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October 24, 2012

Graeme McDowell


STEVE TODD:テつテつ Graeme, welcome.テつ We have hear from a few of the boys so far this week, getting The Ryder Cup guys together yesterday, a nice moment, and I'm sure you're sharing a few memories this week.テつ It's great to get back together.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ It is.テつ It's been a lot of fun kind of hanging around in the evenings and kind of re‑living a few moments, especially from that Sunday afternoon.テつ You know, the stars really aligned.テつ I actually haven't had a chance to watch the live coverage,テつ but I know there's some amazing things that happened down the stretch.
I flew back with Justin and Ian the next day talking a lot about what happened.テつ Especially Justin's finish, the 3‑putts he made, 16, 17, 18, the crazy things that were happening that afternoon.
It's great to come back to The European Tour and just kind of grab the essence of what it means to everyone.テつ I think we kind of lose sight of that a little bit sometimes, but what it means to all the players, all the staff and just everyone that supports The European Tour, I think it just gives everyone a huge boost.
Certainly get the bragging rights for a couple years and just nice for The European Tour as a product, really, that we possess The Ryder Cup again for another couple years.テつ It's been fun to kind of sit around and kind of re‑live it a little bit.
STEVE TODD:テつ It's a case of back to the day job this week:テつ Big tournament, big prize money and a great field and a start of the run toward the end of the season and plenty to play for.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, I've had three weeks off to hit the re‑set button and enjoy the immediate aftermath a little bit, but hit the reset button.テつ I'm playing five of the next six weeks; I'm ninth in The Race to Dubai right now and I could do with a couple big weeks to get myself in decent position going into the World Championship; and really keen to come on this stretch of golf to really put a bit of a shine on what's been a good/frustrating/should of been/could of been, whatever kind of year.
I'm keen to try and finish strong and give myself a couple chances to win down the stretch here and really put a bit of a shine on the year.
It's always a fun part of the season, this one.テつ Some great events, a lot of great prize money to play for, and a lot of‑‑ this part of the season has really evolved into something with BMW taking over this event, the HSBC has always been strong, and we have got a nice little run into The Race to Dubai now.

Q.テつ You were in last groups going off in the Majors this year a couple of time; do you feel a little bit disappointed that the second major trophy kind of slipped away?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, of course.テつ There's no doubt that this year has kind of had a bittersweet taste to it, if you like.テつ It's been a fairly consistent year, and definitely my strongest year in the major championships.テつ But yet, there is that little sense of disappointment inside me that I didn't do better in the last rounds.
I've got to take the positives away and kind of renew my belief that I can win more major championships; if I keep preparing the way I'm doing and improving the way I am, you can't really get obsessed by end results.テつ Just kind of got to keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully the good stuff will come in the future.

Q.テつ Winning The Race to Dubai and finishing No. 1, where would you place it?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, that would be nice, to win sort of the Player of the Year/Order of Merit award would be pretty special. テつI had the chance in 2010 to kind of go head‑to‑head with Martin down the stretch but came up one short there.テつ I haven't even had a really good look at the numbers yet this year to see if Rory‑‑ is Rory leading it?テつ I'm not even sure if it's mathematically possible.
I need two big weeks.テつ These two weeks are very important to me from the point of view of giving myself a shot going into the World Championship.テつ If I can be sort of mathematically within touching distance going into Dubai, that would be nice.テつ But no, an Order of Merit / Race to Dubai Championship would certainly sit very nicely in the C.V. for sure.テつ This stage of the season is really starting to evolve with the playoff‑type format that we are going to go with next year, I think getting more of our top players playing this stretch of events is the key.

Q.テつ Does it sit right underneath your major victories?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ For sure, no doubt about it.テつ If the Majors are right up there, an Order of Merit title would sit just nicely right under the shelf right below it.

Q.テつ As a player from Northern Ireland, when the Olympics come in 2016, will you be representing Northern Ireland or England if something comes up?テつ Is it a sensitive question?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Pretty sensitive question, yeah.テつ No idea really.テつ You know, I think obviously Rory's came under a lot of scrutiny in the last couple months for kind of saying he might play for Great Britain.テつ It's a very sensitive question.テつ We are kind of in the very unique scenario in Northern Ireland in that we have one foot on each team, if you like, and it really is going to boil down to‑‑ I think it's going to be a lot easier if someone makes that decision for us; if the Olympic Committee step in and say that you guys are either playing for Ireland or you're playing for Great Britain.
It's going to be a very difficult decision if we personally have to make that decision, because we are going to‑‑ I always say that I come from a mixed religion family.テつ My mom's Catholic and my dad is Protestant; and my mom would probably like me to play for Ireland, and my dad perhaps might like me to play for Britain, so, whatever.テつ I always kind of sit on the fence because that's exactly the only place I can sit.テつ Let's say that I'd play for whatever team will have me come 2016.
STEVE TODD:テつ Thank you.

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