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October 29, 2003

Padraig Harrington


Q. You had a real shout last week, didn't you?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I did. I did in the end, yeah. You know, the game plan worked quite well last week. I honestly didn't expect going into the last round to be leading at one stage or to get a chance of winning, a good chance of winning, so it was a surprise.

You know, I can look back. If Gonzales finished 15-under, I wouldn't have a complaint in the world, but certainly looking back at 14, you feel like I got the one extra. But it's always very hard when you're doing low scores, you get to a level, like I didn't come back. Normally it's very hard if you birdie you're 5-under after nine, you're not going to hit 5-under on the back nine. You kind of hit a plateau and get stuck on it, which is kind of what happened last week. Maybe that was the putt at 17 --

Q. That was the one you probably needed to make.


Q. You hit some good iron shots coming in, didn't you?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I did. I got more comfortable as they came in. My routine was working better, the waggle, all that sort of stuff. I was happy with that. It was nice to be back in that position. I had not been in it for a good six months or something like that, so it was a good feeling.

Q. It looks very crisp, the whole thing.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, it's still working poorly some of them, but I'm very happy with how it's going. My focus has changed to much more on playing rather than swinging the club, trying to get the score down and the ball in the hole, which is the tradition I'm good at. I seem to be swinging the club better because of it.

Q. Were you away from that scoring aspect a lot longer than you would have expected?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, you know, it happens. Any time anybody gets too focused on their swing, it detracts away from the plain thing of just let's hit the lowest score we can this week and see what we've got. I certainly, you know, didn't set out this way but certainly my goal, I seem to be playing, let's shoot the best score I can by making good swings. Everything was, every shot I hit was coming back to, do I get that heel to toe, did I do this, did I do that. It wasn't enough that I hit a good shot; it had to be a good swing on top of it where now I'm not analyzing it as much and I seem to be doing better because of it. I'm not thinking too much about it.

Certainly, the last week was a good, positive week. I've got to say 73, I made as good a score as I could have shot on the day. With the delay, I got a little bit put off and I put myself off. I found something on the range when I was fiddling around before I went there and that put me off for the day. But I certainly kept -- 73 was the best score. I can't look back and say, well, I did some stupid things or anything. It's just the way it was.

Q. You're coming into form at a very good time, there's a lot of money to be made over next couple of months, I know it's not the be-all and end-all.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I've got to say, this is really the last World Ranking event. I'd like to win some points to get me to the winter break. It could be a good three months before I could start playing for World Ranking points again, so I want to try to get a few points to fatten me up for the winter, for the hibernation.

So I'm keen to win a few points. That would definitely be one of the biggest aspects of this week is the points just so I can get through that. It's not nice when you're sitting down January and February and everybody else is playing and you're creeping backwards. Hopefully I'll get a few rounds.

Q. How is the course?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The golf course will always play easier when it's softer, always. This is a course that's much tougher when it's firm and fast. So assuming we get decent weather for the next three days, four days, it should make the course play easier.

Only thing is this gusty wind, the greens are slow compared to what they normally are, but the ball, I hit a 3-, 4-iron out there pretty well and I managed to knock it 20 feet by. So it can happen out here. It just goes to show that the course, it still has a lot of bite in it, especially if the wind is like this. The wind is the toughest aspect of the course because you've got to keep it on the fairways in the first place. It's hard when it's that windy.

Q. You were saying the other day you would like it to blow.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I would like it to blow, it's tough out there, those nine holes getting the club right in that much wind. There really was some strong wind, persistent strong wind rather than a gusting wind.

Q. Is it easier to focus in on the tournament this year compared to last year when you were chasing the Order of Merit?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I look back at last year, I'd like to have another go at that. I made some fundamental errors, I've got to say, through those couple of weeks. It's all experience.

I was just trying to win the Order of Merit. It's interesting that, okay, I wasn't swinging the club well at the time and I played well afterwards but I still think my performance was below par because of the pressure I put myself under to try and get through. I was far too intense about it all and these things, you live and learn. That's the way it is.

All I'm looking at is now I've got six more events and I'm trying, for what I would consider an average year, I'm trying to turn it into a good year. That's really what the last six weeks of this year are about, to try, as you said, going into that winter break and hopefully by the time this year is over, I feel comfortable and I've had a good year.

The waggle is better than ever. It's just, if you see me practicing, I've always done it when I'm practicing. I just always try not to do it on the golf course and so really I'm just trying to let whatever's natural come back into it and keep a bit of fluidity and not in a static position.

End of FastScripts.

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