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THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP


July 22, 2012


Graeme McDowell


LYTHAM ST. ANNES, ENGLAND

Q.  Tough day at the office?
GRAEME McDOWELL:¬† Yeah, you know, such a huge change in conditions today.¬† You're going from‑‑ you go from playing flat pan golf a few days to playing in a strong cross wind and there are adoption you have to make, there are things you have to change in your game, and I didn't do that well today.¬† I struggled early in the cross breeze, bad decision on 2.¬† I wanted to hit driver, we decided to hit 3‑wood.¬† I couldn't believe where the ball finished up.
Steadied the ship a little bit.  Second shot to 6 was a killer blow.  I had a good shot in there, and I finished unplayable in the bunker.
It was a tough day at the office, no doubt about it.¬† The birdie on 8 followed by just a mis‑club on 9, chasing it a little bit on 11.¬† Disappointment, but a great experience.

Q.  The way your body language was looked like you missed it yourself.  Can you talk about your emotion there and what you said to him afterwards?
GRAEME McDOWELL:  Yeah, I mean, what can you say?  It was tough to say anything to him that was going to be of any relevance.  I said he's a great champion and I said there's many majors ahead for him.  It's just a tough beat.
He struggled on the greens a little bit today, as we all did.  The putt on 16 was huge for him, to miss that.  He hit a great drive down the middle of 17, and half of England right of that pin, and he missed it left.  18 is a tough tee shot, let's be honest.  So he's going to be extremely heartbroken and disappointed, but he's a great, great, great player, and that's what I tried to convey to him on the last green.
Like I say, it felt like a futile exercise trying to say anything to him, but I'm sure he's going to be unbelievably disappointed.

Q.  What do you take out of this?  You must feel that Pebble Beach, how you won, so much easier now?
GRAEME McDOWELL:  Yeah, I mean, I appreciate Pebble Beach every day of my life.  Knowing that my name is on the U.S. Open trophy forever is a special feeling.
But still, going into the last round of both the U.S. Open and The Open Championship this year with chances to win, getting off to flat starts both days, I'll be analysing why.
It's not far away, though.  Taking the positives away from today, you can't buy that type of education I've just had today and that education I had five weeks ago at Olympic.  You just can't buy that.  I'll bank those experiences and I'll move on and just know that if I keep putting myself in contention that someday it will be my day.
I don't like to blame luck.  It's not about luck.  But the first nine holes at Olympic and the first nine holes today, I just didn't get the rub of the green.  That's key for momentum, especially when you've got a guy four shots ahead of you today; you've got to go out there and try and catch him.
He played solid.  I really wasn't paying a huge amount of attention to leaderboards, but I was aware that Els was making a run.  We heard a roar and I assumed he'd birdied the last, as Adam was obviously bogeying 16 and making a cardinal mistake on 17.  Like I say, he'll be heartbroken right now.

Q.  What did you feel watching what was going on, and how hard was that to watch?
GRAEME McDOWELL:  I was watching out of the corner of my eye.  I wouldn't say I had given up and was intent on Adam Scott was doing.  I was still fighting to try to post a good finish for myself.  I struggled with my golf swing a little bit today.  But it's hard to watch.  It's hard to watch a guy do that.  When you hit a second shot on 17 and the alarm bell started to ring, I thought, hold on, we've got a problem here.
And like I say, he was unconvincing on the greens today.  They were tough to putt.  A little bit of wind coming across them.  And that putt on 16 which horseshoed on him was the start of a kind of series of events that he'll think about a lot tonight.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL:¬† Yes, absolutely.¬† 11 was a case of trying to be very aggressive with my second shot and trying not to go right.¬† And straight over the top of it.¬† That's my bad move.¬† I spin out very hard, move my body left in attempt not to get the club flailing right, and that was just a bad pull, 15‑handicapper.
Card wrecker.
Not pretty.¬† That was a bad shot.¬† But like I say, I hit a lot of quality golf shots today.¬† I'm disappointed.¬† I'm very disappointed.¬† What did I have to do today, shoot level par?¬† It was a tough day.¬† It was a tough day.¬† 32 on the back is a fantastic score.¬† Yes, Ernie Els shot 32 to overcome us and win this, but he's also been‑‑ he's also been handed it, as well.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL:  I was thinking that wasn't very good.  That wasn't very smart and there goes my Open Championship.  It's the longest walk in golf, and believe me, the cart ride doesn't make it feel any shorter.  It was gone for me.  Bogeying 9 and 10, that was pretty much the key for me.  I made a great birdie on 8.  I stormed to that 9th tee box.  I executed a shot which, you know, was just the wrong golf shot in the end.  I misjudged the wind by at least ten yards, make bogey there and made a decent drive on 10 which just catches the wind.
I struggled to adapt to the conditions today.  They were different today, very, very different.  The wind is so heavy here.  When you've played three days benign weather and you swap to switch to strong cross winds, it's tough to do.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL:¬† On 16?¬† It was one of those and more.¬† It was four feet.¬† I said to him when he hit his putt up‑‑ I said, good putt.¬† And he didn't respond.¬† And it was, it was kind of one of those, he had left himself a bit of a knee‑knocker.¬† Yeah, he played good today.¬† He really did.¬† He hit some quality golf shots.¬† I honestly thought when he striped it down the middle of 14, striped it down the middle of 15, this guy is going to win this and win it nicely.¬† Little did I know.

Q.  What does it mean to him, do you think?
GRAEME McDOWELL:¬† It's the return of one of golf's great champions who's had a very indifferent three or four years.¬† Apart from his win at Doral, I can't really think of many real highlights for a guy who is a classy, classy golfer.¬† He's a great champion.¬† I mean, four‑time major champion.¬† Great to see guys like that at the top of world golf. ¬†He's a pretty good role model for young kids and golfers.¬† He's good for the game of golf.¬† Never bad to see champions like him.

Q.  How about 32 on the back nine to win?
GRAEME McDOWELL:¬† 32 on the back nine, I don't know, feels about 40.¬† But 4‑under par on that back nine is quality golf.¬† Pins weren't tough, though.¬† But you still had to stand there and hit quality shots.¬† And he obviously did that.¬† Fair play to him.¬† But like I say, I felt Adam's name was on the trophy, I really did.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
GRAEME McDOWELL:¬† No, I'm not splattered on the floor right now in disappointment.¬† I'm just a little frustrated that I got off to flat starts both times now in the last rounds of majors.¬† Like I say, I'll address some scenarios that I feel I can do better.¬† But I'm taking the positives away.¬† I'm not beat up at all right now.¬† I'm disappointed, yes.¬† But I'm fine.¬† I guess my disappointment kind of seems relatively stupid in relation to the guy‑‑ I've just seen a guy lose The Open Championship.¬† No, I'll take the positives away and I'll be back.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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