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July 29, 2011

Graeme McDowell


Q. 72 yesterday and you needed a good one today, how does it feel to get it?
GRAEME McDOWELL: It's nice. In front of the home fans, and the home tournament, of course you want to make the weekend and it was nice to shoot 5-under par today and get myself semi-back in the tournament, if I can go out tomorrow and go low, I might have a chance come Sunday.
I hit the ball a lot better today. Drove it in the fairway which was the key, and there's no doubt that this golf course plays a little shorter and easier in the afternoons and it was nice to take advantage of that.

Q. You were very disappointed to miss the cut at The Open, and you said you took last week off to reflect on that and try and find some answers; did you?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I did. It was an easy answer. It's my attitude. You know, I've been trying way too hard and putting way too much pressure on myself.
Of course you've got to work hard in this game, you've got to try hard but you have to let yourself off the hook as well and I haven't been doing that very well.
I tried to really relax my attitude the last couple of days, and I had great playing partners with Simon and Richard, great, laid-back guys, and we had some fun on the course last couple of days. It was nice to go low today.

Q. What's your thoughts on the weekend? What's your philosophy going in with a few shots to make up?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Really weather dependent of course. If we get another day like this tomorrow, I'm going to have to go and shoot at some pins like I did today.
The golf course, if you can drive it well, it let's up some birdies. I have not been that hot on the greens just yet, and perhaps I can get out there tomorrow and make some, and get myself back close to the lead going into Sunday. Really enjoyed it today and the fans are terrific. They are really giving us great receptions on every green and looking forward to tomorrow.
I'm just looking forward to the weekend, enjoying the atmosphere, it's fantastic and perhaps myself and Rory will get a game tomorrow. Should be a few people watching that maybe. The crowds, it's a lot of fun out there.

Q. Is that your best round in recent weeks?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Scottish Open, two events ago, I shot 64, 63 or something. It's decent for me, that 66, happy with that.

Q. Tiger Woods announced saying he's going to come back.
GRAEME McDOWELL: He's going to play next week at the Bridgestone Invitational, which is a huge boost for the tournament and huge boost for world golf in general. It's an interesting saga, the Tiger saga, and it continues, and great to have him back. He brings an extra dimension to golf tournaments when he does play, so great to have him back.

Q. You said in the buildup to the event, paraphrasing what you said, that maybe you were not committing to your shots enough; did that change a little bit today? Did you feel you were really in control of your ball flight heading to the greens?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I wouldn't say I wasn't committing to the shots. I would say I wasn't accepting the out comes very well and trying too hard.
The last two days had a draw playing with Simon and Richard, two relaxed guys and the atmosphere was a lot of fun out there. I drove the ball much better this afternoon. I put it in play, gave myself a chance to be aggressive with my short irons. My short iron game is in good shape and if I can continue to do that this weekend and get the hang of these greens a little bit, perhaps I can give myself a shot Sunday.
A couple more 5-under pars, that would be 14-under par, I don't know if that's going to be enough. Depends what the weather does. Two more days like we have just had; very unusual to have two days in Ireland where the wind barely blows at all. The golf course is set up well for scoring and the greens are receptive, and you can make a score if you get ahold of your putter.

Q. Were the pins approachable today?
GRAEME McDOWELL: They were a mixed bag today. Sort of the old mantra, like six hard, six medium, six easy, they kind of were like that today. There were some tough ones and easy ones and like I say if you can hit the fairway on this golf course, you can attack pins because they are very, very receptive the greens.

Q. Are you confident that having done it in the past, that you can get yourself back in position and get the job done?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, just be patient and try and get ourselves in that position first it. I'm just happy to make a weekend at the Irish Open.
My record here is not stellar, but very happy to go out and play the way I did today, and I'll be looking forward to a good day tomorrow. It's my birthday tomorrow, so I'll be looking at my 32nd year, and it will be nice to go out there and shoot a little 64 or 65, be a nice birthday present.

Q. Very important for the tournament that you and Rory got into contention for the tournament, apart from your own personal goals?

Q. For the weekend. It is important to have two Irish guys.
GRAEME McDOWELL: For sure. I didn't realise Darren had missed the cut. I knew Pádraig was struggling, and disappointing for the event, really, that Darren and Pádraig had both missed it.
It would have been great to get us all up there in contention but the crowds have been fantastic. They just came out in the hundreds of thousands and really given us great ovations coming on to the greens.
If myself and Rory play together tomorrow, that could be very boisterous. That's a lot of fun. I mean, the event has got exactly what it needs. It's got some sunshine, a great venue and massive crowds. Of course we are disappointed that Pádraig and Darren are not here but we'll try and make a great weekend of it and see if we can get a home winner.

Q. What did you do the first two holes?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Hit 3-wood, wedge, to about six feet on 1, and I had a pretty aggressive drive on 2 and had a really nice little 70-yarder to about four feet.
I haven't holed a lot of footage yet this week. It would be nice to make some putts this weekend.

Q. How is the back?
GRAEME McDOWELL: A little looser today. I wouldn't say it's a hundred per cent loose but a little better. Not sure if my bed is too soft or whatever, maybe spending too much time in it. I haven't really been feeling 100 per cent so been trying to sleep it off a little bit, a little bit of Clarkey's man-flu. He's called his self-inflicted man-flu. Mine shouldn't be self-inflicted. Just picked up a little bit of a chesty cold. Wasn't feeling a million bucks yesterday morning. I'm feeling a little bit better today. Sweating it out.

Q. What does that start do to you? Does it suddenly make you say, I'm off, I'm in gear?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I felt good during my warmup today, and of course you want to get that MoJo, that momentum going in the round and to birdie the first couple of holes, that gets the juices flowing a little bit, that was nice.

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