Valero Texas Open interview: Rory McIlroy

April 04, 2013

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Q. Not the kind of consistency I imagine you were looking for?

No, not really. I started off well, 2‑under; then I threw in a couple of those silly mistakes that I was talking about trying to eliminate last week. Made two bogeys on the par‑5s and made a bogey with a wedge in my hand. So you eliminate those and it's not a bad score.
But, yeah, I mean, I hit the ball okay. Not my best, but it was tricky out there. The conditions were pretty tough. You get this course with a bit of wind, and it's always going to be a tough challenge.

Q. You have some curious splits this year, and it is very early in the season. You haven't gotten in that many rounds. But your last round of the tournament is always better than the first. It's as though you build momentum as you go along. Any reason for that?

I'm not sure. I think I'm still to break par in the first round this year. It would have been nice, but. Yeah, you just gain a little bit of confidence as you go through the week, I guess. I'm not sure. I've played well at Doral, obviously, which is a good score. Then you get used to the course as well, and you get to know it better each round that you play.

Q. Even par is still going to be in touch with the leader. This is a difficult track when the wind blows?

Yeah, it is for sure. It's hard to make a lot of birdies out there, especially when the conditions are like they are today. It's nice now, but it was very cold this morning. But, yeah, I'll go out tomorrow afternoon and try to post a good one and get myself in there for the weekend.

Q. Rory McIlroy wanted to know what he would do with a scorecard in his hand this week. So tell me about course management which was the number one thing that you wanted to have this week? How did you feel you did on day one?

I did okay. I still threw in a couple of silly mistakes. I'm making bogey on 18, the par‑5. Making two bogies on two par‑5s isn't very good. And I made a bogey on the first with a wedge in my hand. So still a little bit of work to do in that department.

But, overall, even par wasn't that bad a score. I thought managed my game out there pretty well.

Q. Throw bogeys in a row there including the two par‑5s. Then what did you tell yourself to clean it up and salvage a good round?

Yeah, I was just trying to get back to what I was doing at the start of the round. Trying to hit fairways, trying to hit greens, and trying to take a few chances when I could. Luckily, I was able to do that on the front nine. Doesn't pay to finish with a bogey. Would have been nice to finish under par, but even par isn't a disaster, and I'm still in a good position going into tomorrow.

Q. Overall, on a course you didn't know this week, what did you learn today that you can implement going into the last few rounds?

You've got to stay below pins here and really watch where the pins are and put it at the right level on the greens. Pretty self‑explanatory off the tee. You've just got to try to hit it on the fairway. From there, if you're smart with your second shot, you're going to create some chances for yourself.

Q. Can you talk about the course and being here and what day one was like?

Yeah, it was good. The way I started the round I would have hoped for a little bit better. But I'm relatively pleased with the way I played. It could have been a little better, but it could have been a little worse too. So, hopefully, I'll just go out tomorrow and try to shoot a good number and get myself in position for the weekend.

Q. The mental mistakes, are they mental or physical?

More mental than anything else. I guess I felt like I hit a good shot into the 18th, and it came back into the water. Then I think that sort of got to me and that's why I bogeyed the 1st and hit a bad shot at the 2nd. But once I started to regroup, I started to play pretty well on the way in.

Yeah, it's just about limiting those mistakes and limiting‑‑ it's definitely a more mental mistakes than it is physical.

Q. How do you clean it up?

I don't know. Just stop doing them. It's hard to explain. I guess it just comes with play, and it comes with play and that's why I'm here this week, just to play and get some more competitive rounds.