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June 21, 2005

Padraig Harrington


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Thank you for joining us here for a couple of minutes. Much success here last year finishing second in the playoff to Sergio Garcia. Comments about coming back to the Barclays Classic.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Any time you do well in a tournament you look forward to coming back. Obviously this course suited me somewhat last year for some reason. Hopefully it will suit me again this year, I do. After playing once competitively you learn more about the golf course, so I should know the course more than I did last year. Does that mean I'll shoot better? I don't know. That's the strange thing about golf. Certainly I'm looking forward to it, running through the holes in my head. I can remember the holes, the shots I played last year. It sets me in good stead for this year to use my previous knowledge to go one better.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: You nearly missed out there. This year you came back at the Honda Classic, came back in a playoff over Vijay. Had to be a great moment.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Amazing, couldn't contrast to the playoffs against Vijay. I've gone out there and I've played a 18 in the playoffs, I've missed both greens, I'm hanging in there in the playoff. Last year in first playoff hole I what I thought was a perfect drive, it just got cut off, left me a little fair back, I couldn't really reach, chipped up to six feet left of the hole, don't know how it stayed left. Perfect putt from six feet and still don't know how it missed. One's a loss the other's a win. It's a strange game. So easy being the other way around or could have been two losses. Who knows, I couldn't have hit a better putt from six feet on the playoff hole, don't know how it missed. You go back to another playoff, you're hanging in there. All of a sudden somebody gives you a gift, a present.

It's a strange game. I think playoffs are very strange. It's nearly a numbers game, just keep playing them and playing them and you get your fair share of them.


Q. Pinehurst, were you having an off week or not playing particularly well?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I missed two cuts in a row. I don't think I've missed two cuts in a row since I turned pro. It's new territory for me. To be honest I would tell you I'm very happy with how I'm swinging the golf club which is -- it's very odd, not like I'm running out to hitting the practice round now, working on my swing, my swing is fine. There's nothing wrong with that at all.

I certainly could do -- I could putt a little better. I'm not putting disastrously either. Just happens that way. Sometimes it bled for two weeks, I said I'm keen to get out and play here this week, you know, looking forward to this week. Not going into this week after missing two cuts; I'm going in with good anticipation of what's going to happen, especially after a good performance last year. It's certainly different ground to be standing on, but I look forward to see what happens.

Q. What did you do over the weekend; spend a lot of time working on your game?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I went to the pool. I actually did. I practiced, I went to the pool until all day Saturday until 4 o'clock. Three hours practice afterwards. The following day I got up and went and did an hour and a half practice, flew up to Westchester and watched golf all afternoon in my hotel and yesterday I went into New York City and caught the Yankees game last night. I was told they were going to walk all over Tampa Bay. Did well to score four runs.

Q. Watching the Open over the weekend, what's the lesson to be learned from that a guy like Goosen can have a three-shot lead and Tiger can be lurking so close behind and Michael Campbell of all people holds him off and wins.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's amazing you said Michael Campbell of all people. I play a lot of practice rounds with Michael and I know his game very well. Michael, you know, when he's off, he's a certain type of player. He's very much a right-brain player. When he's off he's thinking about his technique, he plays horrible, he loses 30 yards off his distance, off his tee shots. When he's on -- I played some balls matches with him, bounce games. You can throw anything you like at Mike Campbell and it doesn't seem to affect him when he's in that zone. I've never seen him -- you could bussel him all day it doesn't affect him. He's as good as he can be when he's in that zone. It's obvious to see when you watch the golf, he played the best golf. All the way through he was the best. He made the least amount of mistakes, he was the deserved winner, no question about it. I could see that in him. He was a great player when he's in that zone, he's unstoppable.

Q. I guess what I meant, having not been in that position, in a major, in ten years, is that over emphasized?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, Mike Campbell, when he's in that position he just plays. I know it's a major, there would be more pressure. But he's very good when he gets into that situation that he's just playing golf and he's in the zone. He doesn't get out of it very easy. I've played practice, thrown everything at him to try get him out of that zone. It doesn't happen. He is really good in that situation. I fully expected him -- I was hoping he wouldn't have a disaster, but I didn't expect him to have one. I was watching those last couple of holes praying there was no vandavel(ph) going to come out saying that. I didn't expect it to happen. I knew he was good in that situation. I played a couple of holes in practice with him. He was hitting the ball well, you know. You can always tell he regained his lens and he was striking the ball great.

Q. When Tiger started making run at him you felt he would be good?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I knew Michael was going to hold off. Obviously Tiger was pushing and pushing; it caused the three-putt on 17. It's tough when you have to push as hard as that. As long as Michael could hold his head I expected him to do that. It was in his hands more than Tiger's. Tiger was one the one behind chasing. Michael proved himself on that day, he played the best golf and looked like a true major winner, didn't he? He didn't look in any shape or form to me like it was a -- like it was an out-of-the-blue type performance. He deserved it. Switching topics, how important was it for you to get that first win on U.S. soil earlier this year? I've got to say I felt it was my 13th win. You know I've won 12 events around the world I thought this is another win my 13th win. Since then I've been surprised at how much -- I want to win won over here to say I've won one in the states and not have it as any sort of morning key on my back over here. I'm amazed how much it increased my profile over here. It's probably, it's definitely a bigger thing -- how would I put it. The fans in my eyes I would say, that's a good thing. I have to keep on a level keel with these things I can't get too many heist and lows, I have to believe in my own mind it's a natural progression rather than a big jump.

Q. After last week, minors for yourself and maybe some of the players do you know is there still like a hang over effect or do you say that's over start focusing on the British?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, you want to -- I set out to start this year I said I didn't want to go into tournaments the Barclays Classic this week thinking about the British Open. If I'm here at the Barclays Classic, I want to play the Barclays Classic as well as I can and win this tournament and let the British Open look after itself. If I want to prepare for the British Open this week, well, I should take this week off. So my attitude is, okay, in the last couple of days, yes, I have thought about the Open but when I'm here, it's very much this tournament I'm thinking about I'm not trying to prepare my game for the Open, I'm trying to prepare for this week.

Q. Is there a hang over effect in items of how gruelling it was?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I looked after that having only two rounds, half the grueling effect. Some place years will take that, get out here and say would you this is easy. Other players come away a bit tired maybe wanting to have a week off. Some players will see bigger fairways, less rough, think, oh, this is the way golf should be. It just depends -- it could depend on whether you hitting it down the first you get a nice bounce you hold from 20 feet everything is rosy in the garden whether you three putt it over the tee or you want to go home. Often happens like that. Players can be very fickle; their whole outlook can change in the course of one hole.

Q. After what happened to you last week you think you'll be one of those players who thinks this is easy?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm not that type of person, no. I'm a -- I would consider myself -- I would hope I'm a disciplined person and professional about the way I go about my golf. So I would always take -- if I'm here I'm going to take a good attitude into the golf course and I'm going to play the game the way I would play it if I had done well last week or done badly I'll go out and do the same thing, I don't change things. I try not to change things because of, you know, previous performance. Don't let outside distractions get to me. That's it.

Q. Is there anything specific you do to prepare mentally for this week after a couple of miss cuts?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Hope a bit more. I don't know.

Q. Routine you have or anything?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, no. Same routine, that's probably more -- you get down into what you should be doing right rather than trying to change anything, just go back to your normal routine, the normal stuff. You do have a look back at those tournaments and say, why, did I miss them. What was going round, is there anything I need to do different from those events, but really is there anything I haven't been doing, that's in normal routine. I go back to my normal routine work with it.

Q. We were talking about Mike Campbell before how some people surprised, he was playing pretty good on if European Tour coming in this year; is the European Tour underappreciated? I mean, is there much of a difference anymore between European Tour and the PGA Tour here?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: There's a lot of differences in the type of golf courses and -- there's vast differences in, like we played, we tend to play much tighter courses in Europe. The fairways, the length of rough last week is commonplace in Europe. The fairways over here tend to be wider less rough but firmer. In Europe they tend to be narrower, heavy rough, probably softer. We tend to get more wind, it's hard to hitting those fairways. We tend to have tighter pin positions but on softer greens. Over here they have not quite as tight but the greens are firmer. So it's probably, I'm not quite sure which plays easier. If you've got 6 yards on a firm green or three years on a soft firm green, who knows which is easier. There are distinct difference in the golf courses, players focused on swinging the golf club. Players in the states focused on getting the ball in the hole. You only have to sit Friday afternoon at the U.S. Tour event, there will be a dozen players on the range, European event there will be forty players in on the range working on the swing. Then go to the putting green and chipping green, 30 players in the U.S. ten in Europe.

Definitely the U.S. guys are much more focused on scoring, European guys much more focused on -- I think it comes back to sort of Faldo how he changed his swing around and became the perfect swinger of the golf club I think that has a knock-down effect to the European Tour. That's the sort of courses we're playing.

As regards to competing, if you're in Europe, you have a better chance of competing more often. If you understand, you've got -- I think the money is only at the top you've got to get in and finish top fives more, and so, if you're not doing that, that's your incentive you're pushing harder maybe to compete more often. I think Michael proved that. He had some missed cuts the start of the year, he started getting in contention more. Getting in contention more often puts him in better stead when he does have his chance to win. Probably is better, could be a better breeding ground for producing more potential to win more often in Europe. That gives you maybe a better learning experience to win.

Q. Do you think there's a greater depth of talent out here than it was when you first started playing in the states?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I would agree with that. Definitely, I think, you know, over the last certainly six, seven years, certainly, whereas the European Tour tends to attract and keep a lot of Ozzies, and they've tended to come to play more in the states, you have more international players. I think probably the standard of the U.S. players stayed the same you have more of the international players coming and playing more often they've opened up the tour more, so the depth would be stronger here, yes, without a doubt.

The European Tour has struggled to hold on to those players as much as we probably need to in Europe.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Anything else? Padraig, thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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