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May 21, 2011

Graeme McDowell


Q. How hard was it to play your closest friends?
GRAEME McDOWELL: It's hard. It's hard to get into the mood to play one of your best friends and you have to leave your friendship on the sidelines and try to beat each other. He desperately wanted to win and so did I.
It was a great game. It was quality. We really didn't give each other any holes. There was a lot of birdies flying around and it was great to win a quality match.
Again, like I said, tough to get into the right mind-set but I felt like I did that pretty well.

Q. You said yesterday that he generally wins the money in the practise rounds, so now you've got bragging rights.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I've got bragging rights until next time but Rory is going to be winning multiple golf tournaments for the next ten years, 15 years, maybe more, and I would like to go head-to-head against him Sunday afternoon in big events like this one. So you know, that's the first of many matches, and great to get the win under the belt.
I hit the ball well today and holing some putts. I'm controlling my ball. This golf course, although it does offer some birdie chances, there is some trouble around. You have to control it and I'm controlling it well.

Q. Played very solid this morning.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, very tough to get into the right mind-set against Rory this morning. He's a good friend, but this is a big tournament and we want to beat each other. So it's important to leave niceties on the sideline and try and go out there and do your job.

Q. And any preference on your next match, Vegas or Colsaerts?
GRAEME McDOWELL: No preference, I played Jhonattan Vegas yesterday afternoon and beat him, so perhaps if I play him again, it would be nice to have that sort of win under my belt.
But both great players, and there's no easy matches in this format. It's a great field this week and you've just got to take each guy that comes.

Q. You beat your great mate, Rory, with Rory finishing with a big birdie putt on 16, but he came back at you hard on the back nine.
GRAEME McDOWELL: He did. He did. Big turning point on 11 where he's inside me and I make my birdie putt and he misses to go 4-down.
And you know, he misses on 12 again. And at that point, it looked like, you know, I was really in control of the game, 4-up to six to play. And he holes from 15 feet off the green on 13, stiffs it on 14 and all of the sudden you have a different prospect. Gets it up-and-down from the front trap on 15.
He waited to sort of get himself back into the game but he did come back. And I was really happy to close him out there on 16, because you start going up 17 and 18, anything can happen.

Q. You joked about how you play and practise a lot together, he often takes the money.
GRAEME McDOWELL: He generally does beat me up in practise rounds, but you know, it's nice to get that first win under tournament conditions.
I'd love to go up head-to-head against Rory somewhere, some Sunday afternoon, a big event like this one, and hopefully I'll have a chance many times to play him. You know, nice to get that first win under the belt.
But you know, it's very difficult to get that killer instinct against a good friend. You've kind of got to leave the niceties, if you like, on the sidelines and just try and go do your job, because we both desperately want to win, and somebody has to lose this morning.

Q. You're into the quarterfinal, a fantastic experience in The Ryder Cup in terms of match play. What about winning a match-play title, how much would you like to do that?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I would love to. I've always enjoyed match play. Back in my amateur days I played a lot of match play and loved it. You know, professionally, I've won some nice singles in Ryder Cups, etc., but never really had a run in the Accenture Match Play. There's a lot of great players in this field, and I just have to try to keep my head down and take each as it comes and hopefully continue to play the way I'm playing.

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