Q. How important has your work with Bob Rotella been to your performance?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I get to work with Bob at the four majors every year and maybe one or two other American events or three majors, maybe the Open, as well, at times. It's very important to me, full top. Even if he's not there, I try and work on his principles and work on what he says in his books. It's sometimes not easy. When he's here it's a nice reminder about what you're doing, and undoubtedly he has a very positive effect on my play when he's around, a very positive effect. Yeah, what can I say? I can't overemphasize how important it is, yeah, without a doubt.
Q. How much time did you spend with him this week?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Three hours, three hours just chatting. It stops me from beating golf balls. That's the truth. It was like all that we were short was sitting down and having a cup of coffee. It was just three hours chatting away, very easy, just relaxing couple of chats, one hour each day. It has a positive effect.
Q. While Tiger Woods was out for two months recovering from knee surgery we were all under the impression that maybe the gap was closing between everybody else and him. Now he's come back and won by 11 this week. Do you think the gap is bigger, smaller, the same and where do you think you fit in that picture?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Obviously that question has been asked to me before this week and I really have to give the same answer. I'm more concerned about what I am doing and getting my own game in shape that I haven't had a moment's time to sit back and think about somebody else's game. You can only look at a gap when you feel like you've got -- if I feel like I'm playing my very best golf then I might start to look at a gap between me and any player, but there's no point in trying to -- I don't really care if there's a gap between Tiger and the world No. 2. It doesn't really bother me. It's where I'm at and how I'm doing, and eventually if I improve or get to a level where I feel like I can't improve anymore, maybe I'll start worrying about the gap.
Q. Did you say that you were sort of a late-bloomer? You came along after some of the other big names had played amateur golf there and sort of had to get into the mix a little late?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I don't know if I was a late-bloomer. I think what I said was I was no -- how would I describe this -- I was no boy star. I wasn't the one you would have picked out of the bunch and said he's going to be the successful professional. Even when he turned -- I went to college, I studied accountancy. When I went to college I wasn't going to turn pro. I was going to get a degree to work in the golf industry. I had no intention of turning pro at 18 years of age. It was only when I was 21 years of age and guys were turning pro who I was beating and they were doing okay, so I said, well, I'll give it a go. I was hoping to become a journeyman professional. That was my aspirations when I turned pro. Whether it was my immediate aspirations if I turned pro to get my card and keep my card, and I might after two years learn from what I've seen to figure out how to improve. That's actually what happened, after two years I stepped back and did change a lot of things in order to improve, but when I originally started off I came in a lot higher up than I thought I would. I finished 11th my first year on Tour. I would have taken your hand off to be 100 in the order. It's like the kind of score today. You have to go with the flow when it happens. You have to say that's great, it's much better when I expected. It's one of the reasons why I don't tell people my goals. It's one of the difficult things. If you think you've overachieved the following year you'll probably go back to what you thought you should have done.
Q. Stateside last ten months we've been writing a lot of stuff about Martha Burke and Augusta National and Hootie Johnson and women in the club. As a player based in Europe how aware are you of that and do you have an opinion on that issue?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I am aware of it because we have a similar situation coming up in Ireland. We have the Irish Open is on a golf course that doesn't have lady members. I'll be the first one to say that ladies can -- gone are the days that ladies would play slower or anything like that on the golf course. Most ladies would play quicker than me. There's no issue like that. I think every new golf club in Ireland has full membership for ladies or men. The interesting point is I do think that all clubs should decide their own future. That's the idea of a club. I personally am a member of a golf club that I can never become a full member, so I have no problem with that. I can never become a committee member, a voting member or anything like that in the golf club where I'm a member. I realized that when I joined the club and I'm very happy with that situation. You know, that's the way of life. All clubs set their own agenda, articles, association. It's one of those things I suppose you have to -- it's great if -- if in time it would happen that everybody can play on the same course or whatever, but you have to have an articles of association that decides what the members want.
Q. What club is that? Why can't you be a member?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The club I'm a member at is a course called Stackstown Golf Club. It was built for the guards because the guards were discriminated against and struggled to get in, the guards being the police force in Ireland, struggled to get in so they built their own golf course. Of course they don't allow civilians to become full members.
Q. Why are you a member there?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: My father was a policeman. There's many ways in life that we're all very happy. We all live by certain rules and in general we're quite happy to work by them.
Q. Along the same lines as Brian's question, what's your expectation about what it's going to be like at Augusta? Are you expecting a lot of distraction and whatnot? How do you feel like you'll handle it?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I know we get asked these questions, but the reality of it is that we're professional golfers, we're not politicians. Our opinions are not going to be as round as a politician's, let's say. They really shouldn't count any more than the next person's even though we do get asked for opinions in these matters. I think you will find that every professional golfer shows up to play a tournament is going to play golf and solely be interested in what they're doing. It would be foolish for a player to be distracted by anything else going on. To be honest, we're sportsmen out there doing a job. This is something political. I vote in the elections and if I'm not happy with the politicians who have been elected, I vote them out. It's not really for the golfers to sort out, the players. It's a bigger political issue than any professional golfer can deal with to be honest.
Q. You had said last year that when you were world 14 or 15 you wondered if you belonged there and when you got to 7 you reached a point where you said yes, I do belong. Are you at a stage now at 10 or 11 or wherever you are now, you feel like you should be much higher?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I don't feel like I should be higher by right. Like I don't sort of think that yeah, I should be better or I shouldn't be. I know I can improve from there. I think that's what I was saying last year. When I came in at 14 at the start of the year I was thinking to myself I've done well to get here or whether I will hang on to this. Later on in the year I felt like yes, I was good enough and I felt like I can improve. Again, I'm in a situation that I don't deserve to be any better than 10 as we stand today, but I certainly feel that I can improve my game to be better.
Q. Considering who's up there now being Tiger, Ernie, Phil, how high do you think you can go?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: That's what I'm saying about -- I'm not looking at anybody else. I don't look at No. 9 and say, oh, I can skip that one or I can get past him or I can catch 3 or 2. I know Tiger is way out there, but I'm really more concerned about how far I can go, how much I can improve my game. You've got to be really selfish about this and really focused on what you're doing. I do feel I can improve as a player and that gives me tremendous comfort that I'm 10 in the world and I feel I can get better.
Q. I didn't mean that as a gap question. Are you saying you're not results oriented at all.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I'm not. I'm not at all, nor would I think -- would I rather be a good 10 or a bad 7? I'd probably rather be a good 10. If I'm in 10th position thinking I can get better than to be in 7th position thinking I can only go one way -- I feel like that improving my game and if I improve there's only one way to go for improving and that's up those rankings. How far I go I don't know. I think I got to 6 last year. I think there's reasonable bunching up, and then you have to take bigger steps when you get to the top 5 and upwards you have to start performing day in and day out.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Thank you.
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