2012 PGA Championship Interview Transcript -- Graeme McDowell

GRAEME McDOWELL:  Yeah, good round of golf, obviously.  Apart from a couple of sloppy 6s that I made out there, I made 6 on 7 from just off the edge of the green in two, hit a bad chip and a three putt and made 6 from just short of the 11th green.  I had 100 yards flag there and spun it off the front and didn't get it up and down.  But generally very happy with my ball striking today, hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of solid iron shots.  And this string thing breeze as the afternoon went on, I know the guys got nine fairly calm holes this morning, but the breeze came up this afternoon and made it a decent test, but the golf course remained fairly playable, and there was a score out there if you could control the ball well.  So very happy with that, good start, and get out there tomorrow morning and perhaps we can play it in slightly more benign conditions, just nice to get off to a fast start.

Q.  What are you looking forward to tomorrow morning?

GRAEME McDOWELL:  Fingers crossed it will be windless tomorrow morning.  I know there can be some bugs early in the morning here which can be an issue, but looking forward to getting back out there.  The golf course is fairly receptive, so if you can drive the ball well, it gives you a chance to be fairly aggressive with your iron shots, and I really was good on the greens today.  I read them well.  They're a beautiful surface.  This paspalum is beautiful to hit your irons off of, beautiful to chip on.  There certainly was a score out there today.  The pins were tough in places but the par 3s play strong on this golf course. 

That's really one of the big keys to this golf course is playing the par 5s aggressively and playing the par 3s well.  There really is kind of a nice balance of par 4s, some tough ones and some easy ones.  The 3s and the 5s are key.

Q.  (Inaudible.)

GRAEME McDOWELL:  I'm just hitting the ball well.  You know, I'm really, really happy the way I'm swinging it this year.  My coach Pete Cowen has got me beat into reasonable shape.  I understand my swing, I'm flighting the ball well.  Worked very hard on my short game this year, and my putter is starting to heat up again.  I'm just hitting the ball fairly solid, happy to get off to a good start again today.  You know, these major championships, there's no doubt getting in contention early, getting the juices flowing is key, and that was nice today because I got off to a slow ish start.  It was a good, strong back nine.  My up and down on the par 3, 14th, I hit a bad shot left of the green there, really good up and down.  That really kind of kick started me because I birdied 15 and 16 and had chances on the last two holes, which I didn't convert.  But nice to get off to a good start.

Q.  You saw the guys going low this morning.  Did that put any pressure on you?

GRAEME McDOWELL:  Yeah, I was aware that the scoring was particularly good this morning.  I knew there wasn't much wind out there.  You can't react, though.  You still have to stick to your game plan.  You can't go chasing these pin positions.  Some of them are fairly well tucked out there.  But I'd get my strategy really was, especially in the major championships, is just to be extra patient, be as patient as I possibly can.  I know there were scoring opportunities on this golf course, and it was just a case of staying out of trouble, hitting smart shots and using my putter to good effect, and I really putted well today. 

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