2012 PGA Championship Interview Transcript -- Rory McIlroy
KELLY ELBIN: 2011 U.S. Open Champion, Rory McIlroy, is joining us at the 94th PGA Championship. Play has been suspended in the third round. At this point Rory is 6 under par tied for the lead with Vijay Singh.
Rory, you shot 32 going out. A quick comment, if you would, about the fine play on the front nine and then about the weather condition and what you guys anticipate seeing tomorrow?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, you know, it was a great start, the start that I was looking to get off to. I saw that a few guys early in the day got off to good starts and I wanted to try to do that, too.
To be 4 under through nine is great position to be in, and you know, the conditions out there today were obviously a lot better than they were yesterday. Some of the pin positions were a bit easier. They moved the tees up a little bit, and the wind wasn't as strong. So I think those three things combined is why you saw the scores being a little bit better today.
KELLY ELBIN: And now some comments about having to wait until tomorrow to get restarted and then playing in threes; you'll end up playing 27 holes tomorrow.
RORY McILROY: I don't mind. I definitely don't mind that. It's nice going into the final day, hopefully, if we get it finished, in a great position. And it being 27 holes, I definitely don't mind. I don't mind if it takes a while to get done.
Just great position going into tomorrow and that's all I can really ask for, so happy with where I am.
Q. Regarding the ball in the tree on No. 3, what were you thinking while you were looking around for it, and how did you actually find out we could see from the blimp but how could you see it was in the tree?
RORY McILROY: I got up there and I knew the line of the ball was right on the tree. So, you know, I was just like, well, if it hit the tree, I'm sure it's just somewhere around here in these long grass things or in the wood chip or whatever. We'd been looking for it for maybe about three minutes and then one of the guys from that was working for the TV came over and said, you know, it's actually stuck in the tree.
I'm like, how can it be stuck in this thing? There's no branches, no leaves for it to be stuck in. But it had wedged itself in between the tree bark and the actual tree, so I was just happy to get it up and down for four and move on to the next. I thought it was very important to do that, especially after birdieing the first two holes.
KELLY ELBIN: Can you recall any situation like that?
RORY McILROY: No, I think that's the first time a ball has ever got stuck up a tree on me. Hopefully it doesn't happen again.
Q. What's the challenge in stopping when you're playing that well, and what are the physical demands of tomorrow, given it's a major and what's at stake?
RORY McILROY: It's fine. I don't think you can let it affect you at all. You know, the way I'm looking at it, I'm going into the final day of the final major of the season tied for the lead, so I mean, I can't ask for much more. So, you know, I don't care if it's going to be 27 holes, 18 holes, 36 holes; I'm just happy to be going in there in a good position.
Physically, it's a big golf course. You know, playing 27 out there, it's going to take its toll, especially at the end of the week. So just conserve my energy, get an early night to night and make sure I'm rested and ready to go for tomorrow morning.
Q. Last year at this tournament, you were criticized for playing a shot that was a little too aggressive and getting an injury from it. Today, you used that aggressive nature to move into the lead. Can you find any irony in that?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I'm just glad I didn't try and play that ball from the tree (laughing).
A little bit. You know, I felt, again, like the first day, today the pins were a little friendlier, so you could take a few chances here or there and go for them. My short game saved me a little bit, too, on the front nine. I had a couple of great up and downs for pars to keep the good start going. I hit a couple of great iron shots into the par 3s on the 5th and on the 8th, which turned out to be birdies.
Yeah, look, when you're an aggressive player, you're going to have days where it doesn't go so well and then you're also going to have days like this. I'm just happy that a day like that came today.
Q. One of the things that doesn't automatically show up the next day is momentum on the greens. You just talked about it; it really looked like you had some momentum on the greens today. Can you talk about the way you putted today and the way it contrasted with the first couple of days of the championship?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I felt good with the putter today. Just like I felt good with it on Thursday, as well. You know, I think with the conditions the way they were yesterday, putting was probably the hardest part. It's so tough whenever your ball is oscillating and you're getting buffered a little bit by the wind. It's hard to really stay you know, sometimes, you're just trying to 2 putt from 20 feet and get out of there. So for the wind to die down a little bit, it felt nice today to get on greens and actually feel like you have a chance to hole some putts.
Q. They have announced that the final round is a two tee start. Has there been talk amongst the players about why that didn't happen for the third round?
RORY McILROY: No. I mean, the only thing that we were talking about today, if they knew this weather was going to come in, why didn't they just put us off a little bit earlier maybe.
It's fine. I don't have any problems with what they have done today, and as I said, I'm happy to play 27 tomorrow; and if it was 36 tomorrow, I'd be happy, as well. You've just got to take what you're given and get on with it and make the best of it.
Q. Does it feel like this is your tournament to win? And by that, I mean, is there a level of confidence or comfort similar to what you had at Congressional last year?
RORY McILROY: You know, I've come in here with a little bit of confidence from the way I played last week. It's just been nice to take that into this week and show it out on the golf course. You know, there's still a lot of guys with a chance to win going into tomorrow; 27 holes left, you've still got a long way to go.
I've put myself in a nice position going into tomorrow. And I sad here on Wednesday, and that's all I really wanted to do, just put myself into position, and I've been able to do that.
KELLY ELBIN: Rory McIlroy, thank you very much.
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