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November 18, 2004

Padraig Harrington

Paul McGinley


GORDON SIMPSON: Well, we have the Irish team with us who shot a round of 60 today, 12-under par, and if one of those putts had dropped at the last, it could have been 59 which would have been rather pleasant.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, it certainly was on my mind. I didn't say it to Paul, but it was on his mind, as well.

Yeah, we would have liked to have shot 59. I know it's four-ball and everything but it is a milestone. It's very difficult to do that. After seeing what we did to shoot 60, hardly anybody shoots 59 when they are playing golf on their own. We got a lot of good breaks early on and played well after that. I know we had opportunities, but we can't be too disappointed with 60. To be right in there at the start is all you need on Thursday, just to keep yourself in position.

GORDON SIMPSON: That's what cost you last year was the Thursday, Friday play.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: As any normal 72-hole tournament, you're really just looking to jockey into position the first couple of rounds, couple of days and see how you go from there.

GORDON SIMPSON: Paul, you've been a fairly substantial contribution from the sand twice.

PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, two bunker shots. Can't remember the last time I holed a bunker shot. It's amazing, I holed two in one round. They were short shots and not particularly difficult shots, but still holing them is always nice.

This game is very much like the Ryder Cup, too, in terms of momentum. In the Ryder Cup, we created a great momentum. When it comes to a team event, moment is massive. I had a chance to birdie from about 12 feet on the first and missed it, and it was a good birdie opportunities.

The second, a tough par 4, I holed a bunker shot, and that created a little bit of momentum that we had not got on the first, and all of a sudden we birdie the next three holes; and we birdie four in a row and we are off and running that. Didn't happen in the first two round. The opposite happened. We dropped a shot in the four-ball early on and got behind the 8-ball quickly.

It's difficult. Team events are very much momentum -- it's funny how important momentum is in team events.

GORDON SIMPSON: Open up to questions.

Q. Inaudible?

PAUL McGINLEY: It was and it wasn't. It wasn't a giveaway par 5. There are three par 5s that you can be on in two; whereas the ninth, really, I can't get on in the ninth in two. So it's always going to be a lay up with me. Not really, I think if we had not birdied the other par 5s I think there would be momentum lost.

Q. What was your strategy out there today, was it you hit first, Paul, on quite a lot of them?


PAUL McGINLEY: The first tournament we played that we when we won.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: We try never to change it. It seems to work well. Paul is a, good solid hitter and hits a lot of fairway. Obviously it's a lot easier for me when I see them down the fairway, and that's why we stick with that. And because we won before, that's why we're going to stick with it.

PAUL McGINLEY: We've learned a lot in general over the years. There's a lot of things we do now that we didn't do back when we started out playing first. We're not going to tell what you they are, though. Don't want to give any secrets away.

Q. What was the other holed bunker shot and how long were they?

PAUL McGINLEY: First one was on 2. It was probably about 30 feet and the other one was the par 5, 13 which was again about 25, 30 feet both of them were short bunker shots.

Q. Did you think it was going into the hole?

PAUL McGINLEY: Both were holding the line yes.

Q. Did you nearly step back in the lake on 18?

PAUL McGINLEY: No, I didn't. Don't try to make a story out of something that didn't happen. (Laughter.)

Q. But if you'd gone in --

PAUL McGINLEY: I can just see the headline: "Stupid Irish fell in," English headline.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: He said it. You can quote it.

Q. How about the eagle on the 13th?

PAUL McGINLEY: It was a 25-foot bunker shot just from the fringe of the bunker. It was a straightforward shot. I read it like a putt. I saw the shot where I wanted to hit it.

Q. Could you give us one of the things that you've learned over the years? I mean we're not going to be a threat to you, so maybe you could reveal one?

PAUL McGINLEY: But the boys read the papers. (Laughter.)

I'll have to give you something small. Something obviously you can't see is reading the putts. I made a mistake before of having the two of us and two caddies involved and paralysis-by-analysis of having four different opinions.

I think it's important that even though it's a team sport, it's also, mostly yourself playing individually because we're so used to doing it in week out.

I think what's what Hal Sutton was trying to achieve in the Ryder Cup. He mentioned that several teams in his press conferences. Even though it was a team, he wanted everybody to play as if they played individually, which is a pretty good point.

Q. So you just read your own putts, as opposed to bringing everybody in?

PAUL McGINLEY: I asked him for one read today. Sometimes we do. We always just have a little chat about clubbing, what distance to play for example; did it play to its full yardage or less.

Q. I know it's four-ball but have either of you had a competitive 59?

PAUL McGINLEY: I haven't.


Q. Have you had a putt for a 59?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Not an uncompetitive one, either. I've had 59 strokes in par 3 competition but not on the golf course.

Q. What were the distances on the putts on 18, how makeable were they?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Pretty good. 15 feet?

PAUL McGINLEY: 15 feet and 13 feet, I would have said but they were big breakers, both of them. Certainly mine was a little bit reminiscent of the putt at The Belfry. It was exactly the same sort of putt, straight across the slope. It was crossing my mind. I was hoping to do the same but it didn't happen.

Q. Do you guys set yourselves targets before you go out in a four-ball?

PAUL McGINLEY: I certainly didn't. I think it was important that we didn't take ourselves out of the ballgame by shooting 3- or 4-under. Anything over 7-under par is going to keep you in the leading groups.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think certainly had that figure in mind, that you want to at least be shooting 8-under; 8-under being par let's say.

Q. So you have to be extremely pleased?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: We're very happy with it.

PAUL McGINLEY: It's a good start. Long way to go. So many good teams, everybody can play so good nowadays. You used to come to the World Cup and there would be 10, 12 really weak teams. Austria shot 60 today. There's a lot of strong players in world golf nowadays. It's a good start, long way to go.

Q. Given the format of this competition, the great story today the fact that it's foursomes tomorrow, does that mean it's a totally different tournament discipline?

PAUL McGINLEY: Completely different discipline and we've learned a lot from that over the year. It's obviously a lot tougher, one ball to count. Our strategy is going to be a little bit different. Yeah, it's a much tougher form of golf as everybody knows.

Q. Ryder Cup experience once again comes into it?

PAUL McGINLEY: Not so much now. We've played together so much. Some days you go out and you play like we did today and you shoot 7-under par. The way things went we hole two bunker shots and shoot 12-under par. Tomorrow we may not play the same. You never know in this game. We'll be doing our best and see what happens.

Q. What's the best you've done in foursomes, any idea?

PAUL McGINLEY: We shot a really good score in Kiawah last year the last round. I think we shot 67, which was the best score of the day. I mean, in relation to the golf course, that was probably as good as we were going to play.

Q. What would you consider a good score in foursomes here? (Laughter.)

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You don't know. You can't go predicting things likes that. You can't look for things like that. It would be foolish to start predicting whether we are going to shoot anything tomorrow. We'll just try to shoot the lowest number we can, and if that's 72, well, so be it. And if it's 66, great.

Q. Either of you on degree of difficulty of the course out of ten; how would you rate that golf course?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The weather was perfect. You've just got to -- conditions are playing the course, the pins were generous, considering the nice day that we have. The greens are nice and soft, so you're going to get very good scoring in four-ball play. It will be a lot tougher golf course in foursomes in one-ball-play-type thing, because, you know, you hit it in the water and it's trouble; whereas the water wasn't a big factor today because you had a partner. And it could be a tough golf course if they wanted it, if they set it up that way, if it was a windy day or the greens were firm, but today it was just perfect for professional golfers to make us look good.

Q. Padraig, can you talk briefly about the liberating effect that four-ball golf has?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I was saying it to my caddie out there. I was saying I wish I could play like this. I wish I had a partner to go in front of me every day. It really does, you tend to play so much better. You're so much focused on just, you know, hitting it close. There's no -- you just have no fear, no worries out there that you're going to miss a green and bogey because you know your partner is covering it anyway. So, yeah, I must admit I particularly like the four-ball play. I'd like to be able to play my normal golf like the way I was playing today in four-ball.

PAUL McGINLEY: It's a little bit similar to second serve.

Q. Who is going to play the par 3s tomorrow?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: We have not quite decided which way we are going to go.

PAUL McGINLEY: We have a strong opinion.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: We have to sit through dinner and figure it out.

PAUL McGINLEY: Things between us are never black and white. There's always a gray in the middle.

Q. How will you decide, play pool or something?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, and then we'll change our mind on the first tee tomorrow.

Q. How do you do it at Oakland Hills?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: That's what we did in practice, we went one way and --

PAUL McGINLEY: Bernhard told us to play one way and Padraig insisted on playing one way, so then on the first tee, we went back to Bernhard Langer's original plan.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Paul, it's time to go. There's more exciting people coming in now. (English Team entering the room.)


End of FastScripts.

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