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November 5, 2011

Graeme McDowell


Q. How was that today?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, that was pretty good today. You know, nice to be out semi-in-the-mix and shoot a good score. Scoring was good today so you knew you had to make some birdies. The golf course was there for the taking a little bit, perfect greens, no wind, and receptive conditions. So yeah, happy to go reasonably low.

Q. Semi-in-the-mix suggests that you are not quite there?
GRAEME McDOWELL: It's there or thereabouts. I'm happy, happy the way I'm playing this week. Three solid scores so far and I'll go out with half a chance to threaten the lead tomorrow. It's a bunched leaderboard and looks like Freddie Jacobson has a little bit of a lead but it's a world-class sort of Top-10 behind him and I'm hoping that I can make some kind of a charge tomorrow.

Q. And the scores also speak for themselves, low ones out there.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Harrison Frazar shot 64 and Louis shot 9-under, and you can see what you can do to this golf course. These conditions, you don't really put on better greens than these. They are the perfect speed and very receptive. The golf course has some length and that's probably its only protection.

Q. Is there a slight sense of relief, as well as satisfaction, that you turned it around after what you called embarrassing last week?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Of course there's a slight sense of relief but never really lost all belief in my game. I knew it was there or thereabouts. I just got Valderramaed last week, and that golf course will do it to you if you get on the wrong side of it. I did that, got on the wrong side of it multiple occasions and it beat me up.
Nice to come back and reset and play some good golf this week.

Q. Were you wary going into the weekend?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Wary? Not really. Can't compare this golf course to Valderrama. You hit bad shots out here and you don't get punished anywhere close to how you get punished at Valderrama. My putter has behaved itself tenfold better than it did last week, and I feel much better.

Q. On a tangent, I don't know if you were at the caddie bash last night, but you'll know there were some comments made by Steve Williams. Wonder what your take is?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I was there. The comments were surprising, yes. I'm aware that he's released a statement this morning apologising. I would doubt severely if he meant it racially like it came over, and you know, hopefully his apology will in somewhat shape or form settle the matter. We don't want something made out of nothing. It was a fun night and we really hope that it doesn't become too big of an issue.

Q. So there should not be any sanctions against him?
GRAEME McDOWELL: You know there were a lot of things said last night, jokes made, fun was taken, the piss was extracted, and things got a little bit out of hand. He takes one word out of that sentence and nothing gets said about it.
These are racially sensitive times, especially in sport. It's unfortunate, because it was a very sticky situation. I kind of feel bad for him in many ways because like I say, it was a very humourous evening, and it's unfortunate that it's come out as negatively as it did.

Q. Some people said that he should be sacked. Do you think that would be taking it too far?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Like I say, these are racially sensitive times, and you make a comment like that, yeah, they are within closed doors, as such, and like I say, there were a lot of funny things, and humour was taken out of a lot of people.
Like I say, it's unfortunate that being presented as negatively as it has. Should he be sacked? I don't know. Like I say, I hope he can resolve it. He's a character within the game of golf, and whatever bitterness that exists between him and Tiger should be in the past by now. It's unfortunate that it's going to rear it's head again.

Q. If he was your caddie, would you sack him?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Knowing my caddie the way I do, I know he would have meant it in the humourous way that it was probably presented. It wasn't presented -- I don't think Stevie Williams was trying to be racial. I don't think it was a racial comment. I think he was trying to be funny and make a joke of it.
You know, it was an embarrassing situation that he was put in. He was up in front of his peers and colleagues last night on a moment in his season that was probably quite an embarrassing one when he looks back on it and he tried to make a joke of it and it came out wrong.
Knowing my caddie as I do, I wouldn't sack him for that, no, because I know he would have not meant it -- you see it down written in text, yeah, it's a really bad comment, and you shouldn't say things like that. But it was meant -- it was meant humour usually, I believe.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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