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July 20, 2013

Graeme McDowell


Q. Disappointing finish, a frustrating day out there for you?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, I walked off the 9th green a fairly frustrated man, shall we say. Just couldn't make any putts on the front nine at all. Bogeyed 8 and hit it in the cuff there on 9 just short and make 6. Yeah, I walked off the 9th green, very, very frustrated and kind of looking to do something, really. And good up-and-downs on 10 and 11, kind of steadied the ship. And managed to make one at 12 at last. Birdied 14, I thought, here we go, and made good swings, 15, 16. And hit it in the trap on 17 on the last. Missed a short one on 17 to birdie the end. That last tee shot is very tough. I really don't know what to hit off that tee. 3-wood is too much. 5-wood is a tough shot. I can't get to the fairway with iron. Just frustrating, really, because I'm hitting some good shots, just not really getting them on the greens at all. These type of greens are the greens I typically putt well, but I haven't really putted them all this week.

Q. You looked fairly agitated at No. 5. Can you give us your thoughts?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: You were watching very closely, weren't you? Yeah, we only played four holes and they told us on the 4th tee that we were two and a half minutes behind schedule. All right. Fine, we got off to a slow start. We were cutting it very close. On the 4th hole, I had a decent shot in there. Gregory Bourdy hit a great shot on the front edge, which came back in the bunker. We walk onto the 5th tee and they told us we were four and a half minutes out of position, and we're going to be put on the clock. We're like, what? Surely we're allowed to get off to a bad start. There's a difference between slow play and bad play. So they put us on the clock for one hole, which Gregory bogeys. I managed to birdie it. And we got to the next tee and said go okay, you're off the clock now. So it's like make up your minds, guys. That's not really slow play regulations. That's just kind of being a little kind of -- that's too much. It's too much, you know. Give us a chance. We'll go out and shoot really fast. If you want us to run around, we'll do it fast. But this is an extremely difficult golf course, with some tough pins, it was a tough start. And on the clock on the 5th hole is a bit out of order, really. Like I say, it's not slow play, it's just bad play.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, it does. You don't want to be feeling like you're running around this golf course. Two ball pace is -- you've got to up a gear from three -- I guess I played two balls for the last 27 holes, anyway, with Tiger, obviously. And then again today. But it unsettles you. You don't like to be on the clock, under the referee's scrutiny. It's hard enough time out there trying to navigate your way around this golf course. It only takes one bad shot to get out of position, before you're really out of position, and really behind time. So I thought they were getting a little hard core with the watch out there this morning. I get it, we're up against TV and we're trying to get this thing done and they're trying to keep play moving. But have a little common sense, boys.

Q. What kind of score do you think will win this championship?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Tiger, what is he, 3-under, maybe about to birdie the 5th to go 4? I'm not seeing the lead getting much past 4- or 5-under par today, with 5- or 6-under par probably leading it, or winning, sorry. It's difficult out there. I think they went a little easier on us, they watered a little bit. The pins were benign at times, middle of the greens a few times. 14 and 15 especially. But it's still very tricky. And the wind, for a light wind forecast, I mean it's pumping pretty good out there. Welcome to Scotland, I guess. It's a great test of golf, it really is. It's a fairly fair test of golf. My only complaint generally about this golf course would be the bunkers. I think the bunkers are a little bit unfair. It just depends how your ball rolls into them. How many contrived, manufactured stances have you seen this week? Not really sure if that's golf or not. I love the bunkers at St. Andrews and Carnoustie, deep bunkers, which are protected by the shapes. They don't need to be protected with the sand. So the ball rolls into the middle of the trap, and they say, you know what, show me how good a bunker player you are and play this shot. But instead you get into these bunkers, and you're just hoping to have a swing. You're hoping to have a stance. It's tough. That's my only complaint about the golf course, I think the rest of it is very fair. Golf gets rewarded and bad golf gets punished. It's a hell of a test of golf. I'm looking forward to another 18 holes.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GRAEME MCDOWELL: It would be nice to finish in a little bit style tomorrow. I needed a low one today. But got off to a frustrating start and couldn't make anything early on. It's a tricky golf course, especially when you're not putting great. I'll be looking forward to regrouping and getting back out there tomorrow. This tournament is going to produce a fantastic winner, as always.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GRAEME MCDOWELL: The putting? The pace has changed dramatically since Thursday. Thursday afternoon they were grease lightning; 13 1/2, 14 on the Stimp. I haven't adapted well to the speed since because they've been slower. And I haven't really adapted well to that. They've been tough to putt. I haven't really been putting instinct-fully enough. I did that a little bit more in the back nine, it's a tough golf course. It's a really tough test of golf. And I'll watch the leaders with interest. Wow.

Q. Did you let The R&A know your frustrations about being to on the clock?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: I spoke to our referees, I certainly explained to them where we were coming from. The only thing I want to say about it is there's a difference between bad golf and slow golf. I spoke to our referees out there and just expressed my frustrations and stuff. It's hard enough out there when -- they were being a little bit watch happy out there. So you fall out of position at all and you're put on the clock. That's not really Tour regulations, you know. It's a slow game. They're never going to speed it up that much.

Q. You were talking about bunkers. Thinking of Lytham last year, is there a tendency now to use bunkers as water hazards on the courses?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: For sure. I think there's -- I think if you go out and look at the groove marks in these bunkers, they've got that touch of Memorial four or five years ago when Jack decided to go with the wide grooves in the bunkers. The sand is very soft and there's lots of it. They're a real hazard this week. I think bunkers should be -- they should be penal at times. It's kind of how you make them penal is really kind of up to -- there's no doubt these bunkers have been created for the balls to stick around the lips. They've been created that way. They're not particularly deep in places, these traps. So they've decided to make them hazards in a different way, by making the ball stick against the lips. And it becomes a little bit of a lottery which way your ball goes into it; does it go into it at pace? Does it roll in? Which side of the lip does it get in? Like I say, for such a fair golf course like this one, it brings an element of chance into it, which I don't love. Like I say, so many contrived, manufactured stances when you hit in the trap, you're honestly kind of walking up there just hoping to have something, you know. And they're penal enough. They don't have to be that way. I like traps that roll into the bottom. When you've got a steep lip in front of you, chip it out, you know. But these are kind of sticking in the sides and kind of all weird and wonderful things. So it doesn't really fit to me with the fairness of this place.

Q. Golf isn't really supposed to be that fair a game. But Muirfield is regarded as being a very fair links course, is it almost on the edge of being unfair in places?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: I don't know. Like I say, I'm not going to -- I'm not playing well, so if I start criticizing it, it's sour grapes. It's really just an observation. I've probably had about ten trap shots in three rounds, and I'd say two of them have been normal. Two of them have been flat lies. The other ones have been up against lips, coming out sides, no stance, one foot in, one foot out. That kind of stuff. There's no doubt there's an argument for how much of hazard should a bunker be. There's a definite argument there. Should they be pristine, beautiful lies where the top players in the world can pinch them off the top? It's better than rough. It's better than fairway. It shouldn't be that way for sure. But I think when you've got these steep faces at times, give us a lie. Let's take the shot, but you've just got no chance from these bunkers. It really doesn't leave you a lot of option.

Q. You're a links aficionado. Do you really like the way it's bouncing around out there and the huge element on grinding, it goes on and on?
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, this is links golf at its absolute purest. This is firm, fast. This is control your ball flight. You're only ever hitting one of two shots here. You're trying to rip it back into the wind or you're trying to kind of cajole one through the lumps and bumps and release it onto the green. There's no real in between here. There's no real kind of normal type golf shots, you're really just trying to pitch it on the spot and hope for the right bounce and hope for the right release. And you've really got to play to the front edges. A guy like Tiger Woods is on the screen there now, it sets up for his type of game -- absolute patience, absolute course management, control, fairways and fronts of greens. And he hasn't had the driver out of the bag yet. It's a perfect setup for him from that point of view. He's a great iron player.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GRAEME MCDOWELL: Yeah, I just aim it going low, and try to get through this leaderboard and up into the top 20, top 15, top 10s, not out of the realm of possibility. I'm 2-over, so I'm 6. If I can get it anywhere back close to par or a couple over par with a 66 or 67 tomorrow, that's what I'll be aiming for.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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