December 10, 2002
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO
RODDY WILLIAMS: Paul, Padraig, thank you very much for coming in. Welcome to Mexico for the EMC2 World Cup.
Padraig, if we could start with you. It's been a great couple of weeks for you. Obviously, dominating last week's win in the Target Golf Challenge where you took on Tiger Woods. If you could just give us some thoughts about current game.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, it's been an interesting couple of weeks. Obviously I was disappointed not to win the Order of Merit. Then I come out and I'm tired, but, you know, I got my focus together for Taiwan. I actually worked on a few things there and I hit the ball really well.
South Africa, still really tired, nothing really happened there. I had nine really bad holes and that knocked me out of having a decent finish. Then I went last week and made a few tweaks in my game and felt good about hitting my irons particularly well like at Taiwan. You know, just played well, really.
Interesting time. I should be tired. I suppose one more week now, I've got nine weeks off, so I'm just trying to stay focused and get through this week and not let it get to me. I think it's probably important to get a reasonable start in the tournament. It would help me a lot if I had some adrenaline for the week.
It's going to be hard. Obviously, there's a certain amount of fatigue, so the adrenaline would help a lot.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Paul, reuniting again with Padraig this week. What's it like to be paired up again?
PAUL McGINLEY: Well, it's always fun playing with Padraig. I've always enjoyed playing with him. We have a long record of playing together and I'm looking forward to the week.
I won when we were amateurs and I remember we got hammered one day -- we got hammered as a team one day and we had the idea that we would play together for the first time and we thought it wasn't a good idea. I won't mention his name for fear of embarrassment.
Q. How many years ago was this?
PAUL McGINLEY: '89 maybe? '91?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Had to be '90.
PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, I've always enjoyed playing with him here. I feel comfortable playing with him. We'll see what happens. We had a great run for four or five years. I don't think we were outside the top five in the World Cup. But the last two years have been disappointing. We have not quite gelled. We've played all right but just didn't produce any results.
Hopefully we can get back on track again this week. It's just like golf. Like Padraig says, some weeks it clicks, some days it clicks, some days it doesn't.
Q. Nothing to do with the format change the last couple of years?
PAUL McGINLEY: I think it might have a part to do with it.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Aggregate form would be more suiting us. Over the years, I've got to say, the two of us -- that's what the old format was. There's been more pressure related to it, where both scores count. A lot can change on any hole and we certainly like the old format.
Obviously, this is a new format and foursomes is particularly difficult, it's just different, this format. I don't know why it hasn't suited us.
PAUL McGINLEY: There's no reason. You know, we played together in the Walker Cup -- I'm sorry, Walker Cup and Ryder Cup. But in the Ryder Cup, we got beaten by Jim Furyk and Scott Hoch -- no, Stewart Cink and Jim Furyk. They played just magnificent. We were about 3- or 4-under par at the last.
Sometimes it just doesn't happen. You know, you play well and it just doesn't gel. I think that's what's happened. There's no reason why we shouldn't play together. In fact, foursomes should suit us more than any. There's no reason why we shouldn't play well together.
Q. Speaking of the Ryder Cup, how have things changed for you since that great day?
PAUL McGINLEY: It's been a whirlwind of activity, that's for sure. My life has been extremely busy since then. I went back to Ireland last week and did two functions. To be actually back in Ireland is still just unbelievable. Even coming here to Mexico, the Mexican people are saying, "Congratulations on the putt." It's nice to be remembered for something as positive as that.
Last week when I was at the dinner, Doug Sanders was the guest of honor at the dinner I was at. He said to me: "You know all of my life I've been remembered for missing a putt, and you're going to be remembered for holing a putt." I thought that was a nice analogy. I could not have said it a better way. It's nice to be remembered for something positive like that.
Q. Is it all positive?
PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah. It's been -- it was just a fantastic week and a fantastic moment for me personally. But it was just great to beat America, for Europe to beat America. We were underdogs. Nobody expected us to win. To fulfill a big dream and win the Ryder Cup was great -- in front of the home crowd -- the crowd was fantastic.
Q. When you got hammered as an amateur, was that foursomes or four-ball?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No. We didn't get hammered. The team got hammered.
Q. So you didn't actually play together?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No. We didn't play together that time. We played together in the European Championships after that. But this was for the province.
PAUL McGINLEY: The teal got hammered one day. And we went to the captain that night and asked him, and said, why don't you have the two of us playing together the next day.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: We didn't actually know each other well at the time. It was just an idea.
Q. Did he explain why he thought it was so ludicrous?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: (Shrugging shoulders.) I don't know.
PAUL McGINLEY: Went away with our tails between our legs; put it that way.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: He would have been one of the more experiences guys on the team and I would have been a rookie. It would not seem like an unreasonable pairing.
Q. His playing in the Ryder Cup, what do you think your play over the last few weeks and just your emergence on the world scene, what what's that going to do for your career, do you think?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You're right, that certainly, when you perform like that, beating Tiger, it's interesting. Everybody says, "Oh, you're the guy who beat Tiger." I suppose I did. But there were 14 other guys as well in the event. I suppose it's always going to be, I beat Tiger or whatever. But certainly to, play in the last couple weeks probably more to the worldwide attention -- I don't feel I'm any different a player. Obviously, when you have success like that -- I've been telling people, yes, I've been improving and I'm going to the right direction, you need certain successes to prove that, maybe to yourself, but certainly to prove it to other people.
The last couple of weeks having three wins certainly has highlighted the changes, even though I believe the changes have taken place over the last four years. I don't think anything has -- I don't think anything happened in September that's made me a better player in October, November, December. I think it all happens. The work started four years ago and it's only getting now -- I'm only now showing the fruits of my labor.
But certainly, it's interesting, actually, that it is, "oh, yeah, you beat Tiger." I don't know how long that will last. (Laughter.)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I was asked this question, yesterday is the biggest tournament I have won as an individual, definitely in my career. But saying that, it's not the biggest achievement I've had in my career, because I've gone into tournaments like my first tournament, where, let's say to win was a far bigger step, let's say. This, if anything, was I feel like, was a natural step, a natural progression and it was the next step up the ladder. Before I have taken steps that would seem like leaps. So it is the biggest tournament, but I felt I was going in that direction and it was where I wanted to go. I certainly feel like it was just a step up rather than a leap. Which winning the World Cup -- what's it been, five, six years? That was amazing. Obviously, my first win on TOUR. Things like that are quite drastic jumps.
Q. Nine weeks off; what are your plans?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Go to the gym. A bit of everything. I really do need to rest. I do need to get in the gym and I do need to practice. I have a lot of things ready to go that I want to work on. Just waiting to get the time to do it.
As I say, I really do need to get a good rest in. I definitely need to get back in the gym.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I won't be there next week but I've been there two or three times. It's not a problem. When you are going to work on something, you're better there being there working with your coach than trying to do it on your own. Maybe we might go to sunnier times at some stage. Wait and see.
Q. So you'll be doing something before Christmas?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No. Christmas, I won't do a single thing, I would suggest. That will be serious rest. Certainly nothing to do with golf. I won't play until the new year.
Q. So what's your idea of fun, Padraig?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: When I get home, I'll be very relaxed. To be honest, once I put down the clubs for a couple of days, I have to kind of be given -- I need to give myself a bit of a push to pick them back up. Once you don't play for awe few days, it's very easy to forget about.
To be honest, I'll have a pretty busy time, just catching up with friends and family, doing the things you want to do. Christmas is a great time to be home. There's lots to do. I can't say specifically we'll go and do anything in particular, but certainly, I'll have a good three weeks off of golf, and then just work my way back in. It's nice that we are taking an extended period of time. There's no rush. If you take three weeks off or four weeks off -- after the first week, you start thinking, "Maybe should I get back out and practice." I could obviously take a few weeks away from the game and not worry about it. There's plenty of time to get ready for next season.
Q. In your new house, are you settled? When does that happen?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Another couple of months.
Q. You haven't built an extra wing?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, no.
Q. Do you have plans to reward yourself?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm certainly -- I'm planning to spend it on myself. (Laughter.)
No, I'm probably going to buy a car, yeah. I just have to check whether it will fit in the boot and that's it. That's the only thing I can test is whether I can fit my tour bag into the boot and that's it.
Q. Is it red?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No.
Q. What is it?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's a car. It's got four wheels.
Q. It's got a little boot?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: And it's got a little boot, yeah.
Q. So what will be your first tournament back?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Malaysian Open.
Q. What are your plans for next year?
PAUL McGINLEY: Similar. We just had a little baby, three kids, so get back with the family again. We brought a new little girl into the family. I'll start at Malaysia, too.
I think we are going to go away on holiday together. It won't be long coming around.
Q. The two of you?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah.
Q. Just the two of you?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No. (Laughter.)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm not taking any children.
PAUL McGINLEY: I'll take enough for him as well.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: During the time, obviously, nine weeks, you've got to get out into the sun a few times. So I'll probably -- we're going to Barbados down there, so we are going to go the same way. I'll probably go away at least another two weeks separate times.
Q. Are you fixed; it's not just a coincidence?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: He booked and I was going; so I booked the same week.
Q. Have you done that before?
PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, two years ago. We came straight from the World Cup, actually.
Q. Sunday didn't count for the World Ranking?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No. No. It's funny, like --
PAUL McGINLEY: It should, really. It's a shame it didn't.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's interesting. Some times of the year you play an event and you get no points and then another time, like I think for the win in Taiwan and the win in the States, I got 14 world ranking ing points, which is -- I got 50 for winning or 52 for the win in Dunhill. It swings in roundabouts.
Q. Will your wives go out and play together in Barbados when you are with the kids?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I don't think there will be any clubs there. Mind you, they could, actually. If I brought Caroline out, she'd play.
PAUL McGINLEY: My money would be on my wife.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: If my wife had 36 shots -- I'll tell you what we'll caddie. Forget the baby-sitting. We'll caddie. (Laughter.)
If it was match-play, I think Ali would definitely win.
Q. Everybody likes the handicap, horse racing and so forth, do you feel like you guys maybe should be the favorites this week?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Looking at the golf course, you really shouldn't look past the Argentinians.
PAUL McGINLEY: It really sets up for the Argentinians.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Certainly sets up well.
PAUL McGINLEY: Even more so than the Americans.
Q. How so?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: For somebody who is comfortably hitting long, as the bunkers are 280 and the likes, it's fine, you can carry it. And they are particularly comfortable caring the ball at that distance, so it's not an issue. It's not like they are straining to do it.
We have not quite looked at it, but hopefully we can match the holes up for foursomes and things like that, that would have -- certainly, the U.S. team, are obviously very strong. They played great in the Ryder Cup and they obviously get on very well.
There's a lot of good teams here, though. It's interesting, you come and you're minding your own business, per se, and then you look around and you see a lot of good players. It's a question of getting two guys playing well together. It's not a question of picking -- it's not a question of picking a team. Any good team, if one of the guys doesn't play, they are not going to win. A few teams -- like we did five years ago in '97, it's a question of getting two players playing good golf, rather than one guy playing great and one guy not playing well. Definitely you've got to have a mixture here. You won't get away with -- nobody can carry somebody else this week.
Q. Having seen that it's a good quality field, isn't it a shame that the World Cup in golf, like other sports, does not attract everybody?
PAUL McGINLEY: I think the reason for that this year is the date. I think it's a horrendous date. It's two weeks before Christmas. It's a world event and they should be giving precedence in my opinion. You look at how strong the field was in Japan last year, because it was a great day. In my opinion, it's a horrendous date. It's two weeks before Christmas. Guys want to have a date -- the American tour starts up the first week in January, going out to Hawaii.
It should get precedence, it's a world event. That's the whole idea.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The problem, obviously, golf is an individual game and we look at the four majors, and then we have the four world events. And yes, if you're going to make this -- well, we have our Ryder Cup as a team event, but if we are going to make this, it needs a date that it's going to attract.
PAUL McGINLEY: I can understand guys not coming. You look at somebody like Ernie, you can understand why he doesn't come. He's starting out in Hawaii, it's already in January. He played at Sun City two weeks ago, he needs a break at some stage. That's my opinion, anyway.
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