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THE IRISH OPEN


July 1, 2012


Graeme McDowell


PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND

Q.  Ultimately you're coming up short, your reaction, your thoughts on your play and the conditions today and the setup?
GRAEME McDOWELL:  I'm going to come up a long ways short obviously this week.  Down to a couple of reasons really.  One being I really didn't putt well enough this week.
You know, right from the word go this week, even in practise, even in the Pro‑Am, I really wasn't seeing and feeling these greens like a man who had grown up here.¬† I struggled a little bit.¬† The pace of the greens were ultimately a little bit slow due to just the amount of rain and the amount of growth we've had here.¬† There's a lot of grass on these greens and that's Mother Nature doing her part.¬† I would have loved to have seen this golf course a little firmer, a little faster.¬† Perhaps next time we are back we can do that.
I didn't putt well early in the week which gave me a tough position in the field on Saturday when the weather came in early.  I played 14 holes in the worst of the weather and that really shot me out of the tournament.  Add those two things together and I was kind of flogging a dead horse today a little bit.

Q.¬† We have seen players reach 7‑, 8‑, even 9‑under for their rounds today.¬† Is there any negative to that that the scoring is so low, in terms of people think the course is too easy?
GRAEME McDOWELL:  You could think that.  But you've got to look at the way this golf course is playing.  It's not playing like a true links right now.  It's very receptive and the guys can be too aggressive coming into these pins.  You get these greens firm and fast and these fairways firm and fast, and this golf course is all you want, believe me.
Yeah, it's a very benign day today.  Not a lot of wind.  The European Tour have really not set the golf course up all that difficult all week really.  They have kind of given us all a chance.
Some of the pins today, like 14, for example, that pin should be in the back right of the green but it looks like they have set it up, they want a bit of scoring, they want a shootout and that's exactly what they have got.

Q.  We have seen the leaders rip up the front nine at the moment and you're just off the back nine; are there birdies on the back nine as well?
GRAEME McDOWELL:  I would say there are, for sure.  10 is accessible today.  11 is a fairly easy pin.  14 is an easy pin and 15 is playing quite short and coming in, the last is playing straight downwind, so absolutely.  These guys can go nuts on the back nine, and there's no doubt, the scoring is good out there but it is set up that way, and links golf, you get St. Andrews with no breeze, and they will tear it apart.
I shot 62 at St. Andrews in the Dunhill Links and it's one of the greatest links courses in the world.  Links golf is designed to be played in the wind and it's designed to be played firm and fast, and we don't have either of those elements today unfortunately.

Q.  I think Tiger went 19 under at St. Andrews one year.  Finally the success this week has been, I presume you'll be advocating that Royal Portrush is on the regular rotation for the Irish Open now?
GRAEME McDOWELL:¬† For sure.¬† I don't see any reason why we can't be alternating north and south of the border year by year.¬† I think we have proven that Royal Portrush is a very successful venue to be staging this great event at.¬† Carton House next year, I love that as a venue.¬† Taking nothing away from Killarney.¬† Killarney was a fantastic venue, as well.¬† I think this course should be played on a links‑style golf course like Portrush, like Carton House, like Portmarnock; let's bring it up here to County Down perhaps some year.
I think it should be rotating around the best links golf courses in Ireland.  We have got plenty to choose from, and like I say, let's get that north and south of the border kind of vibe going year by year.  I think there's no reason why we shouldn't do that.

Q.  Your game is good heading into The Open?
GRAEME McDOWELL:  I'm feeling good.  My game is in good shape.  I've hit the ball pretty well all week.  I've struggled on the greens like I've talked about.  But today was a nice reinforcer that I'm playing nicely and doing all the right thing.  Just wasn't my week really.
But French Open this week, looking forward to it.  I like the golf course a lot and I've got a week off before The Open where I'll spend a couple days at Lytham kind of doing my homework and making sure I'm ready to go.  I'd certainly love a go at the Claret Jug.

Q.  Is that one major that you would like to win perhaps more than another?
GRAEME McDOWELL:  No, I'm not that fussy to be honest with you.  I'll take any of them.  We have got two left this year.  If you handed me one of them, I wouldn't care.  One of them is substantially heavier than the other one, but the Claret Jug would be very sweet, as well.  I'd be lying if I said The Open Championship wasn't a slight favourite in my mind; to win in front of the British and Irish fans would be kind of sweet.

Q.  This must be like a boyhood dream, a Portrush man, born and bred, and now you've played a big tournament on your home course and you've had some input.
GRAEME McDOWELL:  For sure, to grow up in the town of Portrush and to be part of the reason why the Irish Open is here, myself and Pádraig and Rory and Darren, and all of the Irish players really, we all feel a sense of pride that we have kept the Irish Open alive, first and foremost, for the last four or five years and brought it up to this fantastic venue in the north coast of Ireland.  It's been a great advertisement for golf on the north coast.
Yeah, the weather could be a little better but that's Ireland, isn't it.  But this crowd have been amazing, 30,0000 people every day.  Their spirits would not be dampened.  Just think how much fun they would have had if the sun would have been shining.  Hopefully we'll be back and hopefully we'll be back very soon.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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