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June 27, 2013

Michael Hoey


Q.  Michael, fantastic 67, what was your view on that round?
MICHAEL HOEY:¬† It's good.¬† Yesterday I made nine birdies, so I knew I was hitting a lot of fairways and greens.¬† The golf course is in great condition.¬† I had only made one bogey today, a lot of fairways and greens, and 5‑under was about right.¬† Could have been maybe seven, but I'm happy with that.

Q.  Just the one setback on the first nine that you played?
MICHAEL HOEY:  Yeah, third hole, par 3, was 240 yards playing, so bogey there wasn't that bad.  And just happy with the finish, to birdie the last and birdie 15.  So just looking forward to tomorrow.

Q.  The conditions seemed to settle down a bit in the afternoon?
MICHAEL HOEY:  Yeah, I think we were lucky.  Obviously the rain the first spell wasn't great but it warmed up a bit and hopefully I think the weekend is going to be nice weather.

Q.  To what do you attribute this sudden rush of form?
MICHAEL HOEY:¬† I've had a long time off.¬† We had a baby, so I've actually been doing a little bit of practise and just started hitting the ball well.¬† So just working away at it really, just a work‑in‑progress.

Q.  How much do you know about Carton House?
MICHAEL HOEY:  I played here seven years ago, and I played here six weeks ago and came down and had a practise round.  I know the course quite well, I used to do a couple of sponsor things here.  It's in great condition.

Q.  How much does the Irish Open mean to you?
MICHAEL HOEY:  For us, this atmosphere, this many spectators is what it's about.  You know, we play in China and some places and there's no people watching, but this is what it's all about.

Q.  So it gives you a bit of a thrill, a lift?
MICHAEL HOEY:  Yeah, totally.  We are playing in front of Pádraig and Graeme and massive crowds and it's just really brilliant.

Q.  Opening round of 67, give us a feel for how you compiled the numbers?
MICHAEL HOEY:  A lot of fairways and greens, and birdieing second obviously and birdieing on 6, but some holes are playing pretty tough, like the par3 third, 240 yards playing.  Bogeyed that and apart from that, that was my only bogey today.

Q.  You said you've just become a father, tell us about that?
MICHAEL HOEY:  It was unbelievable, surreal, that was one week ago Thursday morning.  I took a few weeks off.  Been doing a bit of practise but just excited.

Q.  Tell us about your game, because obviously this year you haven't played that much golf and you're not in the position we expect to see you in in The Race to Dubai; how are you feeling about your game coming in here?
MICHAEL HOEY:¬† Yeah, I've been doing a bit of work in Dubai in the winter, trying to practise more of a one‑plain golf swing and flatten my backswing.¬† Hitting more fairways, I missed one fairway today, so it's getting a lot better.

Q.  Lovely finish to a very nice round of golf today?
MICHAEL HOEY:¬† Yeah, really happy.¬† Could have been 7‑ or 8‑under, played well yesterday.¬† I thought I had made all my birdies yesterday, I made nine in the Pro‑Am.¬† The course is great.¬† Greens are very good but you've got to avoid the bunkers off the tee.¬† I think I missed one fairway today, so that was the key.

Q.  After what's been a pretty frustrating season for you, how nice is it to be back in the mix at your home tournament?
MICHAEL HOEY:  The atmosphere here can lift you.  It's only the second time this year I've played in front of massive crowds and that does help you as well.  I'm starting to swing it better so just looking forward to the rest of the year.

Q.  You've had time off of course, new addition to the family last week?
MICHAEL HOEY:  Yeah, that was a week ago today, that was unbelievable, so all very exciting and looking forward to seeing them in a few days' time.

Q.  Certainly given you a bit of a lift here and not affected your golf?
MICHAEL HOEY:¬† No, I've got things in perspective.¬† A bad shot isn't the worst‑case scenario.

Q.  Going into the rest of the tournament, you're right where you want to be this week?
MICHAEL HOEY:  Yeah, just talk about clichés, just patience, one shot at a time.  It's a marathon but I'm in really good position.  Keep swinging with the same rhythm and hopefully I contends.

Q.  Do you thrive on the crowd out there?  Does it put you under more added pressure?
MICHAEL HOEY:  No, it's good when you're playing well.  Like Killarney and Portrush obviously, playing in front of Pádraig and behind him and Graeme last year, and just the atmosphere really helps.

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