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THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP


July 20, 2012


Graeme McDowell


LYTHAM ST. ANNES, ENGLAND

GRAEME McDOWELL:  Yeah, I hit the ball a lot more solid today.  I hit a lot more quality shots, positioned it fairly well.  When I got in a bit of trouble, I typically chipped and putted fairly well.  The back nine could have been a little better.  11 was a little bit of a nasty one.  I hit two great shots up there, to walk up and see my ball in a fairly unplayable position in the front left trap.  But I hung in there.
I was happy, happy the way I hit the golf ball.  Like I say, to give myself some chances.  It would have been nice to knock that one in on the last.  But there's a lot more golf ahead of us.  I'm not really too disappointed about that.  Six back, and Tiger Woods holing bunker shots and all kinds of fun stuff.  I guess we knew that one was in before it even got there.
But like I say, the last few groups of a major championship, playing with guys like Tiger Woods, that's right where you want to be, and that's what I wanted going into yesterday and today, and that's all I can ask for.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL:¬† Yeah, I putted well at times, was very patient today.¬† It was good.¬† This is a golf course that is a little tougher than meets the eye.¬† You know, obviously as benign as it's been the last couple of days, one guy getting to 10‑under par, you expect the guys to have played better than that.¬† It really speaks volumes of how tough this course is set up.¬† The R&A had those pins in some nasty little positions at times today.¬† They were right on the edges of humps and hollows.¬† They're tough to putt to.¬† You'll see guys probably not making as many putts as you think they should.¬† I've really enjoyed the setup the last couple days, and I'm right where I need to be going into the weekend.

Q.  Will you be able to be more aggressive this weekend?
GRAEME McDOWELL:  Yeah, I think you can be a little bit more aggressive into those greens.  There's Sergio missing the same putt I missed.  It just doesn't break right.  I just wanted to see that, actually.  I thought I misread that a little bit.  Makes me feel a little better.  (Laughter.)
Yeah, you can be a little aggressive with your iron play coming into these greens.  It's dictated obviously by where your tee shot is, where the pin is.  But when you've got a short iron in your hand, these greens are not reacting like links greens.  You can be very aggressive, the ball is stopping, it's spinning, and there are certain holes out there you can attack.
But, you know, holes like 3, I had 242 yards for my second shot off of 3 off a good drive.  I laid back on 15, I had 245 in there for my second shot.  The course has some length.  The overnight rain really softened the fairways and made the course play a lot longer today.

Q.  Do you change your strategy for the weekend?
GRAEME McDOWELL:  No, no change of strategy.  Yeah, I'm six behind Brandt Snedeker, but it's just one guy.  It's not like it's bunched up in front of me.  I've just got to go out and keep doing what I'm doing.  I can do it a little better than what I've done it.  I hit the ball a little more solidly today.  Still not controlling my flight 100 percent.  Need to do a little better the next couple of days.  But chipping and putting and scoring, my scoring ability on this golf course, when I get short irons in my hand generally I'm swinging them pretty well.  I'm doing a lot of things well, but I can do them better.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL:  No, no, for sure.  No, no, I think that's a fair description.  Haven't quite gotten into fifth gear.  I'm probably still in third gear, fourth gear.  Just gearing up.  And you just kind of have to play the waiting game a little bit when the golf courses are this hard.  I know we've got some wind forecast on Sunday.  So if you can be within four or five shots going into Sunday, that's right where you need to be, because this is going to be a tough test come the weekend.  It's been very benign the last couple of days, but still, it's a tough test of golf out there.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL:¬† I thinkthe tougher the better for me.¬† I think so.¬† I'd like to see the wind, get it up to 10, 15 miles an hour and let's really test us out here.¬† It's been particularly benign the last couple days with soft conditions.¬† A few of those bunkers are there are kind of a little bit of a question mark.¬† But we're lucky that we're playing.¬† The golf course is on the edge of unplayable.¬† I'm not sure in other parts of the world if this was a normal tournament‑‑ some of those bunkers need to be GUR'd.¬† I saw one in particular left of the 16th green, if you hit it in there, there's nowhere to drop and there's a foot of water.¬† That's not golf.¬† It's not fair.
A few of these bunkers that are question marks need to be taken out of play.  Hopefully they can get them dried out overnight.  The golf course has remained unbelievably dry considering how much rain we've had.  The bunkers are a little dodgy in some places, unfortunately.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL:  Where I've gone, what do you mean?

Q.  (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL:  Yeah, I mean there's some good names on that leaderboard.  Obviously the guy in third is a decent player.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL:  Yeah, but listen, there's so many great players in the world nowadays.  Brandt Snedeker, I know him very well.  I played college golf with Brandt, I know he's a great player.  These guys have got big jobs ahead of them this week, as we all have.  There's no one on the leaderboard that scares me.  The only person that scares me is myself.  I've got to go out and control my emotions for a couple of days, I've got to go out and do my job for a couple of days, and hopefully, hopefully I'll come down this last fairway on Sunday with a chance to win the Claret Jug.
Like I say, I have 35 great holes to come before I have that opportunity on Sunday afternoon, and I've got a lot of work to do.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL:  You can't really get too far ahead of yourself.  You can't expect to win.  You just can expect to go through the motions and give yourself the opportunities to win.  And thankfully I can stand here and say I'm a fairly experienced player at this point in my career and I've been there a few times, and I know what it takes.  It's a waiting game.  It's patience.  It's not getting too far ahead of yourself.  It's going to be a late tee time tomorrow afternoon.
I'll be looking forward to it.  I'll be looking forward to the challenge ahead.  Like I said, it's a fun leaderboard and a lot of great players and a great golf course, and the fans have been fantastic out there, as well.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL:¬† Yeah, it will be okay.¬† That would be nice.¬† That would be nice.¬† I wouldn't mind‑‑

Q.  How well do you know Brandt?
GRAEME McDOWELL:  We weren't roommates in college.  But he played for Vanderbilt, I was at UAB, but we played a lot of tournaments together.  He was the No.1 player and I was the No.1 player, so we played a lot of golf together.
I know Brandt fairly well.¬† It would be nice to‑‑ I'd take a late Sunday afternoon pairing with him right now, snap your hand off for that.¬† That would be nice.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL:¬† Yeah, it was pretty good.¬† Yeah, it's doable, know.¬† You've got‑‑ you're not going to see it any easier than it's just been the last two days.¬† It's been as straightforward as we can imagine this golf course to play.¬† In practice we were just thinking how many over par is going to win this tournament, and all of a sudden 10‑under par is leading it through two rounds.¬† But a lot of golf left, like I say, but a lot of wind forecast on Sunday.¬† We'll see what happens when the wind blows.¬† But great scores from Brandt.¬† To go around here and not drop a shot, it's pretty impressive.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL:  Yeah, yeah.  I'm putting well enough.  I just need to control my starting lines with my irons, just a little bit, you know.  They've just got a little bit of left tendency in them.  No hoop, just a little bit of pull tendency in my swing element, and I know why, I just need to get out of my head.  I need to get the ball starting on line, controlling my flights a little bit.  I hit the ball a lot more solid today.  It's getting there.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL:¬† Yeah, I think so.¬† I think, you know, you've only got to look at a guy like Tiger Woods.¬† Winning is kind of‑‑ not even winning, contending is a habit, a nice habit to get into.¬† I think you learn a lot about yourself when you're in contention.
And I guess Olympic for me really kind of reinforced to me that my attitude is good under pressure.¬† I like‑‑ I control my emotions well under pressure.¬† I do the right things when I'm under pressure.
I don't always win.  No one always wins.  But Olympic kind of reinforced to me that I can control myself when I'm in the mix.  But still, you know, I've still got to go out there and do it this weekend.
But given the opportunity I know I'll be able to get in the right frame of mind.  It doesn't guarantee hitting great shots, but I know I'll be able to go enjoy myself and have the right attitude and the right frame of mind.  There's no doubt that kind of confidence just kind of ebbs back into the game again and gives me a little bit of confidence going into the weekend.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL:  Yeah, I don't know, like train sets or something, I don't know.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL:¬† Okay, good.¬† That should get us back into it a little bit.¬† It's been unbelievably benign.¬† It was great conditions out there today.¬† And it's kind of frustrating because you feel like you should do better, but you know that they keepholing everything the last green.¬† What happened?¬† I hit 9‑iron, I hit a 3‑wood off the tee.¬† Should have hit a 3‑wood yesterday and I hit 3‑wood today and I probably should have hit 2‑iron today.
It's a funny golf course, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't off these tees sometimes.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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