Graeme McDowell (Flash)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Score 282, 2‑over

Q.  Your emotions?

GRAEME McDOWELL:  There's a mixture of emotions inside me right now.  Obviously disappointment, deflation, pride.  But mostly just frustration, just because I hit three fairways today.  That's the U.S. Open.  You're not supposed to do that.  You're supposed to hit it in some fairways.  And that was the key today really for me.

Not like I drove the ball awful.  I just seemed to hit it in the semi rough all day long.  And big turning point today was the jumper that I got on 9 from the semi.

The missed fairway on 14, where I hit another, actually hit a quality shot in there and it caught the front corner of the game and probably saw one of the thickest lies I saw all week and I make bogey there and there were really big turning points in my round.  But just pride, the way I hung in.  The way I birdied 11 and 12 and the putt I made on 17 and just to give myself half a chance on 18, really.

Because again, I missed that fairway by a foot and my ball's sitting down in the right semi I have no control to that  front pin and I probably hit it about as close as I possibly could.  And that putt, it was weird, because I hit that putt in practice and it bumped left and it moved right of the hole and I just didn't do that today.

But it was a nice opportunity, one that I would obviously desperately love to have holed.  But Webb's a great champion and what a great weekend's work for him, 68, 68, taking nothing away from him.  He should be very proud of himself.

 Q.  Jim Furyk was saying that it's tougher obviously at times to get a taste of the honey and rather than just not contend at all.  Is that the case as well?

GRAEME McDOWELL:  Yeah, this is sort of a new experience for me, I suppose, finishing second at a Major Championship.  I would rather have tried and failed than have never tried at all.  I think someone fairly familiar must said that.  But no, yeah, I'm disappointed right now.

But the way Jim did it, to play as well as he did and then just to kind of not get the job done coming in that's more disappointing for him.  I guess that the way I did it, I got off to a slow start and kind of battled back, so I guess I feel a little better.

 I'm sure my disappointment is not as much as his disappointment is right now, but we're both very disappointed.  Jim played some quality golf today.  16 was a real conundrum of a tee shot.  It's, you bump that tee forward 97 yards and it's a bit like 10 at Augusta, unless you can shape that ball, 40, 50 yards from right‑to‑left with a driver I'm not sure what you do off that tee.

I'm two behind in the U.S. Open needing to make birdies and I'm hitting 2‑iron off a reach and par‑5 but that's kind of the way the course was this week.  And putt I made on 17 was sweet, knowing that I to make it.  Just missing that fairway on 18, that was disappointing.  But that pin was pretty brutal on the last.  It was tough to get it within 10 feet there.

Q.  To be in one of the toughest tests of golf and to be out there and have an opportunity to make a putt on 18 that could put this thing into a playoff.  I mean Graeme, you did lot right out there this week.  So talk about that.

GRAEME McDOWELL:  Yeah, yeah, I did a lot right.  It's weird.  This is a tough golf course.  You can't yourself to hit 90 percent cut shots this week, and I did that fairly well.  I controlled the flight of the ball well from left to right generally.

Toward the end of the week I was kind of over doing it.  Any time I needed to hit a straight shot or a draw they didn't really exist to be honest with you.  I couldn't do it.  I was getting underneath everything.  Working on that cut shot and mighty shots like the one on 17 there where you've got hit a hard draw down that left sigh I just don't have it because you're working on cut, cut, cut, all week long and the straight one's hard to hit. 

But I'm just really didn't have much of an A game this week.  I'm not sure you can have your A game on this golf course because it beats you up.  The fairways are very elusive, the greens are rock hard, and it's a tough test of golf, the toughest and I don't think anyone had their A game this week it's impossible to do.  So to compete as well as I did with my B plus game I'm very proud of myself.

Q.  (Inaudible.)

GRAEME McDOWELL:  Today has reinforced to me that I can compete and win more Major Championships.  It's been a frustrating five or six weeks for me, but I know ‑‑ I it knew in my heart that my game was better than my results were showing and it was just great to come in this week, prepare, put it up there as a Major Championship, put it up there, try my best and compete.

 I don't know what it is about these setups that I enjoy as much as I do, but they certainly do appeal to me.  The tougher the golf course, the better for me.  And happy with my preparation this week and happy with my execution in general.

Q.  You talked a lot about your emotions yesterday and trying to keep the fear factor down and that sort of thing.  Talk about today and the emotional part of today.

GRAEME McDOWELL:  That's a big part of it.  I didn't feel as good on the golf course as I felt yesterday.  Yesterday I managed to shake off my fears and nerves and go out and really kind of get in great groove like that.  Today was a struggle.  Conditions were tougher, the ball wasn't flying very far, I just kind of the 3‑putt on 3 killed my momentum early.  Followed that with a bogey on 5 and 6.

I mean, I was behind the eight ball early today.  Everything from there was a fight, really.  It didn't give me a chance to do all the things that I talked about after my round last night that I felt that I did well yesterday, feed off the crowd, enjoy get in a good groove, a good rhythm.

This golf course doesn't allow you to get in a rhythm and today was a grind, it was a slog, and I was just happy the way I hung in and made a few birdies.

Birdies on 11 and to follow Jim in on 12 was pretty cool.  But the putt on 17 was nice and there's ‑‑ I hit enough quality shots this week to store in the memory banks and I'll be back.

Q.  How did this Sunday compare to the one two years ago emotionally?

GRAEME McDOWELL:  Very similar in many way, I suppose.  Obviously I controlled most of the play on Sunday two years ago and today I kind of, I got out of position early, I fought my way back into it and then threw it away again and tried to get myself back into it again.  The U.S. Open is ‑‑ my caddie made a great analogy ‑‑ it's like a really fast, scary roller coaster that you get on at the time and your not sure if you like it and it's kind of scary.  But once it's done and you look back, you realize that you had a lot of fun and you would like to do it again, and that kind of sums up what it's like to compete on the big stage at a Major Championship.

So it hurts.  You want it really badly, you practice so hard to be there and it hurts when you're there, but when it's all done you think back and you think, I would like to do that again and that kind of sums it up for me.

Q.  Does it help you to believe in your self when you're going to be up against this type of challenge again to be able to go out there and gut it out and be so close, granted you want to win, but.

GRAEME McDOWELL:  For sure.  I think every finish, every second, third, fourth, any time you don't win you're disappointed, but I think, to have tried and failed, I think you learn so much from that.  And I'll have learned a huge amount about today, about yesterday, and things that I can take away and pour back into my game and stay young, fit, healthy ‑‑ I won't stay young, stay fit and healthy and mentally tough and I'll have some more chances.

Current Leaders
PosPlayerTodayThruTotal
1W. Simpson-2F+1
T2M. Thompson-3F+2
T2G. McDowell+3F+2
T4D. Toms-2F+3
T4P. Harrington-2F+3
T4J. PetersonEF+3
T4J. DufnerEF+3
T4J. Furyk+4F+3
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