Date: December 01, 2013
Author: Golf Australia

Rory McIlroy Final round Press Conference Transcript

RORY MCILROY HAMISH JONES: First and foremost Rory, congratulations, our 2013 Australian Open champion. What a day? RORY McILROY: Yeah, it was one of those days I knew I was going to have to do something pretty special to try and catch Scotty. He was playing very solid. I got off to a faster start than him. I was four under three eight holes and made a nice little run there and caught up with him. He held on really well and played well for the last few holes. I guess it was just a pity how it ended on the last. He had a couple of chances to pull clear of me on 16 and 17. I thought I&aposd blown my chances on 16 hitting my second shot into the bunker and not making a birdie there and then 17 Scottie went close to making birdie there and didn&apost. I just stayed patient. I knew that anything could happen on this golf course. If you just hit it into a tricky spot like Adam did on 18, these things can happen. Luckily I was able to make that putt at the end when I needed it [LAUGHS]. Q. Rors, I know you said at the presentation that you spoilt Adam&aposs triple crown party. But in the bigger picture you must be very pleased to get your first win this year? RORY McILROY: Yeah, really pleased, really pleased. Sort of since the end of September I&aposve just felt in a better place, a better place mentally with some things off the course. I definitely felt better with how my swing was. I just felt like everything was coming together the way I wanted it to. It&aposs been a frustrating year but I&aposve worked hard and it&aposs been a process, trying to get back to winning golf tournaments again. It was nice to be able to do it today. Q. All week Rory you&aposve talked as if you really felt like you could win here this week, there was a really strong belief in there that you could, was that the case and also, how awkward was it in the scorers&apos hut given how the thing had gone down a couple of minutes before with Adam? RORY McILROY: It wasn&apost awkward at all. Adam congratulated me on the last green and said that I deserved it. It was hard not to feel some sort of guilt in the way I won it [LAUGHS]. I always believed I could win. I came here playing really well; a couple of really solid performances in China, Dubai and Korea. I knew that if I just kept that going, just try and get myself into contention. The really pleasing thing about my golf at the minute and about my golf, even all year, is any time I&aposve got into contention and had a chance to win a tournament, I&aposve always played well. I&aposve always played the best golf of the week and that&aposs something that&aposs really pleasing, to be able to play your best golf when you need to, when you&aposre under pressure. You can&apost really ask anymore than that. Q. Rory, Adam had a lot of putts that shaved the lip and just missed. Every time he missed one of them did that give you a bit more belief that you were a chance of getting back and winning it? RORY McILROY: Yeah, as I said, he had a couple of chances on 16 and 17 to really put a little bit of space between myself and him. I think he just got unlucky with his put on 16. It was a big lip out and then 17 as well, it looked like he hit a good putt and it just slid by the right side. I just tried to stay patient. I felt like I gave myself a lot of chances out there and made a few. I said after hitting my second shot on 16 or after Adam hit his onto the green I thought that was pretty much I&aposd have to do something very special if I wanted to win from there. He gave me a couple of lifelines and I was able to take advantage of that at the last. Q. Rory, I know it was Royal Sydney but did it feel like County Down out there at times? Plenty of Irish support for you? RORY McILROY: Yeah there was. The support this week has been phenomenal. I know there are quite a few Irish people in Sydney and a lot of them came out to support me, which was great, but even the Australian crowd, the home crowd, obviously cheering for Adam but still very supportive of myself. It was great to play in front of a crowd like that. The atmosphere out there was fantastic, it really was. It was really enjoyable to be a part of. Q. When you talked before about feeling slightly guilty in the scorers&apos hut, is that because you knew what this meant to Adam, winning this tournament? RORY McILROY: Yeah, I think I knew what it meant and I guess just the way the tournament finished for him, having a one shot lead going down the last and having it taken away from you right at the very end, it&aposs tough. I&aposve been in that position before. It&aposs not nice. But he&aposs had a phenomenal year. Masters champion, he won one of the FedEx Cup play off events. He came down here to Australia, won the Aussie PGA and then the Aussie Masters. Then World Cup last week and here. I think it&aposs a real credit to him that he came down and played all four weeks. It would have been very easy to skip a couple and maybe play up in the Gold Coast and play the World Cup or even to play the World Cup I thought was very good. So to play four in a row is a credit to him to come down. I think he sort of knew what responsibility he had coming down as Masters champion; the first Australian to win a green jacket, and that&aposs just the sort of guy he is. He&aposs a true gentleman and what I said at the prize ceremony there, he&aposs a credit to the game but he&aposs also a credit to this country. I was just lucky to be able to come out on top today. Q. Rory, the tradition is to defend your title, can we pencil you in for next year already or what? RORY McILROY: We&aposll see how the schedule goes. I haven&apost thought that far ahead but it definitely makes the end of the year schedule – we&aposll see what happens. I&aposm just going to enjoy this. I&aposve always tried to come back and defend wherever I&aposve played, so hopefully that will be the case again. Q. Rory, there are some true legends of the game on the Cup right next to you. Have you had a chance to have a look at it and what does it mean to you to win the Cup? RORY McILROY: Yeah, I just had a little glance there, Gary Player, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, we&aposve got Watson, Thomson obviously – one of the greatest ever Australians. It&aposs a trophy packed with pretty true champions of the game, the greats of the game and it&aposs great to put my name alongside them. I&aposve got my name on another couple of trophies that have most of their names on too [LAUGHS] so it&aposs nice to add it to the list. Q. Rory, mentally what does a two time Major winner go through when you go this far into a year without a victory? RORY McILROY: Yeah, it&aposs frustrating because you know the level of golf that you can play and you&aposre just not able to play to that level. You&aposre working hard and you&aposre trying to find the reasons why and you think you&aposve found it and then you haven&apost. Then you try something else. It&aposs frustrating but I never lost belief, I never lost any of that. Golf&aposs a long career and I&aposm 24 years old. I get a little impatient at times and if I actually just took a step back and looked at the bigger picture, it hasn&apost been too bad a year. It&aposs obviously been made a lot before today with the win. You know you have to go through the lows and I&aposm not saying it was a low this year, it&aposs not like I plummeted off the face of the earth. I&aposm still sixth in the world so it&aposs not too bad [LAUGHS]. It&aposs not the level that I feel like I can play to but I feel I&aposm getting back there, so it&aposs very pleasing. Q. Rory, with the frustrations you&aposve had this year, do you feel like you&aposre a better player now than you were maybe 12 months, 24 months ago? RORY McILROY: I think I&aposm more experienced, more patient. Am I a better player, have I more ability? I always try and improve different aspects of my game and I feel like different aspects of my game have improved this year. But I think just more experienced and definitely more patient, not getting as down on myself or not being as hard on myself because, as I just said, golf is a long career, you can&apost have too many highs and lows in terms of emotions, you&aposve just got to try and keep it on a even keel and I feel like I&aposve done a better job of that this year as the months have gone past. Q. How was the course? RORY McILROY: The course was good; the course was great. I think it&aposs a really enjoyable course to play, even though it&aposs not long by modern standards. The scoring wasn&apost too low, obviously Adam and myself went a little lower than the rest but it&aposs still a tough test. You see what happens when you get some tricky pin positions, some tricky greens, good design, good bunkering. It&aposs a great golf course and it was set up really well this week. It was in really good condition. It was a pleasure to play. Q. Rory going on from one of the questions earlier, was it important to get the win, get the monkey off your back to set you up for next season as well? Would it have been difficult to go into next season still looking to end a win drought? RORY McILROY: A little bit. I always said I just wanted to build some momentum for next year and I felt like I was doing that. The perfect scenario would have been a win before the end of the season and thankfully I was able to do that. I&aposve still got one more tournament left to try and get that second win on the board. But yeah, that was the only thing that was missing from this little stretch. I feel like I played well but just hadn&apost quite gotten across the finish line and doing that today was very satisfying but doing it going up against one of the best players in the world right now is probably even better [LAUGHS]. Q. Rory taking you back to that last putt, what was your emotion? What were you feeling when you saw it drop in? RORY McILROY: I can&apost believe I&aposve won. I didn&apost think it was going to unfold the way it did standing on the 18th tee. Adam must have just – I think he probably got a hard bounce for the second shot, I couldn&apost quite see from where we were standing but it looked a pretty decent shot to me. It might have just been a couple of yards too far and got a firm bounce through the green. I knew his chip was tricky. I thought worst case scenario I&aposd have a putt for a play off and then all of a sudden I have a putt for the win. I didn&apost want to go extra holes. All I focused on, and the putt was my routine. I didn&apost do anything differently. I didn&apost think about whether it was to win the Australian Open or whether it was to get the first win this year. I hit it inside right and I hit a putt like I hit on a putting green any other day, and thankfully it went in. HAMISH JONES: Rory congratulations on the week. Look forward to seeing you next year hopefully. RORY McILROY: Thank you.