Arnold Palmer Invitational

Friday, March 4, 2022

Bay Hill, Florida, USA

Bay Hill Club and Lodge

Rory McIlroy

Quick Quotes

Q. You've been a part of a lot of devilish days out there. Where does this rank?

RORY MCILROY: It's up there. I don't think it's maybe quite as devilish as the weekend the last couple years because the fairways are sort of soft. But the greens got -- those are the sort of greens you expect to see late on a Sunday, not late on a Friday.

It's going to be interesting to see where they go from here, but it's going to be a good test over the weekend. I'm glad I got 18 holes in those conditions because the course definitely changed a lot from when I played it yesterday morning to this afternoon. I be a little more prepared for it tomorrow.

Q. If the greens continue the same sort of pattern, what will they end up like on Sunday if they don't do anything about it?

RORY MCILROY: They'll be -- yeah, glassy and firm and -- you know, they'll be tricky. It's still you just have to land it on your spots with the right spin and the right trajectory. So you just have to be so, so precise whenever the greens get like this. Just puts even more of a premium on hitting the ball in the fairway so that you can put some spin on the ball to control it into these greens.

Q. Rory, you, Tyrrell and Viktor, three of the top four. Arnold Palmer put a real emphasis on bringing international fields here, and international players have done really well here for a while. Can you put your finger on the reason why?

RORY MCILROY: No, not really.

Q. Have you noticed it?

RORY MCILROY: Of course. You look at the list of winners. Tyrrell won a couple of years ago. Marc Leishman, myself, Ernie, Jason Day, a lot of international. I think the course lends itself to guys who have grown up in conditions like an Australia or like a Europe where it gets firm and it gets tricky.

Yeah, it's a great tournament with sort of an international flavor. That's really sort of stood out over the last few years.

Q. What's the patience level you needed on a day like today? It was really long.

RORY MCILROY: It was. It was slow. It's always going to be slow whenever the greens get this tricky and this firm and this fast. Yeah, it's going to be -- playing on two balls the next couple of days will be a little bit quicker.

But that's what it's about. Just not getting frustrated over the weekend, having as much patience as possible. Again, just trying to make pars and pick off a birdie here and there, that's the game plan.

Q. Do you feel like you shot seven worse than yesterday?

RORY MCILROY: I don't feel like I played like I'm seven shots worse. I thought my ball striking today was pretty good apart from the first couple of holes. Yeah, I hit some good shots. I certainly drove it well.

Yeah, I don't know how much tougher the course is playing today than yesterday, but I certainly don't feel like it was seven worse.

Q. Do you enjoy the challenge of the greens when they get like this?

RORY MCILROY: Yeah, I do. I enjoy the challenge of hitting into them. The challenge of putting on them is a little different because it can get a little -- it gets inconsistent. The ball skids sometimes on breaking putts and doesn't take the break, and then it does roll pretty early and then it takes the break early. So it sort of becomes a bit of a guessing game when they get this glassy. But it's all part of the fun.

Q. You went back and looked at the line on 15, the par putt.


Q. What did you miss there?

RORY MCILROY: So it was more, again, sort of what I was just alluding to. It was a putt where there was a little bit of right to left in it, but I knew, if I got it outside the hole and on the top edge and it skidded on me just ever so slightly and didn't roll straight away, it could just stay up there. So I was sort of saying, well, okay, if I put it on the right edge and it skids and it turns late, it's going to go in, but if it rolls early, I still feel like it will break to the left edge but it will still catch the left edge and go in.

So I sort of had it right edge, not giving the hole away, and it just broke a little bit more than I thought.

Q. What if I told you Viktor only had 23 putts today?

RORY MCILROY: See how he does tomorrow.

Q. What about Tyrrell with 22?

RORY MCILROY: See how he does tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
117397-1-1182 2022-03-04 23:24:00 GMT

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