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February 21, 2013

Graeme McDowell


Q.テつ Graeme, chuffed to come through that, a tight match with Padraig?
GRAEME MCDOWELL:テつ Yeah, it was always going to be tough playing Padraig.テつ He missed a few short ones on the front nine.テつ I felt like I played quite solidly and was controlling the match through 10 holes.テつ He makes a 5 from the bushes on 11, and I hit a terrible shot to 12.テつ And instead of being 4‑up, I was 2‑up.テつ You know, he birdies 13 to go back to 1 and then I hit a terrible shot to 14, and all of a sudden he's making one from 15 feet on 15.テつ That's the kind of player he is.テつ When the chips are down, he's going to produce the goods.テつ Thankfully I was able to hang on to him and hit a few good shots coming in.

Q.テつ When you have lost the lead, what's the mindset?テつ Just sort of reset yourself and say, come on, go again?
GRAEME MCDOWELL:テつ You have to, having been 3‑up and then all of a sudden back to square and he's probably favored on 15 because he's in better position.テつ It's very tough to sort of summon the belief and the focus, I suppose, because all of a sudden from being completely under control and loving what I was doing, all of a sudden I was reeling and he was gaining in energy on every hole.テつ I followed him in on 15, which was nice, and that kind of got me buzzing and I made some nice swings coming in.

Q.テつ How much pressure do you feel late on when one bad swing and you could be going home?
GRAEME MCDOWELL:テつ It's a very interesting tournament in that it's so fickle.テつ You can go out there and shoot 65 and go home or you can shoot 72 and get through.テつ It's a funny one, and it's the ultimate penalty.テつ You lose out there, especially having lost the lead, I was picturing the flight home and I really wasn't liking what I was seeing.

Q.テつ Alex Noren tomorrow, could be a good one?
GRAEME MCDOWELL:テつ Yeah, could be a good match.テつ There's 63 great players out there tomorrow, there will be 31 good players out there tomorrow.テつ There's no such thing as an easy game in this format.テつ You've really got to stay patient, play your own ball, and hopefully do the job.

Q.テつ That was always going to be a toughy, and so it proved.
GRAEME MCDOWELL:テつ Yeah, when you see Padraig Harrington on the tee sheet beside you, you know it's not going to be an easy day.テつ He's a gritty competitor.テつ He got stronger as the match got on.テつ He struggled with short putts early on, kind of gave me a couple holes.テつ I felt like I was really in control of my game.テつ He makes 5 from the bushes on 11 and all of a sudden looks like a transformed man.テつ I made a couple bad swings and all of a sudden I'm all square.

Q.テつ Does it have a different hue to it when you're playing someone you know as well as you do, a Ryder Cup teammate, and someone you've grown up with and been inspired by no doubt?
GRAEME MCDOWELL:テつ Yeah, it's very difficult.テつ This whole field, we all kind of have pretty good relationships with each other.テつ There's not really too much dislike in the camp, if you know what I'm saying.テつ So it's always hard to play against colleagues, peers, friends, very hard to get that killer instinct going, especially someone like Padraig.テつ As a fellow Irish golfer, you don't really want to be sending him home.テつ But when it gets done, it's either him or me, and thankfully I was able to get the job done in the end.テつ But it's an interesting format.

Q.テつ It's a unique pressure really compared with week in and week out on the Tour?
GRAEME MCDOWELL:テつ For sure.テつ I mean, controlling your own destiny for 36 holes, thinking about cuts and missing cuts.テつ Really when you go out on a Thursday and Friday, generally you're trying to position yourself on the leaderboard to try to have a chance to win.テつ You come out in this format, you could shoot 66 and go home.テつ It's the ultimate penalty.テつ You go out and face a guy who makes eight, nine, ten birdies, there's nothing you can do about it.テつ You're packing your bags and you're going home.テつ I've been on the wrong side of that a few times, especially around this golf course.テつ It's a tough format.テつ Could be said that it's the easiest tournament in the world to win, could also be said that it's one of the toughest because you've got to go and play six great rounds of golf.

Q.テつ You're facing someone who made a stack of birdies today, another all‑European clash and another toughy?
GRAEME MCDOWELL:テつ Yeah, a lot of great European players here this week.テつ Really says a lot about the strength of players we have on the European Tour right now, and really glad to be a part of that.テつ Alex is a tough competitor, but there's a lot of tough competitors here, and I'm hoping for my sake he used all those birdies up today.テつ All I can do is be patient and control my ball, and hopefully it's good enough.

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