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June 13, 2014

Graeme McDowell


Q. How was Friday the 13th for you?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Was it Friday the 13th? Didn't know that, thank goodness. It wasn't great, obviously. I hit the ball better than I did yesterday. I just didn't control well. Threw a lot of shots away around the greens. Didn't have the speed at all on the surface. They were a bit slower, and I didn't adapt well to that. The three-putt on 18 was killer, after a decent drop shot and missed a short one on one, and just kind of rattled me a little bit. I really grinded hard coming in. And to only be 2-over par at this point in the tournament, I feel like I'm miles back when I see Martin Kaymer at 10-under, but in reality I'm only a few shots out of the top-10. And I'm only four or five back off second place. And if that's what we're playing for, then I'm right in the mix. So disappointing day. Not what I had in mind. But this golf course is very difficult, and you don't have to do a lot a round for it to get its teeth into you.

Q. A couple of uncharacteristic misses on the greens and around the turn, but you did dig in very well after that?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah. Like I say, I didn't feel comfortable on the greens today. The speed was a little off for me. They were a tad slower. I felt a lot about my ball-striking, just how it wasn't as good as I can strike it. Today I struck it much, much better and scored much, much worse. That's golf. Like I say, I just didn't clean up well around the greens today. We've got to try to remedy that tomorrow and have a big weekend.

Q. How impressed should we all be by what Martin Kaymer has done here so far?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Unbelievable. Just a great display of ball striking. Obviously peace of mind in order to keep the pedal down the way he has. From what I've seen, his putter is obviously smoking hot, as well. He's doing all the right things. Yes, he hasn't had a great two years for him, but he's a world class player, always has been, and hasn't shocked me at all winning THE PLAYERS championship and then putting up a lead at the U.S. Open. But 10-under par around here for 36 holes is awfully impressive.

Q. Will 10-under win it?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Oh, it will definitely win it, yeah, no doubt about it. No one else is going to get to 10-under. That's a fact. Martin, to me, he's in control of the golf tournament right now, if he can keep it better than 5-, 6-under par, he's got this thing sewn up, I believe, and can only beat himself from here. He's got a lot of work to do, though. The rest of the field has a huge job on their hands.

Q. What's your plan going into the next two rounds then?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Just trying to do more of the same, really and make less mistakes than I have. You can't really say you're going to go out and attack this place. You just have to attack when you can and be conservative when you can attack. I've got to get hotter on the greens the next couple of days and make a little run, and get back in the red numbers. And who knows, Martin Kaymer might come back to us.

Q. Do you play to catch him or do you play for him to come back to you?
GRAEME McDOWELL: All I can do is play my ball. I really have no idea what Martin Kaymer is going to do this weekend. It has little impact on how I'm going to execute my game plan the next two days. I just have to try to play a bit more clinically than I did today and make some more putts and a couple of 68's, a couple of 67's, who knows what might happen.

Q. Given that this is a different sort of set up, it's unplayed as a weekend U.S. Open course, Pebble is probably the only one in recent years you can compare it with. What did you perceive at Pebble on the Saturday and Sunday that was different from the Thursday and Friday?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Kind of trying to work out what you mean, really.

Q. You know what I'm saying, that normally they speed up the greens on the weekend, they speed up --
GRAEME McDOWELL: Pretty unusual this weekend. They've taken the course setup Tuesday and Wednesday and backed it off for Thursday and Friday. Today was natural circumstances due to the downpours last night, but Thursday morning was artificially brought back. The golf course was slowed down significantly from Wednesday. Now, whether they got a little scared, expected some rainfall that didn't come.

Q. They did. That was a mistake, according to Mike Davis. He said he expected a storm Wednesday night.
GRAEME McDOWELL: I would have preferred to see the golf course remain the way it was Tuesday and Wednesday. That would have suited me better. It's given the long guys an opportunity to get short irons in their hand. A bit what I talked to earlier in the week, I said that it wouldn't matter if the short iron was in your hands because these greens are so firm. I was wrong. These greens softened up, and short irons were a massive advantage. So the golf course changed, to my detriment. But that's life.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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