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November 25, 2010

Graeme McDowell


First Round Level Par 72

Q. Quite a few up-and-downs, what was it like for you?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Obviously it was a tough day because Martin gets out of the traps early, holes that second shot -- birdies 2 and holes the second shot on 3 and kind of left me in the dust, literally, out there.
I was kind of struggling to get things going a little bit and a couple of careless 3-putts around the turn; I 3-putted 9 and 11 and 12 and things seemed to be getting away from me a little bit.
But I was happy to dig in coming in and make a couple of birdies, and I certainly didn't play myself out of the tournament today. There were some good scores and it was a tricky day. Like I say, I didn't play myself out it. I need a big weekend from here.

Q. You very enthusiastically high-fived Martin after he holed that second shot on the third. What were you thinking inside?
GRAEME McDOWELL: When a guy holes a shot like that, that's great to see, you know, and of course, I mean, it was -- enthusiastic is strong (laughter), but it's always great to see a guy whole a shot like that. It was a wonderful golf shot.

Q. Looked like you were flat, but got it going again. Did you have to dig very deep?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I did. I didn't feel 100 per cent and I had to dig very deep today. Very happy with level par considering I started throwing shots away around the turn.
I was happy, made some good swings coming in and drove the ball well and hit some nice-looking iron shots. Greens had me scratching my head a few times today. They were a bit shaggy and a bit grainy and they were tough to putt. So I've got to putt them better tomorrow.

Q. Have you ever had a tournament where you felt like this, where you have to keep reminding yourself, it's four rounds and a good chance you can get back into this and make something happen on Sunday, which could make you Europe's No. 1?
GRAEME McDOWELL: It was hard today because like you say there was a match-play element to it and Martin got off to a flyer. He actually played fantastic today. All credit to him, played beautiful golf, looked flawless the front nine holes. You know, like I say, I was struggling to kind of get on top of things and really, like I say, had to dig in on the back nine.
He's five shots ahead of me, that's all he is. We have 54 holes left and a lot of golf left this weekend. I have to do better, simple as that. It's in there and certainly no panic yet, a lot of golf left to play.
I've been five, six shots behind the leader many times on a Thursday evening, and not massively disappointed. Like I say, very happy with level par just feeling it kind of getting away from me after 11th and 12th, hitting decent shots. 11 I didn't quite get the grooves on it. It looped and went to the back of the green.
12, I hit two decent shots and didn't quite get it all the way to the back and I three-whacked there and I thought, what's going on, I can't remember the last time I had three 3-putts in four holes.
The greens are grainy and tough to read. But very happy with the way I played myself coming in.

Q. Would you be happy to get away from Martin tomorrow?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I think in a good way. It frustrated me a little bit playing with him today because he was playing so well. He made me feel like I was shooting 80, you know, when I made a couple 3-putts. I 3-putt 11 and he birdies on top of me, and of course, there was a match-play element today, but there shouldn't have been. But it was impossible not; it was impossible to avoid that. So it's great to get away from him tomorrow so I can start focusing on my job and let him get on with what he's doing and get away from the distraction.
In the morning, there will be a little less grain on the green and they will be a little less scuffed up so should be a good chance to make some putts. I'm happy with my game and the way I'm driving the ball. Just got to get a bit of momentum going tomorrow. I didn't really get anything going today, and you know, he had everything going. He played beautifully.

Q. Nothing wrong with your putting then?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Nothing really. Like I say, my speed was a little off. I sort of blew one by and left one shot and blew one by again. Generally I hit some decent putts out there actually and had some good chances coming in.

Q. Interesting on the first tee, he is such a cool individual, you were saying you were looking forward to looking in his eye but there's just nothing there, is there?
GRAEME McDOWELL: He's a pretty emotionless --

Q. Would be a good poker player.
GRAEME McDOWELL: He would be a hell of a poker player. He's a pretty emotionless guy, and like you say, he's a cool customer and no sign of nerves or any emotions out there today.
I'm impressed with the way he played today. I've played with him a few times the last few months and I was very impressed with the way he played. He played beautifully.

Q. Anyone that knows you knows you don't raise a white flag, so he's going to know that, as well, isn't he?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Oh, yes, for sure. I hope he's seen enough out of my game to know I'll be back tomorrow and I will be back tomorrow. Like I say, I didn't feel 100 per cent myself today. Didn't quite get into the round.

Q. Head cold?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I don't know what it was. No room for excuses. I have to come out here tomorrow and feel 100 per cent and ready to go. I am; I will be 100 per cent tomorrow.

Q. You spoke about your energy levels yesterday; is it important to block out that this is your fifth week in a row when you're out there?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I'm certainly not thinking about it from that point of view. I'm thinking of this as the season finale and a week where I want to play well and a week where I want to show everyone why I've had the season what I've had.
So I'm here to do a job this weekend and like I say, certainly haven't shot myself in the foot just yet. I'm ready to go out there tomorrow and get myself back in the golf tournament.

End of FastScripts

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