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February 23, 2011

Graeme McDowell


PAUL SYMES: Thanks for coming in, Graeme. Well played this morning, just give me your thoughts about your 4 and 3 win.
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, good morning, obviously. Heath didn't play his best golf. But I played very solidly. I only made a couple of mistakes, just got a flier on 1, which just went over the back. But generally apart from that, drove the ball well, gave myself a lot of chances and just nice to win a match around this golf course, it's my first one at this venue, and it feels pretty good.
It's a funny week, this one. If you can get a couple of matches under your belt, it's the best week of the year. And if you pucker up on Wednesday, it's probably the worst week of the year. But I'm very happy to win this morning, and got a pretty interesting game tomorrow.
PAUL SYMES: Tell us more about that game tomorrow. A friend of yours, a stablemate.
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, friend, stablemate. We've eaten dinner the last couple of nights and practiced together yesterday. And we'll play each other tomorrow. Ross is a great player, and obviously had a decent run a few years ago. He's a great match player, great driver of the ball, which really helps a lot around this golf course. But of course I'll be hoping to go out there and give him a good game. If I played the way I played today I'll have a great chance.

Q. This is the first match you've won, is that what you said?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yes, yes. I've actually only ever won one other match in the World Match Play and that was back when it was at LaCosta. This is my first at this venue.

Q. Looking back on last year, what was different for you coming into this in terms of your confidence, your way of being?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, I mean --

Q. Because now you are who you are?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Who am I? (Laughter).

Q. Super star.
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Of course coming in here as the 5th seed as opposed to being whatever I was last year, 43 or so, you know, the flip side, you're obviously playing a guy -- the first time I ever had a match where I played a guy lower than me in the World Rankings. So from that point of view, it makes the match theoretically easier, but not necessarily.
But like I say, the last two years, especially around this course, I just ran into two guys who played really well. I probably shot the equivalent of a 67 both times and lost. That's just the way this tournament is. I don't think it really matters about world rank action, it doesn't matter who you are or who your opponent is. You've got to go out and try to play your best. And sometimes a guy can go low on you and beat you. That's just the way you've got your opponent to hole all the time. And that's going to be my philosophy for the rest of the weekend. I've got to take each day as it comes and see what I can do.

Q. After having some time off, you're required to come back here to a big event and bring your game to a peak early, how are you finding that? You were saying in your comments yesterday or day before that you didn't feel like you needed the time off in terms of the golf?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, you know, it was an interesting one today. There was a little more pressure on me, having had four weeks off, coming here, and playing the lottery that is match play, like I say, you can bump into a guy that has a great day and you're going home. If you don't play as good as him, but my game's been taking over. I wouldn't say I had a huge event the last few weeks in practicing. I've been trying to tune my game back up for this week. I had a great weekend in Orlando when I was practicing, didn't play particularly well Monday and Tuesday in practice, but hit it a lot better today.
Generally my game, I feel like my long game is in great shape. I've been focusing and my short game from 50 yards and in, that's my area of focus. My putter remains really good. Generally, I'm happy where my game is at.
I'm very excited about the way my schedule is laying out in front of me between now and obviously The Masters and The Masters through sort of the Open and the PGA. I've got a great schedule, I'm excited about it. But like I say, I'm just happy to get out of Wednesday this week and excited about maybe what the rest of the week could hold.
PAUL SYMES: Thanks, Graeme.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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