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June 26, 2015

Michael Hoey


Q.  How would you describe today?
MICHAEL HOEY:  Yeah, I knew the greens would be better today, and I putted well.  It was an opportunity today to shoot 7‑under, which I did.  Very happy with my putting which is the main thing.  Scored really well, and obviously in pro golf on this golf course, you have to score well.

Q.  How does the psychology affect you when you know you have to make birdie?  How do you like that sort of style?  How do you approach that heading out?
MICHAEL HOEY:  This golf course, the cut has been 6‑under before.  But they have lengthened it and it's a bit tougher, so I thought, the cut is probably two, so you just have to play well no matter what.  Somebody is going to be 24‑under.  So aggressive, which is quite good.  Quite enjoyable to just go at it.

Q.  What about your season to this point, how would you assess it?
MICHAEL HOEY:  It's not been good so far.  Obviously these weeks are fantastic, French and Scottish coming up.  So try to get some money up, hopefully get some up.  But confidence is coming slowly.

Q.  Are you thrilled with the way you've played today?
MICHAEL HOEY:  Yeah, I didn't flush the golf ball 100 per cent but scored really well.  Couldn't have got more out of my round, which is really satisfying, instead of hitting the ball great and not scoring that well.  And that's the way you want to finish a round.

Q.  Lovely spell of seven birdies in nine holes.
MICHAEL HOEY:  Yeah, I can always get a few birdies going.  It's just eliminating bogeys for me.  I think I was leading birdies last year for a while.  Eliminate the bogeys for the first two rounds, not too many bogeys, so in good shape and looking forward to playing the next couple days.

Q.  Am I right to presume that the course is in tiptop condition when you play first thing in the morning like this?
MICHAEL HOEY:  Yeah, greens are fantastic.  If you hit the putt on line, there's a high probability it's going to go in.  The greens in Austria were fantastic and that was a good warm up for me for this.  Yeah, great weather, as well, so really enjoying it.

Q.  I gather you've been to La Manga for a bit of a golfing break.  Has that helped?
MICHAEL HOEY:  Yeah, golfing buddies, nice and warm, good atmosphere, bit of craic, so really enjoyed.  It's hard for us to totally enjoy golf as much as it is social golf, which I really enjoyed last week.  So it was a good warm up.

Q.  As a pro, you're used to doing it for a living obviously, and now you're with your mates hitting balls yourself as well.  Did your attitude change?
MICHAEL HOEY:  Yeah, I actually hit driver everywhere.  I was going for greens.  It was very aggressive which is probably quite good for this place, you need low scores.  It was good fun, trying to reach 350‑yard par 4s at La Manga.  Just really good atmosphere, playing with a couple of professional footballers, as well, and they love golf.  Talked to them about what they do and stuff, something different.

Q.  Does it free your mind in a sense to come into another pro tournament like this?
MICHAEL HOEY:  Yeah, sometimes we don't appreciate.  Those guys would love to play on Tour for them; I would love to play football for Northern Ireland.  We're doing well in the Euro, as well, and hopefully get through.  Yeah, just makes you appreciate being on Tour.

Q.  What are your thoughts into the weekend?
MICHAEL HOEY:  Yeah, just not much expectation.  Didn't have much expectation today and that works well in golf I think, just to not‑‑ that's it, really, just no expectation, and see what happens.

Q.  Which footballers were they?
MICHAEL HOEY:  It was the '82 and '86 World Cup, so that was a long time ago when Northern Ireland were doing well, so John O'Neil, and Sammy Clingan who has played for Northern Ireland.  He played for Coventry.  And so they love their golf, as you know.  It was just enjoyable to play with them.

Q.  How well do you know them?
MICHAEL HOEY:  I've played a bit with John O'Neil.  I didn't know Sammy well.

Q.  What do they play off?
MICHAEL HOEY:  Sammy is a five handicap and John is like 10.  He plays 30 days in a row.

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