What they said: Graeme McDowell

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September 07, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

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GRAEME McDOWELL: Of course I would love the two shots back, but they're gone now, and I managed to come out and make a couple early birdies this morning to quickly negate the two that I had to hand back in the scorer's hut last night. It's a pretty fast way to drop two shots. But I moved on nicely from that last night and hit the ball really, really well again today. I think I hit 17 greens. It was good ball-striking today, gave myself some chances. Let's be honest, you've got to keep going low this weekend. If the storm comes in and wets these fairways again, the ball is going to be in our hand all weekend.

It's amazing how good the scoring becomes when the greens are receptive and the ball is clean in the fairways. The best players in the world will make a lot of birdies, that's for sure.

Q. Is it possible to really understand all the arcane rules of golf? Are some of them just so bizarre that they're hard to --

GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I've got to admit I didn't know that rule. I wouldn't say I was trying to avoid brushing that twig. I wasn't purposely trying to avoid it because I honestly didn't think there was a problem with touching it. I've never been in that position before in a trap where I've had something obscuring my address position. It's a very unusual scenario, and I didn't know the rule, and it's a very costly lesson unfortunately.

Q. Is that a good rule, though? What's the benefit of that rule?

GRAEME McDOWELL: You know, I don't see why you shouldn't be allowed to move loose impediments in a prepared hazard. The surface is supposed to be prepared for everyone, and I guess that was probably my thought process was loose impediment in a bunker, yeah, it's natural, I know I can't touch it, as in remove it, but now I know I can't touch it with my club. So tough one. Tough rule.

We've seen this happen a few times now this year, Carl Pettersson getting stung at Kiawah a few weeks ago. With all those slo-mo high def cameras, we're seeing every molecule, every small, tiny movement of stuff, and guys are getting stung now.

Obviously I called that one on myself yesterday because I knew as soon as I touched it that perhaps there was a problem, even though, like I say, I wasn't giving it the respect I needed to give it. I didn't know the rule, and I know it now.

Q. Is it worse than what happened at Wentworth, or was that one worse??

GRAEME McDOWELL: The one at Wentworth was very unusual in that I hadn't even got within eight feet of my golf ball and I managed to move it. The one at Wentworth was very, very unusual. This one was worse in that you should know these things. Like I say, my caddie told me not to touch it, and I thought he meant don't remove it, but he meant don't touch it with your club, either, you doughnut.

Q. For people who don't follow golf on a regular basis can you explain the importance of the honor system and maintaining integrity on the golf course??

GRAEME McDOWELL: Golf is a very self-policing game. We're dropping the ball, we're marking the ball, we're doing things where if you were that way inclined, you could gain an advantage, if that's the way you want to play this game. You know, I guess I'm a believer in sort of what goes around comes around in this game, and you've got to self-police it. You've got to just play a bit of honesty because if you don't, this game will get you in the end. There's no doubt, I mean, guys call stuff on themselves, and it says a lot about what this game is all about. It's hard, it's painful at times, but there's no doubt that the featured pairings every week are under a little bit more scrutiny. Like I say, with these slo-mo high def cameras, you can see every blade of grass moving.

It just hurts when a guy is not in any shape or form trying to gain an advantage, and like me yesterday, I brushed that leaf, and I get a two-shotter. I haven't gained an advantage, I haven't improved my lie, my ball is still in exactly the same scenario, I believe, has not moved, but yet I've got to add two to my scorecard. Like I said, no advantage gained, and in fact I've given two back to the field.

Yeah, it's the rules, and most of them are there for our protection. Some of them are a little fiddly and a little interesting, and I'm sure as these things keep happening, the referee said to me yesterday, we need to change that rule. No good to me right now, but I get it. I get it.

It's one of those things, and thankfully, like I say, I shrugged it off and played as well as I did this morning.

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