, we knew their intentions early with Zach holing that big putt on the eighth green.
And you know, to come back and make a good birdie on 11 and sort of just keep them at a nice distance, you know, just keep them 3-down, 2-down, and just keep it going; we were trying to win holes, but ended up going to the 17th.
It was great to get a win on the board for Europe and it was great to win those first two matches. It really filters down to the rest of the team, and that will give the boys still playing a bit of confidence out there.

Q. Just to both of you, golf is obviously such an individual game, but you two really seemed to gel out there together. How much did it mean to you both to experience that Ryder Cup win as a partnership today?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, we have been talking about this for a couple of years. We have spent a lot of time together and we have been joking around about winning Ryder Cup points.
I think we both realise now, I certainly found out two years ago, how difficult winning a point is in this tournament and we certainly experienced that the last couple of days. To play alongside one of my best friends and who I regard, one of the best players I've ever seen in the world; and you know, he's a very special player, and it's been great to play alongside him.
I'm going to miss him tomorrow, but I know he'll be doing his job and I'll be doing mine. It's been great. It's been everything we imagined it could be. We have played great. We have had three great games. A point and a half from three, considering the type of matches we were involved in, we're pretty happy with.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, as I said earlier, it's been great to play with G-Mac. At the start of the week, there was no one else I really wanted to play with. You know, he was the guy I wanted to partner. It was great to get three games with him. Even the match that we halved and the match we lost, the first couple of games, we both played very, very well. There's no one else -- the team is great, but I just have felt more comfortable with G-Mac out there than I would anyone else.
You know, it's been fantastic. As Graeme said, to play with one of your best friends in The Ryder Cup is very, very special and hopefully we have a few more Ryder Cups in us and we can play alongside each other again.

Q. Just wondering how you both felt about the support from home on the course and the fact that you have one of the best songs of the week, "We have got G-Mac, you have got Big Mac." And how do you feel about the singles?
RORY McILROY: The home support has been awesome this week. We really wanted to emphasise that and really get the crowd behind us, because, you know, the guys get roars on the golf course, and you obviously know if it's a European roar or an American one, and we try to get as many European roars as possible; even walking up to the greens and trying to get them going.
We were managing to do that today, and we have to try and keep that up tomorrow. The singles is a lot different. You're without your partner and sometimes it can get a bit lonely. So that's why you need the support of the crowd to keep you going.
GORDON SIMPSON: Would you rather be G-Mac or Big Mac?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I'd certainly rather be G-Mac than Big Mac. I know I could do with losing a little bit of weight (laughing).
RORY McILROY: Does that make me Wee Mac? (Laughter).
GRAEME McDOWELL: I played two years ago in the U.S., and it was a different experience. It was intense. Like Rory said, the cheers are different. When it's a European cheer, we know. And when it's a U.S. cheer, we can't really hear it. It just has a different sound to it.
But playing back here in Europe is very different. It's been a long weekend for everyone, and the crowds especially. We have to give them a lot of respect for hanging in there. It's been horrible outside the ropes for them, and a lot of waiting around for us this morning to play golf. They have been enormous and they have lifted us when it's been a tiring week for everyone. We are bouncing around that golf course because we are just full of energy and trying to really suck energy from the crowd and lift them as we go onto every green because they lift us back. And it's made for the -- it's probably the funnest form of the game. I think this Ryder Cup is definitely the best show on earth as far as golf goes. I love it.
GORDON SIMPSON: Okay, go back out there and give the boys support.

End of FastScripts

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