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October 15, 2004

Padraig Harrington


Q: How did you damage your thumb?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think after I got through 12 and 13, I realized that I wasn't capable of really swinging the golf club. I certainly wasn't capable of hitting a full shot.

So, you know, I endeavored from there just to get my way home, whichever way I could, hitting a little more club each time. I think the only shot really that I probably hit close to pulling out was the second shot on 18. The rest are all pokes and prods and just trying to get the ball somewhere near the green. I wasn't even trying to hit greens actually. I was trying to hit it somewhere near where I could get up-and-down. It was that sort of -- and I knew if I did that, Thomas would have to make some birdies. It's never easy to make them on demand, so that was the key for me.

GORDON SIMPSON: Did you know it was going to be a big risk involved in that shot?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I wasn't even aware of it. I thought I had loads of room on the follow-through. I didn't even think of it. It was like -- it felt like the swing was a good four or five away from me. How I got my hands through it I don't know. But it just goes to show; wasn't my club, it was my hands.

GORDON SIMPSON: I think the pain was evident to all of us.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The shredding was what really did it, first of all, but it was the impact on the nail and around the nail, which I iced and that was what couldn't let me grip from there on in. I was actually fairly questionable before in that period where there was a lot of pain whether it was actually broken or not. I'm sure I should have some attention and check that out but it does seem already play, just numb now.

Q. Has it swollen?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It has swollen up, but the first set of ice would go take that down. I had to ice it pretty quickly but the problem now is, you know, I couldn't ice it again on the golf course because I struggled for any feeling in the thumb after that. And if I iced it, it was numb and basically it was letting go; I couldn't grip. I actually kept the finger totally off the club on 16. I thought that had to be a new way of playing the last couple of holes. After hitting the last couple of yards out-of-bounds I thought I'd try and keep it on the club. But it was letting go at address, at the top of my backswing, and at the pressure point, it kind of was coming off club.

Q. Is it sharp pain?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, it's pretty sharp pain. I could not put my tee peg in. I couldn't fix pitchmarks in it. I can't really do much with it. It's sitting here a moment a bit numb, but it's the pressure on it, downward pressure is when the pain is there.

And half the problem, it's not like pain that you've got to go through; it's not the problem. The problem is that I was so aware of my right thumb in the grip. It's not like I was holding the shoulder coming over rather than the golf club or that sort of thing. It's the awareness, and that's going to be the lingering affect tomorrow. I'll get up tomorrow and see if the thumb is okay when I put it on the golf club, but the last thing you want to be is aware of is what you're doing with your grip. You just want it to be there and comfortable.

Q. What can you do with it?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm going to go and get medical attention now.

Q. Here?


Q. How do you anticipate it will feel in the morning?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I anticipate it's going to feel good. (Laughter.) I anticipate good things first.

I don't know, the middle, I seem to be able to move it, but it's the pressure backwards and down, that's getting to us rather than -- mind you, I can't bend it forward, it's bending fine here at the apex.

I'll go test it with the doctor and see what the story is. I was feeling sorry for myself when I was hitting it one hundred yards right off the 13th tee all right but I said, it was when I hit that shot that I realized, look, you ain't going to be able to hit good shots coming home. You can't just -- just get it done. Don't try and make a golf swing. Just get the ball down the fairway anyway you can. You know, take extra club, do whatever is necessary, get it up-and-down.

That was -- the funny thing is, the terrible chipping and putting, as well. The pressure of those were -- I didn't feel comfortable at all. There was never a chance, there was no way I would give it, no way.

Q. Is there a time limit on injuries?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think it's about a ten-minute place -- I don't know, I have no idea. I think the first one is more and the second one is less and the third, just continuing attention, something along those lines, I'm sure.

Q. Have you had anything like this before?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: My neck as been worse many times. I think my neck -- I used have tennis elbow.

Q. When you actually hit a tree, have you ever felt pain like that?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Some of that was surprise, I did. The pain, I was just surprised to hit it rather than, it was painful at the time but it became more painful. It was just one of those things that gets worse and worse. I'm sure it has. I've done worse things at a football field, so plenty worse things. I'm sure some guy would do the same thing, too -- who has punched a wall before?

Q. Inaudible

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: A sporting event, I assume I didn't bend my 3-iron around the tree. My hands did take the impact. But, you know, that's the way of golf, when you get in there and you don't feel like -- I'm terrible in that situation. I never feel like I want to give up a shot and chip out. Like if I was 6-up, I probably would have played the same shot at the time and looking back. But, you know, maybe considering how I was playing, I just said, I had not missed any fairways and I had not missed any greens up to that one fairway. I was playing lovely, solid golf. Thomas was coming back at me but I was comfortable in the way I was playing. Maybe it was -- I wasn't aware. I thought he hit the tree. If I thought I was going to do myself some damage, it would have been a wiser thing to take my punishment because I was very comfortable with the way I was playing off of that.

Q. Did you think there was more risk with the shot in the morning?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, the club was coming off worse this morning. It was -- I would love to go back out there. I can't believe I hit it. I didn't even consider hitting -- I thought I did it with the club all right, but I didn't consider that I was going to hit it.

Q. If you had been six down, would you have quit?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, I was thinking about it, I was feeling sorry for myself, but would I go on? I would. I've done worse. I've gone out and in far worse condition and played golf.

Q. What about Ernie tomorrow?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I haven't even watching anything. I just found out he won. You know, Ernie is the top guy to play any time. He's especially tough to play around Wentworth, his home track. He's especially tough to play if you're not on your game or fit and ready to go. So we'll have to wait and see in the morning.

Q. Are you worried about the psychological effect?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: A bit of both. A bit of both. Really, it is a bit of both, you know. I'm hopeful that I will recover, and I'm hopeful that I'll be okay, but it doesn't help when you hit a lot of bad shots and you're so aware of what you're doing and your grip. It's hard to believe that I'll wake up tomorrow and not ever think of my right hand grip on the golf club as I'm swinging the club tomorrow, and that's not what you want to be thinking about when you're playing.

Q. Tomorrow is a long way away now --

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You know, I still -- we're always hopeful. You know, all of these, it's just a couple of more things thrown into the mix. We're going to get up tomorrow morning and we really don't know what we're going to get tomorrow. It really is a day of, who knows.

Q. How bad would you have to be not to play tomorrow?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I don't know. Cut it off? I suppose if it was broken I wouldn't play. I don't see the point -- if I was -- I don't see -- I couldn't go on if I was playing, if I was the same as I was for the last nine holes, I wouldn't go out. There wouldn't be any point. I would take my medicine at that --

End of FastScripts.

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