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November 27, 2010

Graeme McDowell


Third Round 69. 2-Under. 214 Total.

GRAEME McDOWELL: It will be interesting to find out if that's my first round in the 60s around this golf course, it could well be. No more than my second that's for sure. I hit the ball really well again today.
I hit 17 greens in regulation, just struggled on the greens really. Just can't seem to get any momentum going. That's the big issue this week is really that I can't hole putts and without the putter working, it's very difficult to get on top of the golf course. Like I said yesterday, I feel like every time I miss a green I feel like I'm making bogey because I'm not holing the 6- and 8-footers.
Today was more positive. I feel a bit better and hit the ball better. I hit the ball as good as I've been hitting it really, drove the ball well and hit a lot of quality shots.

Q. You were hoping for a really, really good weekend because it's what you needed; is it a case that you draw a line on it and say it's not possible to be Europe's No. 1 tomorrow?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I think barring the impossible, I think Europe's No. 1 is probably not a reality for me anymore. I can certainly, like you say, draw a line under it tomorrow, go out and give it 100 per cent tomorrow in the last round here and like you say, just put a nice end to what's been a fantastic year for me. It's been amazing.
Of course I would love to have finished it off in a little bit more style but in a way I have finished it in style, I came into this five-week run needing to get a big finish and I did give it a big finish.
This golf course, it's not my cup of tea, but you can't choose these golf courses. You just have to adapt to the weeks that are set out in front of you and hope for the best. But this is a golf course which frustrated me last year and it's continued to frustrate me a bit this year. Unfortunately, when I needed to play well. But that's golf and we move on and like I say, tomorrow, after I finish, I'll drink a cold beer and I will look back at what's been the greatest season of my career so far.

Q. Martin Kaymer won the Alfred Dunhill Links and was almost a million Euro ahead of you; at that point did you think the chance was possible that you have this week?
GRAEME McDOWELL: When I embarked on my five-week journey starting at Valderrama, I didn't believe it was possible to have a chance this week because he was playing so well. I figured it didn't really matter how well I played, because if he continued to do what he was doing he was going to be impossible to catch.
As it turned out, he had a lean three weeks himself and I played very well and I was able to cut a bit of a chunk into his lead and make things possible this week. But it has not worked out for me.
Perhaps the week's rest last week did him a world of good; certainly looked on his game Thursday. And conversely I've had a tough four weeks and was running on fumes a little bit this week and when I needed the putter to make me feel good, it didn't make me feel good at all. Energy is hard to find what you're not making any putts.

Q. You nearly won in Singapore and Hong Kong and could have turned everything around.
GRAEME McDOWELL: It could have done. You know, looking back, I still needed a big week this week regardless. If I would have holed that putt on the last green in Singapore and won last week, it wouldn't have made much different this week. I still had to finish ahead of Martin, and let's be honest, he's putting a good performance and this golf course has not shown me much love this week. That's life. Nothing to be ashamed of. It's been a great year.

Q. You said yesterday that you probably needed to stop chasing a little bit and kick your feet up by the pool with a beer; on Twitter yesterday you published a picture of your feet up by the pool with a beer. Did it have the desired effect going into today?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, it did. I don't like to tell lies to you guys. I was honestly need to go get to the pool and put my feet up. I did feel a bit more relaxed, no doubt about it. I had to stop trying so hard. I tried my heart out the last couple of days and it just didn't happen.
Sometimes you just have to hold your hands up and wave the white flag and say you know what, it's just not my week this week. That's kind of how I feel right now. I was disappointed yesterday, when I spoke to you guys yesterday, I was extremely disappointed and frustrated with myself for letting my impatience beat me up yesterday a little bit. I had a bit more fun on the golf course today.
Of course I'm going to be disappointed because I wanted to come here this week and give it a run for its money, but like I say, sometimes the putter doesn't behave itself and sometimes the other guy plays better, and that's just golf.

Q. Was there a point today where you thought, it's just not going to happen?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I hit the ball nicely the first few holes. Hit it over the back of the fourth, 3-putted.
I hit it to about eight feet on the next and missed.
Hit it about six feet on the next and I missed. (Laughing). I was just waiting for a taxi to turn up and take me home at that point.
You know, you've got to plug on. It's important that I come out tomorrow and give it 100 per cent. Like I say, it's been a strong finish to a great season. Has not been a strong week this week, but it's been a strong finish in this five-week campaign I've put together. Nothing to be ashamed of at all. I've had a great year and like I say, this golf course, it's not really my cup of tea, this place.

Q. Reflect on what's been a remarkable year?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Obviously I'm playing the next two weeks. I'm playing Tiger's tournament next week in L.A. and the Shark Shootout in Naples, Florida. Tomorrow afternoon will sort of signify the end of my serious golfing for the season.
Of course I want to go to Chevron next week and play well but it's not going to have any -- if this is ten out of ten on the intensity scale, next week will be a few cold beers every night and will be a very much relaxed attitude to the game. I'll be switching off mentally for the next couple of weeks. My early season schedule will be quite light. I'm going to play Hawaii and I'm going to play Abu Dhabi, and I'm not going to play a whole lot more before the WGC Match Play. I'm going to take a bit of a break before the start of the year and ease my way back into the season.
It's been a long year and especially when you're doing great things as well, it's been a long end of the season for me, for all of the right reason: The intensity of the U.S. Open and intensity of The Ryder Cup and intensity of this. It's been a long year from all of the right points of view.

Q. What have you most learned about yourself?
GRAEME McDOWELL: What have I most learnt about myself this year? That I'm good enough. I know how much room I've got for improvement in this sport. But it's great to see that my best golf is good enough to compete with the world's best, you know what I mean. I've won a Major Championship this year and I've competed in a Race to Dubai Championship in the Order of Merit and I've competed on the world stage this year and holed putts when it mattered the most.
Just take a lot of belief from what I achieved this year and I'm going to pour that back into myself for the years going forward, really. So really try and feed off what I did this year and pour that back into the tank for next year and continue to try and improve. You know, try to get to the world's best player.
I think what this year has shown me is that if I keep working hard, I think two or three years ago, the No. 1 player in the world seemed untouchable. I think I believe that if I work hard the next few years, I could be the best player in the world. You know, that's become an achievable goal for me and something I'm going to work hard towards.
But in the meantime, it's about winning golf tournaments and it's about competing in the major championships because they are hugely important and it's about continuing to try and improve and be the best player I can be.

Q. What did you learn about Martin Kaymer this week?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I've learned a lot about him in the last couple of months. He's extremely driven. He's a very quietly driven guy. He doesn't show much emotion obviously. It's obviously the German or the European in him or whatever. He's got that very unemotional, ice man like kind of attitude.
And under the surface there's a very driven and motivated individual there and I've learned that the last couple of months. He desperately wanted this, and he's going to do it now. Unless I shoot 55 tomorrow, which unless one of you boys come and putt for me tomorrow, I don't think it's going to happen.
You know, he's going to win The Race to Dubai tomorrow, and he's the best -- he's been one of the best players in the world this year and he certainly deserves everything he's achieved. If Lee Westwood have been fit all season, he would have given him a great run for his money.
But Martin, I think after what happened to him last year, certainly deserves to win this year, because I think he had the winnings of it last year, as well. Obviously Lee came here and he did the job but could have been a different story if Martin remained fit the last half dozen events of the season. Great to see him applying himself this year and winning a Major Championship and The Race to Dubai. Fair play to him.

Q. A terrible beauty was born this week with Lee Westwood on Twitter; is there anything that can be done to top is that?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, it's a horrible snowball effect, isn't it. I read a quote from someone that said he's Tweeting like a 16-year-old girl. (Laughter) He's certainly embraced it, that's for sure.
We were talking about it last night, you know, it's an interesting one. It gives the fans such an inside the ropes view of what we're up to, and, yeah, it's t can be a bit controversial at times, but I think if you control it properly, it's a great medium to interact with your fans and it's great to have the guys on there, and it's a good way to communicate.

End of FastScripts

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