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February 19, 2014

Graeme McDowell


KELLY BARNES:テつ Please welcome Graeme McDowell to the interview room.テつ Graeme, you had a pretty outstanding comeback there.テつ Why don't you take us through 18, when you squared it up, and what you're thinking and feeling and about your round.
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ 3‑down with 3 to play, I guess a quality player like Gary Woodland is not a place to be.テつ He hit a 6‑iron all over the flag on 16 and the Cadillacs were circling.テつ I could see Colin on the phone.テつ I thought, right, hopefully he's got me a flight booked, anyway (laughter).
He flew it about 8 feet past the flag, and hopped over the back, and all of a sudden I've got a chance to go down 17.テつ He looked like he got a little nervous at that point.テつ He had a wedge in his hand on 17 and missed it left, kind of the place you can't miss it.テつ I managed to make the putt.
18, he played quite conservatively, quite far back off the tee, and not very good second shot.テつ I hit a decent iron in there.テつ And all of a sudden I'm feeling very, very fortunate about life.
Hit my tee shot on 1 exactly where I hit it this morning, and pitched it within about a yard of where I did this morning and had a better result this afternoon.テつ Feel very fortunate, I have to say.テつ Gary was extremely impressive today.テつ I think he's going to have a big year.テつ I think he's a great, great player.テつ And like I say, I feel very fortunate to have escaped.

Q.テつ What was the club on 1?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ It was a wedge on 1, from 144.

Q.テつ And Gary, you traveled down with him and everything, and you played, can you talk about that?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, we practiced together all weekend.テつ We live on the same street in Orlando.テつ We practiced together most of the week last week.テつ He's a good friend.テつ We flew in together on Sunday.テつ Yeah, I mean, doesn't matter who you're playing in this tournament, it's hard.テつ It's hard to kind of‑‑ you just have to switch in to kind of‑‑ you just have to go in professional mode and try to get the job done.テつ Someone is going to win and someone is going to lose.テつ I was pretty sure I was going to lose today, to be honest.
4 down after 7, the caddie said to me, it would be a pretty interesting story if you win this thing having been 4 down after 7.テつ Trying to say anything to me, because we were just getting beaten up.
And it's hard.テつ It's hard.テつ I'm sure he's extremely disappointed right now.テつ And I'm extremely elated.テつ It's kind of one of those kind of surprises, really.テつ I'm surprised to be sitting here, having won.テつ Yeah, I hit a couple of quality shots down the last couple of holes, but I had mistakes, as well.テつ It's a brutal format.

Q.テつ Do you think your experience in your amateur days and the match play and of course the Ryder Cup experiences have helped in this tight situation the last few holes of your match?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ You know, the thing I really like about this tournament, yes, it's very volatile and very brutal, and you could be going home.テつ You can play well and be going home Wednesday afternoon.テつ But I like it because you can come in here and put your game under Sunday afternoon pressure on a Wednesday.
I got a lot of confidence from this tournament last year, just coming down the last few holes and hitting shots under pressure.テつ It's early in the season for me, this is tournament No. 2.テつ I want to see where my game is at.テつ I want to see where my swing is at.テつ I want to see how I handle the pressure, because it's been 12, 13, 14 weeks since I've been under any pressure.
That's why I like this event.テつ I've hated it in the past, because I've been going home Wednesday afternoon.テつ But I've become more philosophical about this event and really take it for what it is.テつ Even if Gary Woodland would have beat me today, I was trying to take some of the positives out of my game and I was feeling under pressure.テつ My slightly more philosophical approach has stood me in good stead, and I managed to hit some good iron shots coming down the stretch.テつ That was pleasing today.

Q.テつ You said you were surprised and given how far Gary hits the ball, you were looking at the brackets, would you consider this an upset that you beat him?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, I mean, I think I was the lower seed in this match.テつ But I watched your cohorts there on the Golf Channel the other night, and they weren't giving me much of a chance.テつ I don't think anybody was giving me much of a chance in this match.テつ He's a quality player around a golf course like this where he can decimate with his length and hit one bad drive that I can think of.テつ He‑‑ the rest of the time he just pummeled it down the middle of the fairway.
Yeah, so I consider that an upset, certainly.テつ This has not been my type of golf course, historically.テつ Like I say, my attitude has changed a little bit the last couple of years and it's served me well.テつ But Gary was a tough guy to beat today and he hung tough and he chipped and putted well, which I didn't expect him‑‑ you expect a guy with that kind of power, you expect him to have the finesse and the putting stroke.テつ But he did everything well today.テつ And it was kind of, like I say, I feel very, very fortunate.

Q.テつ Did it take the wind out of your sails?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah.テつ My sails, yeah.テつ He hit such a quality‑‑ I stood on the 15th tee and I threw myself with my drive and hit it about as good as it could, and it pitched in the top of the trap and came back in it.テつ And he's up with a 3‑wood.テつ I can't even find the fairway trap and he hits a beautiful trap shot and I follow him.テつ I hit a very good trap shot as well, and he makes the putt.テつ And this guy is good.テつ I missed mine.テつ Yeah, I was pretty disappointed at that point.
Only when he hit it over the back of 16 I was like, glimmer, maybe I can get down to 17.テつ And maybe I can get down the last.テつ And that's kind of the mode you switch into, you're just trying to survive at that point.

Q.テつ Did you think it was over?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Yeah, I thought it was over.テつ Yeah, literally, you're not coming back from 3‑down against a guy that's playing as well as him.テつ I thought it was over.テつ Yeah, I'm still going to try to hit my shots.テつ But it required a mistake from him to get me‑‑ give me half a sniff, even.テつ Hit it over the back of 16, was that mistake.

Q.テつ What were the travel arrangements home?
GRAEME McDOWELL:テつ Colin probably had various options.
KELLY BARNES:テつ Thank you.

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