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DUBAI DUTY FREE IRISH OPEN HOSTED BY THE RORY FOUNDATION

July 7, 2018

Danny Willett

Ballyliffin, Republic of Ireland

Q. Another good day out there. Tough start for you. Tell me how you managed to turn that around so quickly and really positive attitude once again?
DANNY WILLETT: Yeah, it's a tricky old start. The weather was a little bit different to what we've kind of had all week and a couple of poor swings early on. But then yeah, dug in nicely, which has been nice, again.

We spoke about that yesterday, because you're moving better, you know, you kind of are hoping that it's going to come and if you stay patient enough, you get a nice run obviously on the back nine where we holed a few good ones and some lovely shots there. Turned it around quickly to have a good back nine.

Obviously a couple of them are real bonuses. A couple of the long-range putts were obviously bonuses. It was nice to see a couple of those go in. Just keep the momentum going, especially when you look at the leaderboard and obviously after a few holes, we were a hell of a long way back.

Nice to finish there and be maybe four, five, six back going into tomorrow. There's still a lot to play for. When you've got such a big lead, it's a tricky place to be. So yeah, just have to wait and see.

Q. England updates on the course? Were you keeping track of things?
DANNY WILLETT: We had a nice little fan base going out there that kept us on track. Obviously if England win I'm happy and if Sweden win, my Mum's happy. I was obviously completely unbiased. Nice to see that we've done well.

Q. 2-over after two. I imagine would you have taken a round of 69.
DANNY WILLETT: Yeah, it wasn't quite the start we'd hoped for. Stood there and ripped it down the first and got a little unlucky with the second shot and was a bit of a horror down the two. A bit of a tricky one. The breeze picked up when the rain came through and had a couple smelly little holes there.

Dug in really deep and allowed myself to kind of hold a few putts. Didn't get too annoyed at the whole situation. Yeah, wasn't quite expecting to shoot that on the back nine.

Q. Tell us about that hot streak on the back nine?
DANNY WILLETT: It was good, yeah. Again, around this golf course, the margins are really fine. You're just in the fairway or you're three or four yards off and you're in the semi, and all of a sudden, with a few of the flags they put out today, it's very difficult to judge over bunkers if you're going to get a flyer or whatnot.

Got it in position a little better on a few holes and holed a couple of nice putts to keep the momentum going and to keep the round going like that and obviously a couple nice shots down 17, and two nice on the last and unfortunately we didn't quite make that one but a real solid back nine.

Q. You're going to go into the last day right into the mix?
DANNY WILLETT: Yeah, positional-wise. Shots-wise, we're a few back. It's nice to be in the last few groups, and the Irish fans have been great as usual. Hopefully we can do something good tomorrow.

Q. Tough start, different weather conditions but four in a row on the back nine really got you back on track?
DANNY WILLETT: Wasn't the start we envisioned. Warmed up really well. Ripped it down the first and had a bit of a nightmare down two. It was different weather. Got a little colder and the wind and rain came for a few holes and made it -- just not got in your head but makes it that little bit more tricky, and on top of that, we hit a couple of bad shots.

Luckily enough we made a few good swings and holed a few nice putts on that back nine and really turned it around.

Q. 16 birdies over the opening three rounds, as well. That also must be pleasing on a golf course like this.
DANNY WILLETT: Yeah, we drove the ball fantastic the first two days and gave ourselves a lot of opportunities. Today wasn't as good and we were really trying to play clever golf up sides because of flyers and bits and bobs.

The first three days have been a real mix of kind of how we've played but nice that we've actually played in three different ways and actually kind of come out with good scores. That really shows how I am mentally and kind of where the game is at and the work I've been putting in. Nice after a couple of holes, to walk off here in third or fourth position going into Sunday, yeah, really good.

Q. Five shots off the lead at the moment. Alex Noren, seven shot back last week. How can you be aggressive on this course and will you change the mind-set tomorrow to maybe try to chase that lead down?
DANNY WILLETT: Again, we were saying, there's not loads of places where you probably can be a great deal more aggressive off the tee. It's obviously the second shots, maybe trying to play, if the breeze picks up tomorrow, you're trying to hold the wind a bit more and trying to attack a couple of them, maybe. All depends on flag positions, wind direction and how the guys start.

Erik's played fantastic to have a blistering front nine and slowed down on the back nine. For all of us that are chasing, depends on how he starts and fairs through the day.

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