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March 28, 2004

Padraig Harrington


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you for joining us for a few minutes here today. Great finish here today with six 3s down the stretch. You put a lot of pressure on Adam Scott. Talk about today's finish and your emotions right now.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Seems very subdued in here (laughter). I obviously would be happier if Adam finished fourth and I could be happy playing well coming down the stretch. I am disappointed with the way it turned out. If he made a play to the right half of the green on 18, at least I wouldn't -- I didn't really think there was going to be a playoff, so -- until obviously his errant second shot on 18.

So it was a little disappointing, but I'm happy with my own personal performance, so what can I say.

Q. Where did that back nine come from?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I was waiting for it, that's for sure, considering the 27 beforehand. I kept telling myself to stick in there and keep going, ride out the bad holes, and hopefully it would turn around. I think what gave me confidence is obviously I played poorly on Wednesday, and I played well on Thursday and Friday. I didn't think there was much wrong with my golf swing, I just felt I got a little bit quick, and it was more mental errors than anything else. These things can come back just as quick as they go. So I holed a few putts.

As I said, I looked at the shot -- I holed one putt over 15 feet in the last week, and I holed everything today. Most everything I looked at went in the hole from the 4th hole onwards.

Q. You were hitting some practice shots while Adam was finishing. Could you see it on television?


Q. How were you following his progress?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I wasn't really following it, to be honest, actually. I'd been on the phone a couple of times and things like that. I wasn't following shot by shot. I think -- like I didn't know how he played 17 at all until he teed off 18. Then somebody told me he parred 16 and 17. I knew he missed a putt on 16.

I wasn't intently following it. I didn't expect to be in a playoff. I didn't see it happening. I wasn't going to -- like before I left the scorers' hut it was on TV and I was watching, I wasn't going to sit there three or four holes following every shot. It wouldn't be -- it would be counterproductive. It's the one thing I always hate is watching golf in a current tournament because you see people do things and you don't want to wish anybody bad, so you don't want to watch it basically is my attitude. I was kind of just doing my own thing.

Q. Were you on the telephone to Carolyn?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: She told me what was going on on 16. That was it. There was a referee who told us that he'd hit his tee shot -- actually my brother was the one that told me at that stage that he hit the fairway on 18. I think I could hear everything else from there on.

Q. Did playing with Tiger take any pressure off you because you knew everybody would be looking at him?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Always playing with Tiger puts a little more pressure on the day. Going into the last round like that in 12th position, you're hoping you're hiding in the pack and hoping that you can gradually build up and all of a sudden have a good finish and you come from nowhere, but when you tee it up with Tiger, you know that sort of all eyes are on you from the start. There is added pressure, but one good thing about it is you

always -- the more times you can play in competitive play with Tiger, the more you're going to get used to it, so that's one good way of looking at it.

Q. This week he hit a lot of errant shots. What did you see from him?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I wasn't watching at all, I was too busy trying to figure out my own game. He was carrying a little injury, I know that. But, no, I was too busy with my own game to be -- my caddy was watching him I think at one stage. Go ask him about his swing. But I certainly -- I watched his ball, but I didn't watch his swing all day. You're paying attention to what you're doing, yourself.

Q. For Adam Scott, a young man like that to hit a shot like that on 18 and then get up-and-down, what does it say about him?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think -- what does it say? Hopefully it will give him a lot of confidence. I'm sure it's for him to figure out what he's going to take out of that himself. Obviously he should take -- he should forget about the second shot and just think chip and putt to win. But that's his own doing. I'm sure he's mentally strong enough that he can do that.

Q. In saying before that you didn't expect there to be a playoff, you didn't see it happening, is that a commentary on Adam?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I just felt -- I haven't watched him much, but from all accounts I heard he was playing very well going into the tournament and playing well. I thought the only time I saw the leaderboard -- when I birdied on 14 I had a look at the leaderboard to see what needed to be done. When I saw he was 13 under par at that stage, I felt that was really good golf by the leader. The course was difficult, very firm, very fast greens, and for the leader going out to be -- to extend his lead, that was impressive performance. I didn't see him coming back, because of that.

Q. How does your finish fit into the year you've had so far? Are you building towards something?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I've only played four events. It's not really a year, it's just a start. Again, this is a great finish, like last year. I'm very happy with it. I'm going to take some confidence from it, especially to turn around -- after six holes to turn around, I'm very happy about that. It argues well for -- I keep saying I seem to be doing the right thing, my swing seems to be developing. I seem to be developing as a player as I go along.

Events like this are nice to show that things are going in the right direction. I've got to say that anybody finishing like that has got to be doing something right. It sounds nice, six 3s.

Q. On the practice range, were your going through your regular routine or were you practicing that specific shot?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I was going through my regular routine, practicing that specific shot. I was hitting that shot like it was -- I picked out the target I had used, in the tournament round and I was imagining that in my lie, and focusing the same shot. One thing we were worried about, there was a change in the temperature and the wind. We were trying to figure out -- I had hit 9-iron in the tournament, I pitched it five yards past the flag. I would be concerned with the cooler temperature, was the 9-iron enough.

Q. (Inaudible).

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The two guys that finished third, aren't they ahead of me already? Kenny Perry and Phil Mickelson, they're ahead of me, they're going to get points. I get enough points to keep the lines from catching up behind me, anyway.

Q. Talk about your approach shot on 16 a little bit.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You know, normally in that circumstances I'm reasonably conservative player, and I would have hit to the middle of the green, but I felt after making a couple of birdies, I felt things were good, I says, look, I've got to take a chance here and go with the pin, go all out, because there's a chance that if I put enough pressure on, post the score, it makes Adam think. I stood off it twice, because I just wasn't comfortable over it, because I was really trying to be as aggressive as could be.

It was 195 yards, a perfect 5-iron, just left of the flag, and I hit it perfectly, a little bit of a fade and it drifted probably two or three yards more in the wind, just right of the flag. But obviously -- which obviously it was an anxious moment to make sure it carried all the way up that line. It

was -- I appreciated it when I saw it bouncing and running up to the pin. I was pleased with that. It was a time to be aggressive, that was about it.

Q. What did Tiger say to you at the end?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: He -- I think he said -- something along the lines of it was an impressive round of putting -- no, actually I think he said it was -- something along the lines it was a great round and then it was an impressive round of putt, that was it.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Could we go through your birdies and bogeys, please, starting on 2.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Hit a nice tee shot on 2, and missed the fairway by six inches. I hit a wedge up, sand wedge, thought it was a crosswind and went over the green, played a poor chip.

The next hole, hit 7-iron. I needed to pitch it in the tier, and I hit it a yard or two left of my line, and just -- it was too big, came out ten feet and missed the hole. The greens have been so fast and firm at that stage, I wasn't expecting much.

Hit an 8-iron out of the bunker. It was the perfect shot into about 12 feet and holed that putt. Good time to make birdie.

I hit a poor tee shot on the next. That was probably the catalyst for me. It was a pure mental error, rather than anything else after the tee. It made me focus harder for the rest of the round. It was a careless mistake. But it made me apply my mind a little better after the rest of it. I holed about an 8-footer for bogey there.

Then I followed up a par at 6.

Birdied 7, hit a good drive down 7. 7-iron into about eight feet and holed the putt.

9, I hit a poor drive. Played out short, hit really nice wedge to about eight, ten feet. It was a tough shot in there with the way the greens were to get it all the way back to the pin. I holed the putt.

1, I hit a nice tee shot. 4-iron, trying to be aggressive with the 4-iron, I hit it nicely and it faded off, a little bit more into the wind. Didn't seem like there was any wind over the ball. Played a good bunker shot and holed it from four feet.

14, I hit it driver, pushed it a little bit, caught up in the rough, hit a 7-iron off the bank, up to about -- probably about 18 feet and holed the putt.

15, hit 3-wood, super wedge straight down the pin, got a poor kick to finish and I holed the putt. Obviously very pleased with that.

16, hit an excellent drive over the corner. 5-iron, as I said, into about, what, two and a half feet.

17, I hit 9-iron, and was strong with it, to be honest. It was on-line to be inside the tier, so it would have come down, but it was a little bit long. Hit a putt that looked -- it was funny, it looked like it was going in the hole. All my putts all day that looked like they were going in the hole went in, and I was nearly expecting it to fall. It was close.

18, I hit 5-wood off the tee and 7-iron into about 12 feet and knew the putt from previous years, and knocked it in.

Q. You were talking about how you could hear what happened on the last shot. You mean someone told you?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, you could hear. You can tell everything that's happening from the cheers of the crowd.

Q. What did it sound like?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It sounded like the putt went in (laughter). Yeah, you know, I obviously wasn't too sure with the second shot because it was quite subdued. And I actually assumed that was Scott -- who was playing with Adam?

Q. Lickliter.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: He had hit it in the rough -- it sounded like somebody snagged it out of the rough. I assumed it was Adam's playing partner. I was surprised to be told by the rules official that it was Adam. I think I would have been in the bleachers somewhere.

Q. You just mentioned just playing four times. Why the light schedule early in the year?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's a long year, that's realistically it. You've got to play well from this day through to the Ryder Cup, really. And if you come out -- I just don't -- I don't want to come out too early in the year and be tired halfway through it. Unfortunately I'd like to have played one or two more events at this time of the year, but you have to make a little bit of a sacrifice now so that you're still fresh come September.

Q. Are you going to still have blond hair in September?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think I will, yeah. I think this blond hair might stick. They seem to have more fun (laughter).

Q. Why did you do it? Did you lose a bet?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I've actually done something -- the last couple of years I change everything. I let it grow long, I had a beard last winter. This winter I decided -- I went to the guy who cuts my hair and said whatever he wants to do. So I've told him he's got a year to come up with something next year. It's like a businessman when he finishes a day's work, he wants to get out of his suit. At the end of the year I said to myself, I want to get away from the formalities, change something just for my winter break. And I dyed it blond and kind of liked it, so I've kept it.

Q. On a lighter note, have you heard from Gibeney's Pub in Malahyde?


Q. I want to say congratulations on your win, and what's your next tournament?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm playing next week in the BellSouth. I'm playing three in a row here and then The Masters.

End of FastScripts.

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