An Interview With: GRAEME McDOWELL and RORY McILROY
Q. After you holed that putt, I heard you say to a close friend: The Ryder Cup, do you like it; that match is the essence of The Ryder Cup.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, that was my girlfriend, Kristin; that was her first experience of a match at The Ryder Cup, and I just said to her, "Welcome to The Ryder Cup, hope you enjoyed yourself."
That match to me just personifies The Ryder Cup. Myself and Rory played some great golf to go 3 up, and then you're playing against two very gutsy players who clawed their way back to all square coming down the last two holes.
I'm not sure if you'll play two tougher holes, I mean, the finish to this golf course is very strong and we had stacked our team with this finish in mind. I wanted Rory hitting the tee shots on 16 and 18 and our strategy paid off.
Q. Could you feel like the momentum was flipping away there for a while?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, of course, getting to 3 up, having a good chance on 12 to go 4 up, and then the guys come back at us with three birdies in a row on 14, 15, 16. So we knew we just needed to hang in there and try and get something back. You know, fortunately for us, Brandt didn't hit the best tee shots on the last and we took advantage.
GRAEME McDOWELL: It was a great game today against two really great competitors. Jim Furyk played particularly magnificent. My job is fairly easy. I've got the best player in the world beside me and he makes my job extremely easy.
Q. Tell us about your emotions as they came back at you.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, we got into a good lead. I had a very makeable birdie putt on 12 and could have extended there 13 was playing tough and then they made three good birdies in a row on us. They came back at us really hard and we just hung in there, tried to get up and down on 17 and obviously a great up and down at the last. Conditions out there were not easy coming in, and glad we hung on and did what we needed to do.
Q. What's it like with 40,000 people wanting you to lose?
RORY McILROY: We were talking about it out there, for the first couple holes, it's a little bit strange but you get used to it, you get used to the "USAs, USAs," and it just becomes normal. It's part of the week; it's normal, and we are trying to shut them up as much as we can.
Q. Do you know what's going on this afternoon?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I think Rory and I are going back out again this afternoon so I'm excited to be alongside this great player again. Great to get that point on board. It's a very important session for Team Europe this morning and we wanted to personally go out and try to get some blue on the board. We did that and we were lucky to get the point in the end.
Q. What were your feelings as you stood on the opening tee shot this morning?
GRAEME McDOWELL: It was a very bizarre experience. I was actually feeling very calm and very cool until I stepped over the ball. I couldn't ignore the silence. The silence was deafening, and it made my mind go blank. It was very strange. Didn't put a very nice swing on it after that.
RORY McILROY: We are going to go to lunch, get ready for the afternoon. We are out again together. Not sure in what order or where in the order, but all I know is I'm playing with this guy again and I'm looking forward to it.
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