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May 15, 2011

Graeme McDowell


Q. Well, you've got to be pretty comfortable, maybe not with the way you ended, but where you stand going into today's final round?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, leading or anywhere close to the lead going into Sunday afternoon is where you want to be. It's why you practice; it's why we're here. And you know, very happy with my display this weekend, especially last might and early this morning. I made some good swings. Left a few out there on the greens, perhaps, but two chip-ins in round three always balances things up a little bit.
18 was a tough break, but it's just one of those things. This golf course is dangerous. If you get out of position, you will pay the price. So just very happy.
Great birdie on 17, and yeah, 18 leaves a little bit of a bitter taste, but I'll be ready to go in a few hours time.

Q. You say you like this course, but when something like that happens on 18 where you hit the ball exactly how you want it to and get that kind of break, does that make you reconsider how you feel about it?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Not really. I mean, this golf course is generally pretty fair. You know, that ball just kind of had one of those sling-shot moments where it just got to the top and rode the slope and had maximum pace, which it needed to to kind of get over that little collar, you know.
So it was just one of moments. There is nothing you could do about it. I saw Phil there on Thursday. His was probably even a worse break than that on 13 when it came back in the water. So generally I think this golf course is very fair, and that's just one of those strange moments in golf.

Q. Do you think playing a lot of links golf helps you deal with moments like that with little funky bounces and stuff?
GRAEME McDOWELL: A little bit, little bit, a nice little bit of breeze out there today. You have to shape some shots on this golf course and flight it around, and that is something I enjoy.
This golf course asks you to hit all kinds of shots: Drivers, 3-woods off tees, shape it right to left and left to right and chip and putt. I love this course because it asks all the questions of your game.

Q. Will you go back to the hotel and treat it like a new day, start again?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I will. My room looks like a bomb's hit it. So I'm going to go back there and pack up and jump in the shower, change my clothes and get ready for a fourth round as if nothing happened this morning. I'm in the lead, and I'm in the last group on Sunday afternoon, and that's why I practice.

Q. Will you be aggressive this afternoon?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I'm going to be aggressive if this course lets me be aggressive. I'm going to be safe when I have to. There are lots of opportunities on this course. It's not a long golf course, but it is tricky if you get out of position. So I will play aggressive when I can.

Q. Can you just wipe out the score, whatever happened on the last hole and just look at the 1-shot lead?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Absolutely. Yeah. If I've got a 1-shot lead, obviously, yeah. 18, there is nothing I can do about it. It's done, it's in the books, and I've got 18 holes to go to try to chase this title this afternoon.
But this is not mine to lose. There are guys within four or five shots of this lead that can shoot 65 and win it. So this is not mine to lose by any stretch of the imagination. I've got to go win this this afternoon.

Q. You talked about how much you worked with Pete over the last week or so. Did you see this coming this week?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Not really. I wasn't putting pressure on myself this week. It was about coming out and seeing how the new swing thoughts went, and they went pretty well, so I'm really happy.
I've got the old feelings back. I'm feeling calm under pressure. My putter's feeling good, and I'm excited about the afternoon.

Q. Have you always felt calm under pressure or was that a gradual progression?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I've learned how to stay calm under pressure. I think the more times you do it, the more you understand yourself, and the more you can then deal with it when it comes around.

Q. What was it like early on, a gradual, slow process?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, very nervous, very out of control. You can't feel your body, you can't see the visuals, you know, just like I say, slowly but surely I've gotten used to it. Got some drills and mechanisms I can use to help me stay calm.

Q. Seems like now the hotter it gets, the more you seem to like it.
GRAEME McDOWELL: I don't know about that. Perhaps there is a bit of a duck in the pond syndrome. But certainly I do like it. I feel very focused, and it's a good atmosphere out there. I look forward to playing those last three later on. It's going to be fun.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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