What they said: Rory McIlroy

August 23, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

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Q. Thoughts on the day, Rory??

RORY McILROY: Yeah, it was good. I thought I played really solid, especially starting off, 3-under through 6, and hit a lot of great tee shots and a lot of good approach shots, as well. Sort of got a little quiet around the middle of the round, and my short game let me down a couple times, missed the green on 3 and made bogey and then hit two good shots into the 4th, the par-5, and then got up-and-down for birdie, and made a 5 at 6, as well.

But I feel like the way I played, it was good. It definitely could have been a few shots better. But I'm happy with how I played.

Q. What was it like playing with Tiger? You said you always enjoy it. What was it like today?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, great. It's always good. It's nice, especially the first round of a tournament. It always adds a little bit of intensity to it, I think. With it being the Playoffs and having a grouping like that, as well, I feel it just focuses you from the get-go.

Q. Do you watch him? Some guys when they play with him, they watch him.

RORY McILROY: Yeah, I mean, yeah, just like anyone else, I'll watch the shots he hits. I'm not deliberately not trying to look at him or anything, no.

Q. You were 4-under on the back. How are you going to approach starting on the front nine tomorrow??

RORY McILROY: I was 3-under on the back. Again, I mean, you've got chances starting off on the front nine, which I just didn't take advantage of today. I had sand wedge into 1, wedge into 2. You've got the par-5 4th, so you've got a few chances starting off that you can take advantage of, and I didn't. That's something that I'm just going to have to do better tomorrow.

Q. At 13 what did you hit into the green??

RORY McILROY: I had 284 front, 262 over the bunker, so --

Q.Did you think about it, though??

RORY McILROY: Yeah. I made 4 anyway. It wasn't a great wedge shot. It was touch and go. This afternoon if I had that yardage I would have went for it, but just this morning with it being a little damp, I just didn't feel like the ball was traveling its full distance.

Q. When you had to wait on the par-3, what did you say? Was it fit for a friendly newspaper?


Q. You're as friendly as friendly rivals can be. You've had some intense battles over the years. Is that important for you to maintain that relationship with him??

RORY McILROY: Of course. You know, as I said in the pressroom yesterday, I don't feel -- you know, there has been rivalries built up in golf before, but our main objective is breaking par on the course. If we were playing match play every week, of course we could build up some sort of rivalries, or players could. I'm not just saying Tiger and myself. We're trying to shoot 3-under, 4-under, 5-under, we're not trying to beat each other. Of course it's nice, but you're playing the course first and foremost.

Q. What was your lie like in the bunker on 16??

RORY McILROY: Yeah, I was plugged under the lip. I didn't have much of a shot.

Q. Are you paying attention to the Ryder Cup situation with Padraig being up there at 7-under??

RORY McILROY: Yeah, I saw him atop the leaderboard giving José something to think about at least. Yeah, I mean, depending on how he continues to play this week, it could be a bit of a headache for José on Sunday night.

Q. Do you feel like he should make the team??

RORY McILROY: Yeah, if he's playing well and he's in good form going into it, then of course we need the best players on the team.

Q. What did you think of Tiger's game today overall??

RORY McILROY: Yeah, it was good. He didn't start off great, but he sort of weathered the storm a bit, and he got to 3-under without any bogeys, and bogeyed 6, but came back and birdied 7. You know, it was good. He got his way around the golf course like a true pro, even if he hadn't got his best game with him. He still got it around, which was good.

Q. The joke yesterday about kicking his butt at Medinah, did that come up today??

RORY McILROY: Actually we had lunch straight after yesterday, and he just said, there's no way in hell you're kicking my ass. Obviously it was just a joke, and it was funny, and we had a laugh out of it, so it was good.

Q. What's your strategy for the rest of the week with the low scores??

RORY McILROY: Yeah, I didn't know if I was expecting it to be as low as it was, but not really. I felt like I had a lot of chances out there and I had enough chances to shoot a low one. I don't think I need to change the strategy at all of hitting a lot of drivers and trying to be aggressive, so we'll just continue to do the same thing.

Q. How was Zach's game??

RORY McILROY: Zach's game was good. Sometimes you think this course might be a little long for Zach, but he manages his game so well and he hits a lot of solid shots. Again, he didn't get off to the greatest of starts but weathered the storm and got it around like a true pro that's been out here for a long time. He's a really solid player, a major winner, and he showed how to get it done today.