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July 15, 2011

Graeme McDowell


GRAEME McDOWELL: Getting to be a bit of a habit, these types of days. Bad habit to get into obviously. I couldn't really put my finger on anything that was particularly bad today, I just drove it average, iron play was average, everything was average. My attitude has been pretty average the last two days, I'd have to say. Just not having a lot of belief in myself. I couldn't have had a better preparation three days than I had for this golf tournament. I went out yesterday and I had very little belief in myself. Just a little bit of a confidence issue. Like I say, I'm just can't string four rounds together at the minute, and this week I couldn't even string two together.

Q. At Royal St. George's things can really go pear shaped. You had a good tee shot on 3, then the first bogey and began the run of things.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, 3 kind of took -- I opened up, struck the ball really solidly, hit a great 5-iron over the pin on 3 and comes off the front there. That was an example of how my play was both days, really. Just throwing shots away, simple shots around the greens. Like I say, I really didn't hit the golf ball terribly the last couple days, I just scored horrible. Today I just spawned shots away around the greens, it was pretty ugly.

Q. It's not like you to have your head spin, but when you're going from 2-under to 4- or 5-over, it must have been pretty traumatic?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Well, I wouldn't call it traumatic, it's just sport. But it's disappointing, of course. I'm just not in the right frame of mind right now. Like I say, my technique is all there, everything is all there. There's just something going on. Maybe my expectation level is putting a little too much pressure on myself.
This is The Open. We are under pressure. We want to do well. Maybe I'm trying a little too hard the last couple days. You know, it's tough. I just need to get my approach right. I'm just not quite -- haven't quite got the attitude where I want it to be. Just trying a little too hard.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, yeah, it's been a little bit of the flavor of my game this year. I really haven't been holing -- the strength of my game, that six-to-ten-feet range, statistically, we had a look at it a couple weeks ago, I'm not holing enough putts in that range. That was my strength last year when I won the U.S. Open. I holed everything in that range. And this year I'm just not holing a lot of putts in that range. They are huge, especially on a week like this. When you miss a few greens, you're very lucky you're going to have that six, eight, ten feet. I made none of them today. I made a couple yesterday which hung me in there, and today I just got no momentum at all and just completely imploded.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, 9 was disappointing. I kind of squirted my tee shot there a little bit and had an awkward lie in the right rough. My first dropped shot, I thought I was a yard away, a very good trap shot and made double there. That was a real killer blow there. And then I had to go chasing on the back nine and hit it in a few traps and stuff.
Just disappointing. I'm disappointed in myself. More my mental approach. I'm not disappointed in my game, I'm just disappointed the way I'm -- I just don't have that dig deep in me at the minute; it's weird. It's very unlikely. I've had a half a dozen rounds in the high 70s this year. It's not me. It's not my mind of golf, so I need to have a look at my mental approach a little bit.

Q. So you found going around that you were fed up?
GRAEME McDOWELL: No, I wasn't fed up today, I was frustrated. I was frustrated and disappointed. I guess those are the two words that are coming into my game really quickly. I don't have any patience in myself. As I said, maybe I expect a little too much of myself.
I know my game is getting better all the time, I'm just not putting it into play at the minute. As I said, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday I hit the ball beautifully. I was ready for this tournament. Like I say, by the time I walked off the first green yesterday I wasn't ready anymore. It's very frustrating.

Q. Have you ever had this feeling before at any point or anything similar?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I think it's fairly new. I mean, it's maybe just a new version. This game kind of gives you its ups and downs. It's just frustrations and then patience and disappointment. I just maybe need to -- like I say, my expectations are maybe a little too high at the minute. I need to get back to grinding out rounds and turning 75s into 70s and 77s into 72s and 73s. That was just bad today.

Q. Darren has been asked a lot of questions about you the last 14 months. Can I ask you one about him?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Absolutely, please do.

Q. What do you think the weekend holds for him?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, Darren is a fantastic ball striker. He's a great links player, and he's the type of player that can still win golf tournaments like he showed in Mallorca this year. He's obviously moved back to Portrush and spending a lot of time up there and spending a lot more time playing links golf. Great to see him playing well, and obviously I wish him all the best for the weekend.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, you know, theoretically should be good for him, but people always say that I should love bad weather, as well, but I don't. We're very spoiled on the Tour. We end up following the sun around. I'm not sure if he's a good bad-weather player anymore, but it would be good to see him -- there's no doubt, great to see him on the board. It's anyone's Open right now. It's wide open. That's the disappointing thing for me, I felt if I could have kept it around par today, if I was running level par total or a couple over, I had a chance to go out and shoot a score before the weather tomorrow. But it's just disappointing.

Q. Is it hard not to compare everything to last year? Do you have to adjust those expectations?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, of course it's hard not to compare to last year. I mean, I didn't set out in 2011 trying to eclipse 2010, no doubt about it, but deep inside, I mean, I know I can do it, so maybe I want it too badly. I need to take a close look at how I am thinking at the minute because I'm not thinking very well.
When things are going right it's easy to think well. When things aren't going so well it's very difficult to think well. You can't wait for the golf ball to make you feel happy because it ain't going to make you feel happy every day.

Q. Will you seek outside help?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I've been doing a little work with Rotella. Maybe I need to do a little more work with him, get on the couch and tell him all my problems.

Q. In all seriousness --
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I've always enjoyed the mental side of the game, and I wouldn't say I'm enjoying it so much right now because I'm a bit of a mental case out there. But like I say, I maybe need to -- I need an attitude readjustment. I need to care a bit less about the game. I mean, I love this game and I'm working my ass off and I'm working hard and continue to work hard, but I'm just not putting it into play right now. It's disappointing.

Q. You've lost your mojo?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I've lost some pars.

Q. You said a couple weeks ago that two players winning majors from Northern Ireland would be like winning the lottery. What would three be?
GRAEME McDOWELL: If Darren were to do it this weekend, yeah, I think we'd have an influx of golfers moving to Northern Ireland. It's pretty massive odds, but it is pretty amazing the way certain guys doing it can spur others on to do it. So I'll be watching with interest, shall we say, and I wish him all the best. It's great, and I wish I was there tussling myself.

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