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MASTERS TOURNAMENT


April 7, 2012


Graeme McDowell


AUGUSTA, GEORGIA

Q.テつ It seemed like things almost seemed to click for you.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Nearly, nearly.テつ I think maybe that's only my second or third under per round here at Augusta.テつ I've talked a little bit during the week about, oh, this is not really my favorite track to score on.テつ I do love coming to this tournament.テつ It's always exciting.テつ You know, I always get here and realize how unsuited I am to the golf course, yet.テつ I'm still learning.
This is my fifth Masters, and always nice to get runs like that under my belt.テつ It should have been better.テつ It's one of those ones, a couple mistakes on the front nine, made 6 on 13.テつ But really happy to finish with a couple birdies there.
I've definitely played better as the week has gone on.テつ Thursday was disappointing, Friday was a little better, and today was a little better again.テつ Looking forward to tomorrow.テつ Like I say, every round you get under your belt on this golf course is a learning experience.

Q.テつ Nice to get a couple early birdies to set a good tone for you?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ It was nice.テつ Off to a nice fast start.テつ Brandt Snedeker, my playing partner, played very nicely today, and he kind of dragged me along a little bit.テつ Yeah, a couple of early birdies and then I hit an awful drive on 5 where I kind of‑‑ I just kind of hooked it left and I put myself into trouble there.
But I kind of steadied the ship a little bit after that, and like I say, apart from the bogey on 13, I had some great chances on the back nine.

Q.テつ Does it prove out there today that patience is really the key out there because coming in you had a great shot into 15, just lipped out, and 16, as well?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, for sure you've got to be patient.テつ They set the golf course up a little bit for scoring today, some accessible pin positions.テつ Like I say, it's set up for scoring, as much as you can do it here at Augusta.テつ You've still got to play well.テつ These greens can still kick you if you get on the wrong side of them.
Yeah, I'm going to do a bit of short game, hit some balls here.テつ I'm going to go back, put the feet up and see how the leaders play this place.

Q.テつ Obviously you've missed the cut here for the last two years.テつ In the overall scheme of things, to come back here year after year, how important is it to get good, competitive rounds under your belt?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Absolutely.テつ I mean, I'd love to win a green jacket; are you kidding me?テつ So I've got to come back here every year and I've got to learn the golf course and I've got to accept it for what it is.テつ Yeah, I've got to learn the shots I've got to hit around this golf course.テつ And speaking to Josテδゥ Maria Olazテδ。bal this morning, I said, I'd love to play some holes with you here next year because I really need a few pointers and a bit of direction around this golf course.テつ And he said to me, How many times have you played here?テつ I said, my fifth time.テつ He said, It takes a lot of time and it takes a lot of getting to know this golf course, unless you're Rory McIlroy and you can move it 330 yards right to left through the air.テつ That makes this course a lot easier.

Q.テつ Today with the 71, does it give you a sense you're getting closer to learning about this place?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ For sure, for sure.テつ You know, I played nicely today, and you've sort of got to nearly play to all these pins a few times and just get the hang of it, foresee what to expect when the pins go in different parts of the green and learn these putts here at Augusta.テつ You can do all the preparation you like, and then the tournament starts and you hit it sort of in the wrong place and you've got to try and get yourself out of that position.テつ But yeah, that was good.
Like I say, any under‑par rounds under the belt around here are always nice, and they'll be good for the experience going forward.

Q.テつ The ball on 13 that you hit, did you slip in the pine straw, or was it just a squirty shot?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ I was trying to lay up aggressively to the right‑hand side there.テつ That's kind of our tactic.テつ And my ball was kind of sitting in the little‑‑ where the turf ends and the pine straw begins.テつ It's kind of all rough there, and I kind of stung my club out to the right, and it wasn't a very good lay‑up, and in the end I left myself a tough shot.

Q.テつ Because where we stand there on the green, I can't see back‑‑ did it roll off the back and you putted it up there?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, it rolled off the back edge.テつ I had kind of a squirrelly little putt coming out of the fringe, one of those ones you try not to leave short, and I jammed it back.

Q.テつ Given what you said yesterday about the chipping, you were not trying to chip that at all?テつ It was just short enough to putt?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ It was a tough chip.テつ It was literally three feet off the edge of the green with about six feet of green.テつ It was tough.テつ It was a real hog's back.

Q.テつ This course giveth and it taketh away and then it giveth back at the end.テつ You're learning how to play it, though, by the looks of things.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, for sure.テつ It's a bit of a roller coaster, this golf course, and off to a fast start with a couple of early birdies, and then I hit an awful tee shot on 5, and bogey was all it deserved, really.
I made a clumsy enough bogey on 7 where my second shot caught the top of the trap and came back in.テつ I steadied the ship around the turn, hit some good shots.テつ Bad bogey on 13, just coming off a bad lay‑up, leaving myself a tough third shot to a really, really difficult pin.
But really happy the way I played coming in, gave myself some nice chances on 15 and 16, and even managed to par 17 today, which is very unlike me, and I managed to birdie the last, which was nice.

Q.テつ This course, when it plays a little drier, and it did today by comparison to the first two days, that more plays into the hands of your game, doesn't it?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, for sure.テつ I need this place to be firm and fast.テつ I need that little bit of fire in the fairways just to make my second shots into the greens a little shorter, and I think when the greens are firmer and less receptive, you've got to be smarter and you've got to really be more precise with your iron play.
I think the course is starting to firm up now, and it's going to be starting to be more like the Augusta that might suit me.

Q.テつ Getting under par for the entire week would require something in the 60s in the final round.テつ That's in you now do you think?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ I've got to go out there with nothing to lose tomorrow, you know.テつ It's fun to be‑‑ Sunday at Augusta, I'll be off probably around noon ish tomorrow, and not quite as close to the leaders as I'd like to be.テつ But it's a Sunday afternoon at Augusta, and like I say, if I ever want to win a green jacket, I've got to take all the learning experience that I can at this golf course and remember how to play these pins and keep applying it and keep getting better and maybe come back here some year and compete.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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