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March 30, 2003

Padraig Harrington


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Padraig, for joining us. I know it was a disappointing finish. You wanted to win this event, but you have to be very pleased with how you played under the conditions we had today, and obviously Davis Love did a great job with the conditions.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I finished second a lot of times throughout my career but not just today. I'm in no way disappointed or bitter or anything about second place today. Davis shot a great score and he thoroughly deserves to have won.

Q. Padraig, amongst all the second places you have had, this must have been most remarkable, I guess?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Not really remarkable. You know, it depends how you judge second place. Sometimes, you know, you've done phenomenal things to get into second place, and more often than not I've done silly things to get into second place, as well. You tend to remember those up and downs. This week I won't necessarily remember finishing second. That won't be the highlight. I will be pleased enough that I led after the first round, I led after the second round and I led after the third round. I'm happy about that, that I kept it going for 54 holes. Obviously it would have been nice to do it over 72 holes, but next time -- you know, when you're leading there's not that much difference. I kept it going for three days and that's important, so I feel next time if I'm leading after 36 holes or 54 holes, it's not much of a step to keep it going for another 18. I do take confidence from it, but it's not something that you stand back and look like -- I certainly don't feel like I lost today. That's what I'm saying.

Q. It must have been good, as well, having slipped up on the front nine to come back again and get all that.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yes, it did please me. I missed a couple of putts and made one or two errors early on. The wind had changed 180 degrees and I made a couple of selections of clubs and got into trouble off the tee a couple of times off good tee shots. When things settled down it was nice -- after missing on 11 and 12 you would think that there's only one way this round is going, so it was nice to play the next -- birdie two of the next four. I bogeyed the last, but I hit one of the better shots onto the green, so I can't feel too disappointed about it.

Q. Padraig, how much did the weather impact how you played today? And by that stance, was the weather something that you would say somebody should not be able to shoot 64 on this course today?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The biggest problem I had with the weather personally wasn't the conditions, how cold it was, I didn't find it too cold, and the wind I didn't have much -- if anything most of the time with the wind today my ball went through it where I thought I would be allowing for the wind. I actually held it too much into the wind or whatever. I didn't have such a problem with the conditions.

The biggest problem I had personally was it was 180-degree change of wind, so the second -- a good example, the 3rd hole went from being an 8-iron to a 4-iron, so that made it very difficult in your preparation and your game plan to know every hole you went onto you kind of had to look and say what are we going to do here whereas the other days you were kind of prepared. You hit the same clubs off the same tees for the first three days. Today it was reversed. Holes like 7 which were a tough driver and you'd be hitting a long iron now was a 3-wood and a short iron. Everything was turned around, which made it difficult when you're leading. You like conformity and familiarity when you're leading the tournament. Today you had to really get your brain in gear because it was all reversed.

For Davis to shoot 64, obviously -- what impressed me about the 64 is not that he shoot eight under par which is a good score. He shot eight under par when he got into the tournament and kept it going. That's a difficult thing to do. It's easy enough for a guy to go out there and shoot four or five under par, but he didn't stall. That's a very impressive thing. It does show that he's a world-class player. Obviously he's got a lot of experience behind him, but that's the ultimate, to be able to get out there when you're behind, make a few birdies to get into the lead but keep it going. A lot of players do stall at that point, and he certainly didn't today. That's what he's got -- he's got to take tremendous confidence from that, to be able to keep going in that situation, put some distance between himself and the field.

Q. Padraig, being in contention all week does take it out of you. Any thoughts on not playing this week, or if you are going to play what will you work on?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm actually really looking forward to next week. I've got a good bit of work to do preparation-wise for Augusta. It does take it out of you obviously a week like this and I'm sure I'm going to be very tired tomorrow, but come on Thursday, hopefully I'll try and stay away if maybe doing too much time on the range but there will be other areas of short game and a bit of the mental game that I can work on next week that I was obviously trying to do this week. Probably ultimately I'll be trying to get my head in shape so I'm ready for the Masters next week. Hopefully I'll have another good week next week to tire myself out even more.

Q. Do you give Bob a ring and get it right in your mind what you're going to do?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I will be onto Bob without a doubt to ask him how much of the swings he saw today and what he thought of this, that and the other. I will be asking him. I'll ask his opinion and see what he thinks, and I'm hoping that he won't have too much to say. It's sort of a question of just keep going with what I've got at the moment. I don't think there's too much to work on. There are things that I came over working on last week that I just have to keep steadily progressing on.

Q. Does this mean that you are less of a work in progress on Sunday evening than you were on Thursday evening or Friday evening?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I have a new area of work, a different sort of -- yeah, I definitely have other stuff to work on, but I take a lot of confidence from this week in the sense of my preparation. You know, it's only when you get into contention that you can start judging how your game stands, let's say, and what needs to be worked on. I think a lot of -- I take some very good points out of this week. I know I need to improve certain things both on the physical swing and the mental game, but I think I can recognize those and work at them through next week and hopefully not inhibit my chances at playing well next week, either.

Q. Padraig, this is only your fifth tournament of the year. You've obviously been working a lot during the winter looking ahead to 2003. Are you happy with the way things have gone for you so far, certainly given the fact that your statistics compared to last year coming into the week were better than they were last year, they must be significantly improved this week.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I'm very happy. You know, in all areas of my game, I would suggest I'm ahead of where I was this time last year. I don't know what that means as regards results, but in all aspects of my game, whether it's short game, putting, mental game, swing-wise, I think I'm better at that than I was at this time last year. That's nice and comforting. It doesn't always mean you're going to stay improved throughout the year and have better results, but at this stage of the year once you've gone through your winter preparation and you're out playing again, all you can ask for is that you have -- that you've looked at areas to improve. Actually all you can ask for is to try and find those areas and work on them but it's a bonus when you feel like you've improved those areas.

Q. I know you see yourself as a world player. When you're coming over to the United States is there a temptation to spend even more time over here?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I wish there was more weeks in the year. That's all I can say. I really like playing over here. I like the pace of the greens. It really suits me. I like the short game, the requirement on the short game. Conditions, yeah, I do like playing over here. It does suit me.

Would I like to play more over here? Yes.

Do I have time to play more over here? Very difficult to find the time.

The one key thing you always note, most of the top players -- saying if you took Tiger as an example, he's only going to play 22, 24 events in a year, something like that, anyways, mid-20s. If I tried to play the U.S. tour and -- it would be tough to play 20 events in order to do okay on the Order of Merit you'd want to be playing 20 events at least. It's only leaving five or six events anywhere else. Last year we had five events, four events in Ireland. Then you're really cutting down your options of playing golf anywhere else around the world. It's a difficult predicament but a very nice one to be in. I think at the moment I'll try and play worldwide, but certainly with the majors and that --

You know, if you've looked at my game, I'll developed my game so I can play better over here, that's for sure. When I first came over here five years ago, I could see the inadequacies of my game when I was put over here, so I have developed my swing in order to prepare for the golf courses that we play in the states. It's just difficult. As I say, I'd love to be able to play everywhere. I'd love to be able to play all the tournaments, two tournaments a week. (Laughter) It's just very difficult.

I'm playing more this year than I did last year. At the end of the year I'll have played -- when you consider that all the world events are here and Tiger's event at the end of the year and the World Cup is here, I'll be close to playing 13 events here, 14 events this year. 14 events I think at the end of the year. If I'm only going to play -- I try and keep it in the 30s, let's say 30 events, that means I'm playing close to half my schedule here. It's difficult. It's a tough thing. As I say, I'd love to play more.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Padraig, for joining us.

End of FastScripts....

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