Graeme McDowell Interview (Flash)
Score 141, 1‑over
Q. Talk about your day.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Talk about my day? My day was as equally enjoyable as yesterday. It's just tough to have fun out there, I got to be honest with you. It's just a brutal test of golf.
Noticeably more receptive this morning, the greens were, relatively speaking, to yesterday afternoon. But as we finished today they were really starting to bake out, get firm again; and I played the golf course what I figured is the more difficult way around today starting on 9 and finishing off on those front eight there which are a pretty stout test of golf.
Disappointed to bogey three of the last four today. I hit a decent shot into five and missed it on the short side. 6, I hit a great shot, I missed the putt there; and 8 I got a shooter offense the back and a tough up‑and‑down.
But that's what this golf course can do to you in a heart beat; and to be honest with you, if you had offered me 1‑over par starting on the first tee yesterday having seen what I saw yesterday morning, I would have probably snapped your arm off for it.
So very happy. Very happy to be where I am. I think I played some really nice golf the last two day, made enough birdies to kind of offset some mistakes which I think's key. If you can make some birdies on this golf course, it really gives you a little bit of a cushion. And I don't know my stats but I feel like I made six birdies the last couple days and that's a good number.
Q. What do you hit it winning number is going to be Sunday night?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Levelish. Levelish. I don't see it getting much away from that. As this golf courses gets firmer and firmer, there's no rain forecast. It's up to the USGA, really. They can have whatever they want with it. If they want 5‑over to win it, 10 over to win it, they can hide these pins away and test pretty tough to call, but I would have to imagine around level par.
The pins were tricky today, I thought, tucked away in some corners. Holes like 3‑down the hill in the left‑to‑right wind where it's on the left side and hole like 5 where you're coming across right‑to‑left and it's in the right, and just tough pins to get at. Number 8‑down below us. Tough flags to get at. And the USGA, Mike Davis can control the scoring as much as he wants to, but it's a firm but fair test. You've got to play well. You got to hit solid golf shots. I'm hitting plenty of those, and I'll take my chances from here. I'm in good shape and I'm happy with my position.
Q. Are there any similarities between here and Pebble and is there a certain comfort level you feel in northern California?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I guess that the similar tee is that level par is going to be close to winning. The similar tee is the breeze coming in off the Pacific Ocean there that feels kind of the same kind of chill and the same heaviness to it.
It's a different golf course though. Pebble was so short and you really had to be disciplined coming into the greens. There is a certain element of discipline required around here as well but it's a bigger golf course requiring a lot more precise is the wrong word, a lot more big shots.
Got to hit shots. You got to really really shape them well. Whereas Pebble, there might have been two or throw different ways to play different holes, this golf course is pretty much one dimensional. There's away and that's wait you got to play it.
Q. You have a platform standing behind a microphone right now. Is there a message you would like to send to Mike Davis about something to do to the course on the weekend?
GRAEME McDOWELL: No, I have respect for Mike Davis. I've been playing most of my U.S. Opens in the Mike Davis era and between himself and Peter Dawson I think the game of golf's in fantastic hands. I think they both do great jobs. Mike sets a great golf course up.
Of course I'm a little biased. I think he does a really really good job. So, no, the golf course is firm, but fair. It is what it is. You wouldn't call it, I mean there's a couple of pins out there that you would look at them, the pin on 1 today and you would go, is it necessary to put this on the side of a slope? But taking that out of the equation, it's fairly well set up. It's fair. They're bumping some tees up and giving you half a chance into these par‑3s. It's a lot of golf course. But like say, not a lot of fun, not a lot of fun.
Q. You and Jim who have won U.S. Opens in the past. You keep showing up here on the board. Is there certain qualities that it takes, and specifically in the U.S. Open, and what are they in your mind?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, you got play Jim Furyk golf. I watched yesterday and I watched it again today. Doesn't take chances he doesn't have to take on. He gets it back in the fairway. He putts well. Holes out well. Takes his chances when it comes. And that's my type of golf as well.
I think you have to be, I don't like the word plodder it's kind of a little bit disrespectful. I think that it's a, it's an aggressive to conservative to targets type player. You got to take your shots on, but play safe. So I think that's the kind of guy he is.
Q. The way the setup is can you look at 1 or 2‑over par as a red number?
GRAEME McDOWELL: Close. Close. I think 1, 2‑over parred is around par. Yeah, looking at the scores yesterday afternoon, it felt like 74 was in the red. It was crazy. But it's a fine line out here between, I feel like there's a fine line between 68 and 78. There really is. And it's just missing a fairway there and missing the green the wrong side here and just sort of not holing out well enough and I mean honestly, 72 can easily escalate into 78 in a heart beat.
So it's a fine line. Obviously it gives you less chances than a regular Tour course gives you and it frustrates you quicker and in many ways you just got to be so much more patient and respect the word par. You really got to give par a huge amount of respect out there and it's tough. It's a tough mindset to get into, but it's a mindset you have to get into.