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October 16, 2004

Padraig Harrington


SCOTT CROCKETT: Padraig, thank you for coming in. How was your hand and how do you think it affected you through the course of your match?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think this morning I couldn't put my thumb on the club at all. Started out, it was awkward, to say the least. But I didn't really play too badly. So I'm not, you know, it certainly distracted me a number of times. Didn't hole enough putts, made a few too many mistakes and Ernie didn't seem to make any mistakes. That's why it was 5&4 over 30-something hole. I didn't hole putts. Ernie didn't give me any opportunities and I made a couple of mistakes.

Q. Was it getting better as the match went on?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It definitely was getting better. This morning I couldn't put it near the club, and after lunch I tried a few shots with it on the club and it wasn't too bad. Awkward, but not too bad.

Q. You seemed to have a technique of taking your thumb off the club?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I did that all day, all morning on all of the shots and then the afternoon I wasn't quite sure what I to do. I was trying not to think about it too much and it can be just as awkward when it goes on and you're aware of it. As I said, it felt awkward all the time. I was trying not to be too aware, which most of the time, as I said, a few of them it felt awkward. It was very painful this morning. I couldn't to do anything with it.

But it definitely, at start of the afternoon, you know, it was painful, but it's not, how to do I put it -- it's not that the level of pain is a problem. You can go through that. But the problem was I couldn't -- I had to do it consciously. If I tried to swing the golf club without thinking about it, the thumb just came off. It wouldn't support. So, you know, it just didn't want to do it, I would say. It wasn't, you know -- that's the defense mechanism, it wanted to ease up.

Q. Are you taking anything for it?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No. Just some ice, that's it. Let the bruising heal. It caught on top and bruised all around the pad, which is, you know, might force me to have a few days off.

Q. Were you going to play next week?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No. I think six in a row is plenty. No, it's a week off.

Q. When you came down this morning how close were you to not playing?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: First of all, I tried putting it around with the thumb on the side of the grip, and I actually warmed up halfway through the bag with that. But when I got to the longer clubs, that wasn't working so well. And then I had practiced with the thumb off and the forefinger off as a drill; so after I hit a few shots I got reasonably comfortable with that.

The only thing is it obviously, that's where I struggled this morning. You have to hit the ball easier and I was losing a bit of distance on my irons, and then when I hit one harder, I struggled with my distance selecting a club because I wasn't really sure how it was going to come out. I wasn't sure if I could hit it hard or easy, and that made it tough in the morning. Certainly a couple of errors were made there.

Q. Was it harder with your irons or putting?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It was awkward on the putting end.

Q. Did it keep you awake last night?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You know what, I took some Advil, I think I was more awake, every hour I woke up, is it okay. I don't think I woke up because there was pain. I was waking up to check, how was it moving. But no, as I say, the pain was, it was only if I could function.

End of FastScripts.

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