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July 18, 2013

Graeme McDowell


Q. Give us your thoughts on what seemed to be a bit of a frustrating day for you?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, it was obviously a very tricky day. The greens were very slick and very tough to putt. You know, I hung in there most of the day. Two clumsy doubles, double on 9 and then the double on 15 was particularly frustrating. I only missed that fairway by a yard. My layup, kind of got a shoot from the fairway, and ends up in the trap and I missed a short one there. I missed two short ones there. I hung in really well with a putter most of the day. Didn't swing the club well coming in, to be honest. A bit frustrating. Very, very difficult conditions and really tough to get the ball close to the pins out there. And just didn't get the job done, unfortunately. But get back out there in the morning and hopefully conditions will be slightly more scorable.

Q. Are the pins fair?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, they're fair. They just get so glassy and crispy around the holes. That's the only way you can describe it. You literally can see 300 footprints around the hole from all the players and caddies and whatnot that have been out there today. They just get really shiny and really glassy. And the surfaces are fine. You know, I couldn't single out a pin that I thought was unfair. But if you got on the wrong side of them, they could make you look very, very silly. That was kind of the only way to describe them.

Q. An earlier start for you tomorrow, hopefully better conditions, better scoring, better for you?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah. I'll get back out there in the morning. I've got a couple of things to iron out with the golf swing before I get out there in the morning. Did the hard parts well today. Pace-putted very well. Controlled my flight mostly. I just kind of missed 9 fairway left; compounded the error by not getting it back into play. Missed 15 fairway; compounded the error by not getting it back in play. Unfortunately when you get in trouble around this being golf course, you've got to take your medicine. I tried to take my medicine, but the fairways are so fiery that it's very difficult to control your yardages, you know. And I ran up against the collar of the rough on 9 with my second shot, and left myself a really tough third shot which I blew right and made double from there. Like I said, 15 got away with me, and I ended up in the trap and a bad swing off the last tee box there. But all in all, I feel like it's there where I can go and shoot a score this the morning. The greens were very tough this afternoon. They kept you honest. Tiger played phenomenally well for his 2-under par. Really ground out well, did what he did best. And I tried to hang in there and threw a couple away coming in. But we'll be back at it in the morning.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Just wait until they see them tomorrow afternoon.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, I mean, I think most of the afternoon starters will be hoping they don't put too much water on these greens overnight. So that they can keep it balanced and let the afternoon players tomorrow get what we experienced this afternoon, which were, like I say, I'm not going to call it unfair, because the pins were fairly puttable, if you were on the correct sides of them. Once you started getting on the wrong side of them, they could make you look very silly. They were very glassy. You go out and look at some of those holes later on this evening and literally, you know, a few times you're scared to lean on your putter, to remark your ball because you're scared it might skid out from underneath you. It's literally like an ice rink around some of the holes. But that's what the conditions are all about out here. And that's why premium on accuracy off the tee. You must keep it in the fairways to have half a shot to position it. It's position off the tee to have a chance to position your second shot, to have a chance to position your putts around the hole to get out of there with par. That's really what this course is all about. Like I said, did that well. The two doubles were just killer blows. Turned those into bogeys. If I whip it around there and 2-over today, and I'm not so disappointed. 4-over has got a bit of a nasty taste to it right now.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, I mean, yeah, this golf course kind of gives you half a dozen chances where you don't have to chase too hard if you play well. We'll see what the pins kind of have to offer. You've got to attack when you can and play conservative when you can. By no means I'm out of this tournament. The scoring was pretty hot this morning, there's no reason I can't shoot 4- or 5-under par in the morning and get myself back into this. If this golf course continues to get firmer and faster, the way it's burning out right now, we're looking at a Hoylake weekend. I'm playing with the last British Open champion at Hoylake, and he's pretty surprised at how firm and fast this golf course is already. If he's saying that, the weekend at Hoylake already on Thursday, it's going to be interesting to see what this place looks like in a couple days time. It's going to be tough.

Q. (Inaudible.) Obviously they were expecting good scoring.
GRAEME MCDOWELL: I don't want to stand here and criticize the setup. That would be wrong of me to do so. There's guys making a score out there. Like I said Tiger's 2-under was impressive. Frankie Molinari is behind us and shooting 2-under. You have to be very patient and very conservative and keep the ball on the correct side of the pins. Like I say, the only thing I did wrong this afternoon was compound the errors when I did get out of position, trying to be smart and just very hard to control it out of this rough in these firm, fast fairways. That was, like I say, disappointing, I'll regroup and get back out there in the morning.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GRAEME MCDOWELL: I hope so. I don't think The R&A are going to be too upset by any criticisms of the flag positions today. It is what it is. They've got a fairly good balance of scores out there, 4- and 5-under par, it's a good effort out there. I feel like this afternoon was potentially a little harder scoring-wise. Got the tough end of the draw. But that should balance itself out in the morning. We'll see.

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