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February 26, 2003

Padraig Harrington


SCOTT CROCKETT: Thanks very much for coming in. Congratulations on your win over John Cook, 4-3. Reactions to what has been a good morning for you.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: First reaction is I got past the first round. I obviously haven't done that before, so I'm pleased. But I started really well, and just kept it very solid after that. John missed a few putts, and he wasn't getting back into the game. He missed a couple of short putts, which after I birdied the first three holes, he's 3-down, he really had to not make a mistake from there in. And a couple of putts he missed, just put too much pressure on him.

SCOTT CROCKETT: Having not come through the first round before, that was the start you were looking for.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I've got to say, because it was quite evident that John was going to -- he didn't miss a fairway all day. He hit most of the greens, I think. It was quite evident that he was going to do a lot of fairways and greens. I needed to make a few birdies to give myself some comfort. And a three-birdie start was just exactly what the doctor ordered.

SCOTT CROCKETT: In typical Irish weather.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The weather was perfect, I would say. I'd quite like it if it stayed like that for the week.

Q. Was the 7-iron an instant decision at the first?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, it was -- Dave said 7-iron, and I said it was a good 8, and we went with a little 7, so we went in between. We went down to shaft 7. It was a process of elimination.

Q. You played well today, but after winning a match, do you feel it would be easier to feel more comfortable?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, I certainly don't think it's going to be easier. The guy in the next round won a match, and he's going to be feeling well and comfortable and confident. I think this is a long way to come, that's one of the hard things about the first round, is you travel a long way, and you don't want -- 32 guys go home. You don't want to be one of those guys. It just seems like a wasted journey.

But saying that, I certainly felt that way in the past years. But this year I was a little bit more relaxed going into the matches anyway. And tomorrow is a new day. I don't even know who I'm going to be playing. I don't know if that match has been decided. So I'll look to doing some work on my putting this afternoon. And I don't think I'll hit too many shots, but try to play -- I'll probably need to play a little better throughout the week. Not necessarily better, but maybe hole a few more putts. It's hard to tell, because once I was leading, it was a question of being steady and I did hit the ball pretty close, I just didn't seem to make too many more birdies after that. So we'll wait and see.

Tomorrow, as I say, is a new match, and it's not like you can turn up and expect to play like you played the day before, whether that's good or bad, you have to wait and see.

Q. Were you amazed the tournament started on time, considering the conditions?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yes, the course played tee-to-green, wherever the ball was, was perfect. There were a couple of areas that you had to walk through that was wet, but I was amazed, because it rained heavy last night. I can tell you that, because I was awake most of it. It did rain heavy, and I thought when I came out this morning, I expected to play, but I expected to -- like I thought it would have to be moved up on hole 8. I thought that area would still be flooded, and it was amazing that was cleaned up. The greens superintendents, as they call them over here, did an amazing job.

Q. How many fairways did you miss?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Three. I've got to say that's -- it's not good out there. If you're missing -- like I missed one fairway, and I could just about hit 80 yards out of it. The other two times I was in a bunker, which was obviously fine. And the other time I kind of just got out of a bunker, so it wasn't too heavy, just at the edge. This week, you know, it helps if you're a long hitter, but you want to be a straight hitter. A good driver of the ball is going to do well this week. It sets up for a good driver of the ball. Who hits it a good distance, but straight off the tee.

Q. How tired did you feel?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Fine, to be honest. I was in bed reasonably early, so I got enough sleep, just I kept waking up and tossing and turning.

Q. Did you come here direct from Singapore?


Q. How did you do that?


Q. How do you do that?


Q. What route?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Sorry. I flew to Taiwan and from Taiwan to LA. So it was --

Q. How long did that take?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Five hours, the first flight and -- not really sure the second flight, somewhere between 12 to 14 hours. I sleep all the time in the plane, so I hardly -- I didn't notice it at all, actually. It went really quickly.

Q. (Inaudible.)


Q. Just do that naturally?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Just naturally. I read a book and then fall asleep. It's one of the good things. I'm nearly as good at sleeping as I am playing golf.

Q. 73 last round, was it?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, yeah. You know, I certainly would expect -- it's very hard when you start off -- I expected to start off a bit like that, and I got a good start, made some birdies, last round, I was just thinking too much, because I'm so competitive. When you're not sharp, you've got all the different equations going. I putted badly, a few things happened, and it's easy enough when you're trying too hard and you're not really that sharp -- that's something I have to guard against this week, obviously. I have to be stronger mentally. And that's what playing does. The more rounds I get in this week the sharper I will be, the less mistakes I'll make. That's what you're trying to do at the start of the year, is try and get some competitive golf under your belt.

End of FastScripts....

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