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February 25, 2004

Padraig Harrington


PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You win the match play, that's the most important thing. It was a bit of a struggle early on. I played quite nicely, but the golf course is -- a lot of the holes are -- especially early morning when they're playing long, you can play them horribly and you're going to make bogey or you can play them well and still make bogey. That's just the way it started for me.

I played a lot of decent holes. My short game was poor. My scoring, I had a couple of three-putts and a couple of chip-in putts and things like that which really left the door open. I should have had the match truly after nine holes. A lot of opportunities went against me. Then Toshi played really good golf. He hit it in close the first and second the first nine holes for birdies. He had a close putt on 12 for birdie.

When I made first and second -- I mean 10 and 11, I hit the flag next on 11 and it came off the green so I chipped and putted for a half. Then he was down in the next and I chipped in. To be honest, that's the first time that something -- that sort of ended his run. Basically, the first nine holes I didn't take my chances. The first nine holes he was really all over me. I holed a couple of putts outside him.

That was the key moment, on 14 when I chipped in. It was the first time I had swung a hole in my favor, which to be honest, certainly on the front nine I felt like I was walking away with halves when I should have been winning.

Q. And then you won 15, as well?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, as I said, 14 was really the nail in the coffin. He wasn't really -- he played okay for that nine but two down with four holes to play, I felt comfortable there.

Obviously I won 15, three up with three to play. I definitely lost a little bit of focus there. You've got to hole that putt because I'm standing -- after I put it in close on 16, I think it's all over.

Q. How close was he at 16?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I hit it to about eight feet and he hit it to about six feet.

Q. And your putt there was --

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It was probably about 10 feet.

Q. You're glad to be here?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm very happy to get that in. I didn't want to go down in that situation. You never want to go down in the last after losing the previous two. As I said, I felt it was over after 16 and it's very hard to get back up.

Q. Well, well done.


Q. How do you feel about your short game?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: My short game was good on this side, but on the front nine, I'll tell you what, if I would have lost that match I lost it on the first hole. He hit it left off the tee. Classic match play. He hit it left off the tee, he stood over the water hazard by a yard. I hit it down the middle, hit a nice 5-iron, hanging on the left edge, it just doesn't carry the bunker, it goes in the bunker.

He hits one to 60 feet like he maybe caught it heavy, putts up to three foot, and I come out to the edge by 15 feet, missed the putt and he taps in, half. That's a classic match play. He played four shots before I played my third, and I walk off with a half. It's the same thing. I three-putted the third to give him the hole. I'll tell you what, if I didn't win the game I'd be sitting there thinking, whoa, match play.

It was a good match to watch because of the way of the ebbs and flows, certainly all the way through the front nine. A lot of holes looked like they were going one way and then were halved. As I say, six of the holes on the front nine looks like they could half. If you count the two putts I holed from outside of him, I'd say the first 12 holes, I'd say one hole looked like the outcome that was probably going to halve and every other one looked like it would be a win or a loss or a half or whatever. I'd say all the way through the match, maybe 13, but 13 always looks like a half. Every other hole looked strange.

End of FastScripts.

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