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November 28, 2010

Graeme McDowell


Fourth Round 68. 6-Under. 282 Total.

Q. Winning The Race to Dubai wasn't to be but how happy are you the run you gave it, a million Euros behind and five weeks to go and you gave it everything.
GRAEME McDOWELL: I'm proud of the way I played the last five weeks generally. To give Martin a run for his money this week was very good. Things didn't really go my way this week. It's a golf course which frustrated me last year and continues to frustrate me, really. I did strike the ball much better tee-to-green this year than I did last year and gave myself a lot of chances. Couldn't see the lines and hole the putts. You're not going to do any damage out there without putting well. It's just been a great year and no disappointment at all.

Q. Has it sunk in yet, your year, or do you think you'll have to wait until you get a don't-sized break to sit down and think, wow.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah. I'm looking forward to kicking back the next couple of weeks and reflecting. It's been a dream season. Just so happened that Martin Kaymer had an unbelievable season, as well, and it's just been a great year for European golf and I'm just very proud to be part of that. You know, hoping to build on what's been a magnificent year.

Q. You said yesterday you now believe it's possible for you to become world No. 1. What's made you believe that?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I think a few years ago we all felt Tiger Woods was pretty invincible. Now that I see one of my friends and colleagues, Lee Westwood as world No. 1, I know how much improvement I can do in this game and how much better I can become. I think I've got to put that up as a goal of mine to become as good as I possibly can be and perhaps the world No. 1 one day.
I think when you see guys you play alongside week-in and week-out achieving their dreams and being the best player on the planet I think you've got to believe you can do the same thing.

Q. Can I get an assessment of you, how do you think you played in the last four days, a lot of positives to be taken?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Absolutely. European golfer of the year this week, and in the space of today, I think I hit 15 greens and a couple of fringes. I played beautiful. I just couldn't get anything going on the greens. It's tough to have any momentum when you're holing putts. You can't have those it nice par saves that keep you going and convert the birdies when you give yourself chances.
So disappointed obviously with the week but I can't be disappointed on a great 2010. It's been amazing and I certainly will look back and really have a lot of moments in that year to really cherish.

Q. And your thoughts on Martin Kaymer, he's played incredibly this season, but the race is really very close?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, a great race obviously. Great for the tournament this week, The Race to Dubai, great for The European Tour really to have three major champions this year and Martin Kaymer to do what he's done after winning the US PGA and going and winning twice again. It's great to give myself the opportunity to come and play well this week and didn't quite get the job done.
That's golf; some weeks you have it and some weeks you don't. It's funny, I didn't play much worse than I did last week. Last week I had a chance to win. This week, I didn't. But I can't be disappointed, so many positives to take away from my year so hopefully I can build on this and continue to get better.

Q. Looking ahead to 2011, world No. 1 is that an achievable goal for you?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I think it now is an achievable goal. I've got to put it out of there. I have to believe I have a lot of room for improvement in this game. I know I can get a lot better when I see one of my friends and colleagues, Lee Westwood, as the world's best player; of course I have to believe I can do the same thing. It requires consistency and competing in the major championships, and like I say I have a huge amount of room for improvement in and around the greens and just sharpening up my whole game and I can't get better.

Q. Tiger Woods has slid down the rankings at the end of the season. Do you think he'll be a threat in 2011? Will he pick up his game?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I expect Tiger to be back. He showed signs towards the end of the year that he's back to playing well again, and I think golf needs him back playing well. I think we would all like to see him back playing well, because to be winning tournaments and winning major championships, in the Tiger Woods era, you know, it's a special time to be playing golf. I expect to see him back winning tournaments again next year.

Q. 7-under par weekend to finish your final counting event on The European Tour or any tour, so you finished well, but did it give you a sense of what was achievable out there?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Perhaps. It showed me that, well, I played unbelievably well this weekend, to shoot 7-under par, if you would have watched me play 18 holes today, you would have realised 4-under par was about the worst I could have done out there. I really played some great golf tee-to-green, gave myself tons of chances and really could barely bye a putt.
But sometimes you get weeks like that where you are just not seeing the lines and everything is a bit of a grind, and that was one much those weeks for me. I struggle on greens like this where the grain is this severe and this tough. It's very difficult to know sometimes whether to read the slope or to read the grain. I really just could not see a way into the hole this week and they just continued to frustrate all weekend.

Q. So you'll end up as European No. 2 by the looks of things, not too bad, 800 thousand Euro bonus. This is it, though, in terms of your season, you've achieved so many goals, what are your reflections standing here? A sense of relief that it's over and you can take a break?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Well, I mean, obviously I'll finish second to Lee Westwood or Francesco Molinari, depending whoever wins this afternoon, but it's out of my control now and whatever happens it will be the best season of my career.
So many great things have happened to me this year and I'll certainly look back at some incredible moments and I will cherish them. I'm definitely looking to pull a lot of the confidence and a lot of the belief out of my game this year.
It's going to be tough to back this year up, no doubt about it, but I've definitely got great goals and great things I want to achieve next season.

Q. Given what you put into the end of season run to try for Europe's No. 1, will it be a disappointment, given what you have achieved this year has been positive?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I think Friday was a disappointing day for me because I lost my head and I got impatient and I got frustrated with myself. You know, to be honest with you, this weekend, I've switched off from that frustration. I really wanted to try and play these last 36 holes positively and as well as I possibly could and try and put a nice frame around the season.
Like I say, Friday was a disappointing day for me, and no disappointments this weekend. To shoot 7-under par and play as well as I have this weekend really just makes me proud and makes me very proud of what I've achieved this season. You know, like I say, nice way to finish.

Q. You're not European No. 1 but you have spoken about those words, mentioning the world No. 1 spot as being a possibility for you. It is, isn't it?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Of course, I'd be lying to you if I didn't think I could be the world's No. 1. I think a few years ago, I think Tiger Woods looked pretty untouchable, pretty invincible and we were all playing for second really. I think nowadays it's a little different. When I look at one of my good friends and colleagues, Lee Westwood, as the worlds's No. 1 player; do I believe I can be the world's No. 1? Of course I do. If I didn't, there would be something wrong because there's a lot of room for improvement in my game and I know I can continue to get better and better and put all of the great experiences I have had to good use in the next five to ten years. I'm 31 years old and feeling healthy and physically very good and as I say, I can get better. Of course I can be world's No. 1 at some point.

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