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April 5, 2012

Rory McIlroy


RORY McILROY:  I mean, yeah, there was a couple of tee shots out there that I wasn't quite that comfortable with.  But yeah, I mean, I was just missing a few out to the right and just not committing to aiming it down the right and releasing it and hitting a draw down there.

Q.  Talk about the importance of birdieing the last two going into tomorrow.
RORY McILROY:  Yeah, very important.  It'll make dinner taste a lot better tonight.  But if I had‑‑ I wanted to at least finish even par, and birdieing the last was really nice.  Yeah, definitely happy coming off the course in red numbers.

Q.  Did they make the golf course more difficult do you think because they thought the rain had made it more‑‑
RORY McILROY:  Yeah, there was definitely some Sunday pin positions out there.  I'm thinking back to last year, and the 1st was in the same position as it was Sunday, the 3rd, 5 was tough just on top of the ledge, 6 was up on the top right, 7 was over the bunker, 8 was generous, 9 was left, 10 was generous, 11 was generous, 12 was Sunday pin, 13 was back right, was a tough one.  They set the pin positions up pretty tough today, probably thinking that the guys were going to go low because it was too soft.

Q.  The shot on No.2, was that as risky as it looked?
RORY McILROY:  No, not at all.  No, it wasn't that risky.

Q.  What did you do, just‑‑
RORY McILROY:  I just hit like a hard draw, just tried to get it down there somewhere around the front of the green.

Q.  The 10th hole as you were walking down, did it cross your mind at all?
RORY McILROY:  Well, I was definitely erring more on the right‑hand side.  But it was fine.  I was trying to hit a 3‑wood down the right and turn it, and it just didn't turn enough.  But yeah, it was nice to walk off there with a 4 and sort of get that out of the way and move on.

Q.  Talk about the last two birdies there.
RORY McILROY:  Yeah, of course it's a nice way to finish, obviously.  You know, it would have been‑‑ I felt like there was enough good shots in there to be positive over the next three days.  I need to drive the ball in the fairway a little bit more, and I feel like if I can drive the ball in the fairway more, I can take advantage of that.  That will be the key for me the next three days.

Q.  The context for the final score, what did it feel like, that round?  It was a soap opera.
RORY McILROY:  I wouldn't quite say it was a soap opera, but it wasn't the best obviously.  It wasn't the start that I would have liked to have got off to.  But I steadied the ship and made three birdies on the front nine to turn under par.  Making two birdies coming in there was nice to finish under par for the day.  It only leaves me four off the lead, and still with 54 holes to play, that's nothing.

Q.  Your confidence in your game obviously is such that you can fight back from adversity.  On the first nine you had three birdies, and then on the second nine when things weren't going well, you finished with two birdies.  That's really a measure of the player you are, isn't it?
RORY McILROY:  I think just my patience paid off.  I stayed very patient out there and didn't try and force things.  That paid off with two birdies at the end, which was nice.  I'm coming off the golf course a lot more pleased about my round than maybe I had have been if I would have just made two 4s.

Q.  Just how does it make you feel, 71 as a number?  Would you have taken it going out?
RORY McILROY:  The way the course is playing, probably not.  I felt like there was a low one out there, but I'm out in the morning.  It will be nice to get out there and make some birdies.

Q.  It doesn't mean you're not playing well, the adversity you had today, but you had the birdies when you required it.  How do you feel about your game?  Did you feel you had everything going for you coming into this week?
RORY McILROY:  Yeah, it was good.  I struggled on a couple of tee shots there to be honest.  There was a couple of tees I stood on I wasn't quite that comfortable with, the 1st as an example.  I still feel like I've got enough good shots in me to make birdies around here and limit the mistakes.

Q.  You seemed to get a very warm reception out there, which may well have been connected with the events of last year.
RORY McILROY:  Yeah, it was.  I feel like every time I come and play in the States I get a warm reception, and it's really nice to have.  Obviously everything that happened last year and the people might just be pulling for me that little bit extra.  But it's nice.  It's great to have the support of the crowd, and I definitely feel like I can feed off it during the week.

Q.  How did it feel involved competitively here again?
RORY McILROY:  It was nice.  I've been waiting for this day to come around for a couple weeks, to be honest.  I've just been waiting and waiting, and it was nice when I finally got here.  I'm pretty pleased with how I started.  It could have been a little better.  But I'll take 71, and hopefully it's a good score to build on.

Q.  The very start must have been a little bit of a jolt.
RORY McILROY:  Yeah, a little bit, but still 71 holes left in the tournament after that, so there's still a long way to go.

Q.  What did you do this morning?
RORY McILROY:  Slept in, listened to a bit of music, read a magazine.

Q.  Were you watching how the course was playing?
RORY McILROY:  No, not at all.

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