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June 16, 2011

Graeme McDowell


Q. (Inaudible).
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, I think there's no doubt this week was a week I've been looking forward to for many reasons. Of course I was excited to come here, but I was also excited to maybe close a chapter that was the last 12 months and try and start talking about the future rather than talking about the past. I feel like I've spent the last three months talking about Pebble and defending my Open title, and so somehow coming here this week, I really felt that I had already sort of did all the talking and I was ready to move forward.
I felt really, really good this morning. I felt normal. It felt like a regular Major Championship. It didn't feel like I was defending anything. And I just went out there. I set myself some challenges this morning to go out and try to think well, try to go through my processes correctly, through my routines, and just be patient and enjoy the round. And I really accomplished those things.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Very unusual circumstance there on 9. We laid them up from about 220 yards and the two balls were touching in the fairway, which I've never seen on the golf course before. It was pretty incredible. It was a very unusual circumstance. Louis had to go first, and thankful he didn't remove a huge piece of turf, I didn't know what I was going to do to recreate my lie if he had taken a huge divot. He picked it off the turf quite cleanly and I was thankful for that.

Q. Did you feel with the way the conditions were this morning you can go out and make a score to get yourself into the tournament?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: I don't think you ever feel that way at a U.S. Open that you've got to go out and make a score. You just try to take each hole as it comes. The golf course changed dramatically as the round went on. The wind got up on the back nine there. And holes like 15 and 16 played different than what we saw in practice. I hit 9-iron on 15. And with practice I've been going on with 3 and 4 irons. You had to adapt your game plan a little bit. But I kept it in play well today. I played smart golf. My iron play could have been better, but all in all, very, very happy with most departments today.

Q. What was going on right at the 11 today when you came off the tee and the paramedics were out there?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Obviously we heard someone obviously were having some problems over there. And that puts things in perspective for you. You're out there trying to do your best, but it certainly puts golf in perspective when you see someone obviously fighting for their life. All the people that USGA has in place this week for events like that, it's great to see the paramedics reacting and doing the job they're here to do. We obviously hope that person is doing okay right now.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, they're brown in places. They used the front pin on 4, which we looked at yesterday in practice and that was a particularly brown and beaten up area of the green. And they did the same on 12. They used the very front portion there, probably before they lose them, you know. Of course they've taken this golf course -- I know they've had a wet spring here. They've obviously taken this golf course to the edge to try to dry it as much as they can. There are certain areas of the greens that you can see are under stress, they're very stressed. Parts of the greens were firm. They're doing a job at the minute. It will be interesting to see if this wind continues to dry them out. You can hear the SubAir working on some of the greens and the SubAir not working on other greens. They've obviously got a bit of an imbalance out there, as far as how much moisture are on certain parts of the greens. At the moment, they're doing a good job.

Q. You're not a fan of the 10th hole, are you?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: I think 10 is maybe the only slightly unfair hole, here, at Congressional. You know, it's a tough number for me, especially today. 5-iron was barely beating front edge. I had to sizzle a 5 there and 4 was kind of too much for me today. It was a tough number for me. And I think it's the only slightly unfair golf hole out here. I think the rest of them are what they are. You play well and you get rewarded.
Sand is tough, you know. I felt for the guys having to play that was their first hole early on, maybe in a little bit of rain. That would have been a tough way to start a U.S. Open.

Q. At what point during the year did you go from reveling in this championship to okay, enough, let's put it behind and get on to it. Was it a gradual kind of transition or was it as this event approached you started to want to focus on this event? Can you describe that?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: You know, probably around the PLAYERS time I started to really try and focus on the future a little bit. I spent a lot of time doing my -- I had a lot of pre-U.S. Open commitments, a lot of commitments to TV back home, TV here at the States. I came to the USGA Media Day here. I had a lot of talking to do and a lot of commitments. As the U.S. Open champion, I had a lot of media to do. I got that out of the way as early as I possibly could so I could come here this week and enjoy any last three or four weeks on the golf course, and not spend my time working on this week. So I've came here this week, and apart from my press conference I have nothing to do. It's probably the best I've felt in months. So it's great to be here. Like I say, I feel like I'm opening a new chapter for the rest of my career, hopefully.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GRAEME MCDOWELL: The weight was off my shoulders Monday morning. Something happened when I was here on Sunday night. And I felt great on the golf course Monday. And I felt good out there today.

Q. Will you give the trophy one last kiss?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: I didn't, I'm not really that sentimental.

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