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July 19, 2012

Graeme McDowell


Q. You must be quite happy with that, a nice opening round?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, after all the chat about conditions and how difficult this golf course is and how much rain is there going to be, how much wind is there going to be.テつ It was kind of weird standing out there on about the 9th tee box looking around in a shirt sleeves at guys being 4‑, 5‑ and 6‑under par.テつ It was a pretty benign start to the week.
I'm in no illusion that this golf course has teeth, though, and could be a bit of a breeze across this course and it could be a sleeping giant for sure.テつ But benign conditions this morning, and it was to take advantage of them.

Q.テつ (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, it was nice.テつ I bogeyed 6, which is probably one of the strongest par‑4s on the course.テつ That kind of set off three birdies in a row, a string which was nice.テつ And like you say, my tee shot to 9 was pretty cool, 165 a little downwind, it was a perfect 8‑iron for me.テつ I thought I made it for a second, but it really is a game of two halves, this golf course.テつ You turn back into this back nine and it's a stiff test, there's no doubt about it.テつ I hit it a little scrappy coming in, but all in all really, really happy with 3‑under par.テつ I'd have paid a few quid for that on the first tee this morning.

Q.テつ (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, eventful is the way to describe the last few holes.テつ I made a great 4 on 14, and then 15, you know, I did the hard part, I made a great drive down there, missed my 6‑iron right of the green where you shouldn't have been, and then 17 I just kind of tried to steer my tee shot up there and blocked it.テつ I made a great 4 in the end.
The last was just a little bit of a try‑not‑to‑lose‑it‑left 2‑iron.テつ I kind of squirted it out.テつ It's tough to avoid all these bunkers.
But like I said, all in all, 3‑under par, I'm happy, it was a solid round of golf.

Q.テつ You looked comfortable out there?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ I felt good.テつ I felt really good.テつ I've played in plenty of these things to learn that you've got to enjoy them, you've got to try to enjoy them.テつ Let's be honest, if you don't play well, it's hard to enjoy them.テつ You've got to get in a relaxed frame of mind, get your attitude kind of correct for the day and accept that you're going to make mistakes.テつ I did that well today, and I reacted well to my mistakes, generally.テつ That's all you can ask for.

Q.テつ Do you kind of really expect a challenge when you get off to a round like that?テつ A major is four rounds, not one, and you have bogeys on the back nine (inaudible)?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ You can never expect anything in this game.テつ Expect the challenge?テつ I would like the challenge.テつ All I've got to do is keep hanging around, hanging around and see if I can be talking to you guys Saturday night and saying good things and getting ready for a big Sunday afternoon.テつ 54 holes left of a tough tournament, with a golf course, like I said, is a sleeping giant, and obviously conditions and the weather are going to play a huge part of it this weekend.テつ We got the nice side of it this morning, but I've got to get ready for tomorrow afternoon.テつ I've got a little bit of work to do on my full swing, I wasn't really in 100 per cent in control of it today, but we'll be ready for tomorrow.

Q.テつ Your game seems to be in good form.テつ Is there any reason why you shouldn't challenge?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, there's no reason why I shouldn't challenge, but I've got a lot of work to do to do so.テつ I do like the way this golf course sets up.テつ I like the challenge that it presents, and I love the way the greens look.テつ I rolled the ball well today and that was key today.テつ I really putted good.テつ And you always have to do that in links golf.テつ You've got to speed putt well and you've got to take your chances when they come.テつ And I did that well today.テつ I can hit the ball better than I did this morning, but a little bit of work and we'll be ready tomorrow morning.

Q.テつ In a fit‑your‑eye sort of way, is this the best championship course for your eye?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ I'd like to be talking to you Sunday evening telling you that this is my favourite Open course in the rotation.テつ But I do like this one.テつ We're very fickle as golfers, we typically don't like courses we play badly on.テつ It's a little tough to stand here and say I love this layout.テつ But I did say earlier in the week that it did fit my eye.テつ And I liked the test it presented.テつ So fingers crossed I'll continue to say that.

Q.テつ (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL: テつI think that's a fairly fair description, I think, of the last five holes in this golf course.テつ It really describes the whole golf course.テつ Every tee shot is a conundrum.テつ There are so many ways to play this course, and there's so many ways to not play it, if you know what I'm saying.
14, especially, is one, is a tee shot that doesn't fit my eye very well.テつ I said I was going to play it very conservative, and today I took 3‑wood out and whipped it in the right rough.テつ 15 is a really, really difficult tee shot because there's no way to take all of the bunkers out of play.テつ You've just got to stand there and hit it down the middle.
17 is slightly more straightforward.テつ And 18 is a real tough tee shot.テつ There's no doubt about it, it's a jigsaw piece down there, and you've got to position it in one of the jigsaw pieces.

Q.テつ (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ I hope so.テつ I hope so.テつ It was chess yesterday and jigsaw today.テつ I'm obviously a very exciting young fellow.テつ Chess and jigsaws, that's me.

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