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November 22, 2012

Rory McIlroy


SCOTT CROCKETT:  Rory, thanks, as always, for coming in and joining us.  Well done today, a 66, adventurous last hole but pretty good overall.
RORY McILROY:  Yeah, it was.  You know, I got off to a bit of a slow start.  Got off to a solid start but I felt like I was hitting the ball well enough to give myself opportunities for birdies and didn't quite do it.
So I felt like I was hitting the ball well.  I just had to stay patient over the first few holes, and got it together on the back nine.  Started to give myself a lot of birdie opportunities and I was able to playing a few putts.  So overall, it was a great way to start the tournament, and obviously confident heading into tomorrow.
SCOTT CROCKETT:  The last hole aside, your driving was good and short game on the front nine; a good combination, that.
RORY McILROY:  When you're driving the ball well and you have a decent short game, you're going to do okay because you're going to give yourself a lot of opportunities for birdies.
But when you do miss a few greens, you're getting it up‑and‑down and that was the reason why.  I didn't make any mistakes today and obviously something I want to try to continue to do over the next few days.
SCOTT CROCKETT:  You started the week celebrating the fact you won The Race to Dubai and you clearly want to end it having won the DP World Tour Championship, and you've given yourself a good chance.
RORY McILROY:  Yeah, it's a great tournament.  There's a lot of golf left to play but I'm off to a good start, and, yeah, it would be great to emulate what Lee did a few years ago and pick up both trophies.  That's the goal and that's the motivation this week and hopefully on Sunday evening, I'll be able to do that.

Q.  I think some people might have thought the start of the week, you could lack motivation here because the Race had already been tied up; is it the reverse, that you're relaxed and more calm because that's settled and it's a tournament that you can play without that backdrop?
RORY McILROY:  Yeah, for sure.  It's definitely a nice thing to not have on your shoulders.  I've came in the last couple‑‑ two out of the last three DP World Tour Championships with a chance of winning, but I was ahead by like 100,000 Euros with Lee and was a little bit behind Luke.  So there was still a lot to play for.
But here this year, having it wrapped up, I guess you can go out and play without thinking about it.  You know, it would be nice.  I've still got a lot of motivation.  I want to try and win this tournament.  I want to try and finish what has been a great season in a great style.  I want to try and win and pick up two trophies at the end of the week and as I said, I've given myself a good chance after today.

Q.  What can you tell us about your participation in Dubai, the country, the organisation?
RORY McILROY:  It's great.  I've been coming to Dubai since 2006, I played my first Dubai Desert Classic here, and it's been a great place for me.  My main sponsor for the last five years, Jumeirah, obviously based here, and it sort of feels like a home away from home.  I got my first professional victory here, as well.
I've got great memories of Dubai, and obviously looking forward to coming back more and more.

Q.  If you agree, we want from you ‑‑ on the second of December is the National Day of UAE.  We want a greeting from you for all Dubai sports channels.
RORY McILROY:  Happy UAE Day I guess.

Q.  National Day.
RORY McILROY:  National Day, sorry.
Obviously it's a very‑‑ people here are very proud of where they are from, and I think I was here for it last year.  It's a busy time of the season, and I'm sure everyone will enjoy it.

Q.  You're a shot back from Luke, obviously you guys did this last year, and he managed to clinch the title.  Even though you've clinched the money title, would you like to go up against him on Sunday?
RORY McILROY:  Yeah, I'd like to.  I really wanted to try to make birdie on the last to play with him in the final group tomorrow.  Wasn't able to do that, but I feel like if I play the way I did today, I might have a chance to maybe play with him on Saturday afternoon.
But yeah, you know, he's obviously playing well.  He won last week in Japan.  He's the second‑ranked player in the world and he's always very tough to beat.

Q.  Your tee shot on the 18th, it went into the water, the stream‑‑
RORY McILROY:  It wasn't that good.  (Laughter).

Q.  When you are designing a golf course, will you ever have a stream bifurcating the fairway like this?
RORY McILROY:  I mean, Greg has definitely done a few quirky things with this golf course.  There are a few bunkers in the middle of fairways and obviously the creek up the last is a bit of a unique touch.
But I like the golf course.  I think it always plays well.  It's always presented beautifully.  It's a place I really enjoy and a course I really enjoy playing.  I haven't thought as far ahead as course design, so I'm not too sure what my philosophy would be.

Q.  Why did you want to play with Luke so much?
RORY McILROY:  I don't know, I guess I just want to play in the final group, and obviously if I birdie the last, I would be one shot better.
Yeah, it's always a buzz and a bit of a thrill playing in the last group, especially when you're 1 and 2 in the world, it would have been nice to play with him tomorrow.  But as I said, if I play well again tomorrow, hopefully we can get a chance to do it the weekend.
SCOTT CROCKETT:  Question from a familiar face, lady in the back.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI:  You obviously have unbelievable support this week.  So, you know, if you win this week, am I going to get a really nice Christmas present, and what am I going to get?
RORY McILROY:  That's great.  I've got my parents here … (Laughter).
Have you not already got a lot of nice presents?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI:  You know, Christmas is coming up, so‑‑
RORY McILROY:  I have been looking.  I have been looking.  But yeah, I don't think‑‑ it won't take winning this week to buy you a nice present.  I think you'll get a nice present anyway.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI:  Well, that must be because I'm an unbelievable cheerleader.
RORY McILROY:  You're a better tennis player.  (Laughter).
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI:  That's not nice.
RORY McILROY:  No, it is.  Anything else?
SCOTT CROCKETT:  You thought the UAE question was awkward.  (Laughter).
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI:  That's it for today.
SCOTT CROCKETT:  Talking of the UAE, I think we may have another one from the front.

Q.  As the youngest player in the championship in the world till now, you have brought a lot of records, and between you and Tiger Woods, what records did you have to break to be in advance of Tiger Woods?
RORY McILROY:  I mean, obviously I just got my second major before him, but then he went on a bit of a run and won like ten of the next 12 or something, I don't know what he did.
But I think it will take a few phenomenal years to emulate the achievements of Tiger.  I just want to try and stay at my own pace and have my own goals and own targets, and if I can live up to them, then I'll be very happy.
SCOTT CROCKETT:  Anymore?  Rory, well done today and thanks for your patience.
RORY McILROY:  Thanks, Caroline.

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