What they said: Rory McIlroyMay 31, 2012
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: the Memorial Tournament transcript archive Q. Was that fun, Rory? A little bit of everything in that one, huh?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it wasn't the start that I wanted to get off to, being 4-over through three holes, especially after the last few weeks. I was just like, here we go again. But I hung in there well, and proud of myself for the way I just fought back. To finish the round under par I thought was a really good effort.
Q. Talk about the bunker shot on 12. It looked like an awkward stance.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it finished in the one spot it couldn't, just on the downslope. I had no shot. I was trying to land it just out of the bunker in the rough and let it tumble onto the green. But I had such an awkward stance, it was just hard to execute the shot. I flew it maybe a few yards too far and it went in the water on the other side.
Q. How did you get yourself out of it today??
RORY McILROY: I just tried to stay patient and not even think about the score, just think about what I'm working on in my swing and try and make good swings. That's really all I could do out there. I saw enough good ones that -- I saw there was a little bit of encouragement, and to string a few good holes together on the back nine was nice.
RORY McILROY: It's still a work in progress, but just trying to get the ball started on a better line and just trying to get my swing back to where it was at the start of the year. I just crept into a few bad habits, and just trying to tease those back out again.
Q. Talk about the birdie on 3 that turned you back around.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, the birdie on 3 was nice. The eagle on 5 was -- that got me back to even par, and that was a goal that I set myself after nine holes. I said, if I can get it back to even par here, that would be a good score, and to finish one better, then that is a bonus.
Q. Your second shot on 5 seemed to be a very aggressive play. Talk about that.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I hit the same shot in the pro-am yesterday. It wasn't as good a lie in the pro-am, so I said to myself, if I hit it in that left rough, the right bunker up there isn't too bad, isn't that tough a shot, so I'd rather get it up there close to the green, and it came out the way I wanted it to, and it was nice to chip it in.
RORY McILROY: Pretty much. Just landed sort of halfway between the fringe and the hole, and I got a really good connection on it and it checked up for me and went in.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, that definitely saved me today, especially at the start. I made a few good ones for pars, and yeah, so I think I have -- must have been the low 20s in putts out there, so that was good to see.
Q. You said that you weren't too concerned about score at the beginning, and now you're right in it actually??
RORY McILROY: Yeah. I mean, I'm surprised that the scoring hasn't been a little lower. I know the greens are firm, there was a few tricky pin positions out there, but I still felt someone would have went a little lower this morning. It's nice to be under par and it's nice to be not too far away from the lead.
Q. When you say that you're working on stuff out there, are you being technical, mechanical??
RORY McILROY: Yeah, very much so, a lot of swing thoughts, and just trying to put the club in the right position. I know if I can do that, then I'll hit good shots. But I'm really just trying to focus on the process and my swing. I know if I can get that right, what I can control, then the shots should start to go my way or go the way I see them.
Q. You seem to be more -- I know you to be more of a feel player.
RORY McILROY: That's why it's a little bit of a -- it happens. It happens where you just don't feel quite comfortable, and that's when you have to get technical, you have to get mechanical and really work at it, and I've worked at it for not that long, and I feel like it's getting better and better every day, but it still is a work in progress, and I'm still going to have to hit a lot of balls between now and the U.S. Open to feel like I'm really ready for it.
Q. To work on it during competitive rounds probably isn't ideal??
RORY McILROY: It isn't ideal, but the ultimate goal is being 100 percent ready to go when I tee it up at Olympic.
RORY McILROY: More, more, a lot of hitting balls. I used to feel like a good practice session for me was an hour, hour and a half but it was quality, where I was hitting quality shots. Now I'm on the range for four, five hours, and half of those -- half that time the ball is not going where I want it to, and you get frustrated. But in that time, you see enough good shots to give you encouragement.
Q. Have you found the more success you've had in your career the more scrutiny there is??
RORY McILROY: Yeah, of course. I think that is the way of life in anything. If you're in the spotlight, you're in the public eye -- if I'd have missed two cuts in a row a couple years ago, no one would have batted an eyelid, but nowadays it's a little different.
Q. Did you know Luke much at all before you came out on TOUR??
RORY McILROY: No, not at all. Not at all. I played with him at the Dunhill Links in '07 when I got my card in the final round. I think that was the first time I played with him.
Q. What's it like playing with Luke knowing that you're both vying for the world No.1 right now??
RORY McILROY: I've got a lot more on my mind than that at the minute, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the ball in the fairway and hit the ball on the green. That's all I'm thinking about at the minute, to be honest.
Q. You talk about all the work you've put in coming into this tournament. Where is your head? You said here we go again, but you've got pretty high expectations this week with the amount of work you've put in?
RORY McILROY: No, I mean, to be honest, I'm just seeing how it goes and seeing where this work progresses me to. It would be nice if it was fast and it was quick, but if it takes a little bit longer, I don't really mind. You know, it's all about hitting the shots I want to hit, and if it takes two weeks, it takes two weeks. If it takes two months, and if it takes a couple days, then even better. I'm not really putting a time frame on it or anything.
Q. Do you have any kind of litmus, any kind of feel??
RORY McILROY: Yeah, as I said, I see enough good shots out there to give me encouragement. There's still a few that I don't like, but as long as the good ones are in there, then you see the positives.