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OMEGA MISSION HILLS WORLD CUP


November 25, 2011


Graeme McDowell

Rory McIlroy


HAINAN ISLAND, CHINA

SARAH GWYNN:テつ Guys, thanks very much for coming in today.テつ If you wouldn't mind, just summing up your thoughts about today.テつ Rory, do you want to go first?
RORY McILROY:テつ Yeah, today was good.テつ I think both of us are very pleased about the score that we ended up shooting today.テつ I think anything in the 60s in the foursomes format is a very reasonable score out there.テつ And probably closed the gap on Australia by a shot, so getting a little bit closer to the lead.
Still a lot of golf to be played this week so nice to get out there tomorrow again and enjoy the four‑balls and be aggressive and make a few more birdies.テつ I think we are very pleased with how today went and looking forward to the weekend.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Same thing, really.テつ Alternate‑shot is a very difficult format.テつ We struggled to find our rhythm a little bit on the front nine.テつ Rory really putted well today, which kept things together.
You know, I've struggled a little bit on the greens the last couple of days, but you know, I was happy the way I swung the club in general today again and Rory is playing lovely.
Like I say, much difficult, much more difficult format.テつ Looking forward to getting back out there into better‑balls tomorrow where we can both play a little bit more aggressively and get in our rhythm better.
But very, very happy with that performance today, 4‑under par in this format is a pretty good effort.

Q.テつ In China, golf is considered an elite sport.テつ It's mainly the rich people who get a chance to enjoy this game.テつ But what's it like back in Ireland where you grew up?テつ When you started playing golf, was it a very common sport for most of the people?テつ Can you talk about that?
RORY McILROY:テつ Yeah, golf back home in Ireland is actually a very, very common sport.テつ It's very accessible to a lot of people.テつ You know, we have hundreds of golf courses in Ireland, a lot of people public, as well, so you don't have to pay to play the course.テつ You can just go on and enjoy the game.
I think that's part of the reason that Ireland has got such a rich golfing history, and I think in China, with golf's inclusion in the Olympics coming up, I think it will make golf a lot more accessible to a lot more people in this country and I think that can only be good for the country of China and also for the game of golf.

Q.テつ Most of your birdies today came from you, Rory, on the even‑numbered holes, and Graeme, on the odd holes; was that your strategy or was that the way things worked out?
RORY McILROY:テつ Yeah, there was a little bit of strategy involved.テつ We knew going with myself off the even‑numbered tees, G‑Mac would be hitting a lot of the approach shots in and I would have a few more putts.テつ We feel like I rolled the ball a little better yesterday and was able to make a few today.テつ Most of all we went with that tactic, just to try to take advantage of my length and put Graeme in some good positions on the par 4s and par 5s where he could attack the pins.

Q.テつ Can you talk a little about the golf course, the difficulty of Blackstone after two days of competition, and have you played prior to this tournament on this golf course?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ You know, we have both never been here before.テつ This is my first time in Hainan Island.テつ The golf course is‑‑ obviously it's windy, which is a big factor right away.
This is a long golf course.テつ We are not playing the golf course at its full distance.テつ They are moving some of the tees forward for us this week.テつ It's got a lot of length, this golf course.テつ It's not very difficult off the tee.テつ It's pretty wide open but you've got to be very, very precise with your iron shots coming in to these small, very undulating greens.
So it's a great test.テつ Very fair.テつ And just in great condition this week, and you know, it really is a top‑class golf course.

Q.テつ Both of you are now having the same agent.テつ Can you talk a little bit, is there some kind of a special chemistry now because both of you are sharing the same agent?テつ And what's so special about the agent that you decide to switch?
RORY McILROY:テつ No, I don't think there's any‑‑ there's no difference.テつ Graeme and myself have been very close friends for a number of years, and that's never changed.テつ You know, now we maybe have a little bit more of a chance to spend a bit more time together on Tour, which is nice.
You know, I saw firsthand what a great job Horizon did for Graeme over the past few years and I thought it was something that I wanted to be involved in, and that's the reason.
But yeah, a bonus to that is being able to maybe spend a bit more time with Graeme here and there.テつ But it was a very personal decision, and it's one that I'm very happy with.

Q.テつ Now you are No.2 in the world.テつ What more do you have to do that hopefully you can reach to the No. 1 spot in the world?
RORY McILROY:テつ Yeah, I mean, I'm always just trying to get a little bit closer.テつ I've been very happy with my progress this year, winning my first major championship, and I think I started the year around 5 or whatever.
So to sort of consolidate my place in the top 5 was a big goal for me, and now that I'm No.2, it would be huge to be able to become the No. 1 golfer in the world.
But that's currently occupied by Luke Donald who has played incredible golf this year, and is deservedly No. 1.テつ I know that I'm going to have to keep up my good play if I'm going to catch him.
So I've got a few events left this year, and I'll try and play well in those, and give myself a foundation to kick off 2012 and trying to get some more good results, and maybe that will be enough to overtake Luke at some point.
SARAH GWYNN:テつ Thanks very much for coming in.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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