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OMEGA MISSION HILLS WORLD CUP


November 24, 2011


Graeme McDowell

Rory McIlroy


HAINAN ISLAND, CHINA

SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ Thanks for coming in and joining us, many congratulations on a good day.テつ Rory, just give us your thoughts on that first opening day.
RORY McILROY:テつ Yeah, it was great.テつ I thought it was a very solid opening day.
You know, we sort of set a target around 8‑ to 10‑under par that we thought was going to be a good score out there and we managed to shoot something around that, and you know, puts us in a great position going into the next three days.
You know, the four‑balls this week are where you're going to make most of your birdies, and the foursomes is a more demanding format.テつ Both players need to be on their games to shoot a low score.
So you know, it was a good start but we know we still have got a tough job ahead of us.
SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ Graeme, give us your thoughts, it's always you never win it on the first day, but you don't want to put yourself out of position and you certainly haven't done that.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ As Rory said we set a target of 9‑ or 10‑under par today.テつ This is a tricky golf course.テつ It's pretty wide open off the tee, but in that kind of a wind strength, you have to control your iron play going into the greens and we did that well today.テつ I think we kind of complemented each other's game out there.テつ When one was out, the other was in and vice versa.
We are both playing solid.テつ Tomorrow is the most important format in this tournament.テつ You know, tomorrow and Sunday are the big days, and Thursday and Saturday are the days where you can make up some ground.
Tomorrow will separate the men from the boys a little bit and we are very happy the way we are playing, so excited about tomorrow's foursomes.
SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ Talking about that, have you given any thought to how you'll approach that?テつ I know you probably have strategies in mind, but anything in particular?
RORY McILROY:テつ Not really.テつ We have chosen which tees we are going to tee up, Graeme is going to take the odd numbers and I'm going to take the evens.テつ It means that Graeme will be hitting the majority of the second shots into the greens and hopefully take advantage of the way I'm driving the ball.テつ I feel that I'm driving the ball pretty well and pretty long and that can be an advantage on the par 5s, as well.
Apart from that, you just have to really make sure that you keep your ball in play and try and not put your partner out of position too much.

Q.テつ You're playing so many tournaments around the world, does this one stand out for you?テつ Do you look forward to playing in this event every year?
RORY McILROY:テつ Yeah, I do.テつ You know, it's different for us.テつ It's something that's a little bit away from the norm, playing team golf, you're playing with a partner.テつ You know, you play so many weeks on your own and having a partner out there beside you, it's nice.
It's a nice change, and it's something I look forward to.テつ Obviously we have got this and Ryder Cup and the other team events that we can play, as well.テつ You know, sometimes it's nice to just break away from what we do week‑in and week‑out.

Q.テつ Can you talk about your long putt on the 17th hole?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ That was a nice putt.テつ You know, these greens are obviously not perfect.テつ They had some trouble with them a few months ago, and they have done a really great job sorting the surfaces out and making them playable for this great event.テつ You know, managed to pick the right line there.
It was a nice hole to birdie because we just missed a very makeable chance on 16 and we didn't convert and it was nice to birdie 17.テつ And Rory made a beautiful putt on the last for par.テつ Very content with our all‑around games today, and, you know, Rory actually probably putted the best of the two of us today.
RORY McILROY:テつ For a change.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ That was a nice birdie.

Q.テつ How long was the putt?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ 15.テつ That's my range.

Q.テつ Lee Westwood announced just recently that he will rejoin the PGA TOUR, and you have also announced that you will play probably a few more events, too, on the US PGA TOUR.テつ Can you tell us the reason why you gave it up this year, and then rejoining again in the upcoming year?
RORY McILROY:テつ Yeah, it's a place that I really enjoy to play.テつ I feel like I play some of my best golf in the States, and I feel like the golf courses there are very well suited to my game.テつ I feel like after the U.S. Open, it was something that I just wanted to do.テつ Being U.S. Open Champion, I felt like it was‑‑ it wasn't a duty, but it was something that I felt like I needed to do just to play a little bit more in the States and that was basically it.
As I said, I enjoy my time over there and there's a lot of golf tournaments in that country that I would love to win.

Q.テつ Are you going to change your strategy because it's foursomes tomorrow, and do you feel like you are quite comfortable tomorrow after the second round that you should go up to the top of the leaderboard?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yes, partner.テつ You know, the strategy, of course, changes tomorrow.テつ You've got to play a little less aggressively in the alternate‑shot format.テつ This is a difficult golf course.テつ You know, you're trying to keep your partner in position.
Foursomes, or alternate‑shot, is probably the most difficult format of golf.テつ We play it in The Ryder Cups and the Seve Trophys in the past, and it was probably the most pressure‑packed format.テつ Tomorrow is a very difficult day and it will separate the field a little bit.
But we are both very comfortable with each other and we have the right strategy and we are both playing well.テつ So we are very excited and looking forward to the foursomes tomorrow.
Will we be leading at the end of the day tomorrow?テつ Who knows.テつ We are not really too bothered.テつ We are really just all about staying up at the top of the leaderboard somewhere and relying on our games come the weekend.

Q.テつ Rory, you have mentioned that you really enjoy playing in team competition.テつ How do you get each other to make it so relaxed, and if something happened special tomorrow in the foursomes, if somebody, let's say yourself or Graeme make a mistake, how do you tell each other, it's not your fault, or it is your fault.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ (Throwing fake punch at Rory).
RORY McILROY:テつ We never say you're sorry.テつ If someone hits a bad shot‑‑ you never try to hit a bad shot.テつ The worst thing you can say to your partner is sorry.テつ I can hit a bad shot, Graeme can hit a bad shot; it's no big deal as long as you try to put it right in the next one.テつ I think the reason that we stay soテつ relaxed out there is because we are great friends off the golf course, and that transfers into great chemistry on the golf course.

Q.テつ Rory, you didn't like the weatherand playing in the wind earlier this year; what do you think about the weather here?
RORY McILROY:テつ I seem to have gotten a little better at playing in the wind over the past couple of months.テつ It's not too much of a factor.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, we are both Irish, we grew up playing golf in the wind.テつ So this is absolutely fine with us.テつ It's nice and warm.テつ And the conditions are tough, but you know, we enjoy the creativity required to play golf in the wind.

Q.テつ How do you pick your team colours today, and what are you wearing tomorrow?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Graeme well, we just kind of had to work out‑‑ we have both been on the road for many weeks, and we had to work out what was clean first and foremost.テつ We just happened to have pink tee shirts clean.
We have got a few colours lined up for the weekend.テつ What are we wearing tomorrow, Rors?テつ Can't even remember.テつ Black?
RORY McILROY:テつ Black.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ I think we are on black tomorrow.テつ Black Friday; go low.

Q.テつ You mentioned that you really enjoy playing the golf course, especially on the US PGA TOUR.テつ Do you find that much different comparing to the golf courses you are playing in China, and do you really enjoy coming over, both you and Graeme?
RORY McILROY:テつ Yeah, I think the thing about all of the golf courses in China, they are all modern designs, very similar to what you would get in America and all of the new golf courses all over the world.テつ So you know, I enjoy coming here to play.テつ A few weeks ago, I travelled around seven different cities and got to see a lot of different golf courses and a lot of great golf courses.
One of my favourite courses that we play all year is Sheshan in Shanghai.テつ I feel like that's one of the best layouts that we have all year.テつ There's so many golf courses that are going to be built in China over the next few years, I'm sure there's going to be a few that are going to be ranked among the best in the world.
SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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