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November 8, 2002

Padraig Harrington


Q. Clearly things are not going to plan. What is the problem?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Just didn't play well today. Didn't do anything really right at all. Didn't putt well. Didn't hit it well. Didn't pick the right clubs. Just one of those days.

Q. We didn't talk to you after yesterday, but you started with a two-shot penalty and playing alongside Retief, how much of those two things were a distraction?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: By the looks of today, I played better yesterday, so obviously it wasn't much of a distraction at all.

Q. Before the tournament started, you were fiddling about with different grips and you've cut a couple of inches off; is that helping -- (inaudible)?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Wasn't as bad today but there's a general lack of confidence that's creeping into my long game. So it's not helping.

Q. What are you thinking now for the rest of the event?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm really just thinking of the afternoon. Go hit a few shots, go do a bit more putting, practice. Not much I can do about it now. Do my best.

Q. We know how painful it is. Good luck over the weekend.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's not that painful. (Laughter.)

I would like to have played the first couple of holes better. When I've played here in the past, they have been my good holes. It's tough, as I said. I'm missing greens, and I'm struggling a little bit getting up-and-down; and I'm not too comfortable and putting. And even when I have a birdie chance, I seem to be just not happy to 2-putt, but that seems to be what's on my mind. It's a bit of a struggle when there's no confidence. At the end of the day, it makes it tougher when you are hitting your approach shots. Just the whole game is a little bit down because of the putting.

Q. Were you as tentative today as you were yesterday?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, I have to say I was better. I hit a few poor putts and I hit a few decent putts. Without a doubt, I was definitely better today. But I definitely played a little bit worse than I did yesterday.

Q. How do you feel about the Order of Merit now?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: There's still a lot to do. I don't know what Retief is doing today. The scoreboards, looking at that, it's still realistic. If the guys in the top 10 are under par or not far away from it, there's a realistic chance of getting in there. Even top 20 should be under par, I'm looking at the par now -- eight shots, in one round could be done. Certainly not over. But I wouldn't mind if I was playing well if that was a possibility going into the weekend.

You never know. You can turn things around. You can hole putts very quickly, hole a few putts, think everybody is right, everything is rosy in the garden, and that can happen on one green, you don't know.

So it's a question of obviously how the scoring goes this afternoon. It's a little bit trickier today. There's a little bit of wind out there which is making it a bit awkward. It's not a nice wind; it's across a lot of the holes.

There can be a chance if I can only get back to 1-, 2-under par, it's possible.

Q. Did you find yourself trying too hard today?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No. Certainly might have been a little bit down on the fact that I didn't get a great start and things didn't seem to be quite going my way, which is, you know, that's the nature of golf, as I say.

Q. When is the last time you played a left -handed shot?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Last time I played left-handed shot was -- don't know. I can't remember. There's plenty of acorns to practice with out there.

Q. Do you think playing in Madrid and Rome had taken more out of you?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It would be a nice excuse. I don't know. You can't really think like that. No. I would say the first 19 tournaments of the year took more out of me than those two. You can't judge it like that, no. Definitely not.

Q. Plenty of gas still in the tank for these last two events?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: There would be if I was playing well, that's for sure. It was tough today walking up those hills when you're 5-over par. If I was 5-under par, I certainly wouldn't be suffering.

No, there's plenty left. No problem at all that way. Physically I have enough to get through it.

Q. Do you feel more tense?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Certainly not tense or nervous. Maybe a bit conscious of what I'm doing, but not -- no. Not in that sense. It could just be too early in the day. Sort of the feeling you would get on the 18th hole or somewhere on the back nine in the last round or something like that. Not at the moment.

Q. (Inaudible)?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Didn't do anything to me. John showed the way and he knocked it 12 feet by. It's a tough golf course like that. As I said, in a perfect world, you'd like to be hitting the middle of the fairway, or sometimes not always the middle of the fairway, but you'd like to be clear shots in and hitting under the pin all the time, but that's the test out here. It doesn't make it -- it never makes it easy for you.

Q. Would you like to have seen the tournament at Montecastillo?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's a different golf course. This is a totally different play of a course and it's a totally good test, and as it is, testing your mental game. You want a good, solid short game out here. That's the toughest thing. If you have a good short game, then it's not as hard to hit the iron shots into the greens. You're not as negative because you can get it up-and-down. If you're holing putts here, you're doing okay.

Q. How about the green on the 10th, looked like you spun back off it?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I was surprised, yeah. I wouldn't have asked for my second shot to land in a better shot. You're aware that the ball could come back, but you actually believe it comes back more when you're left of the pin rather than I was two yards right of the pin.

But once I hit the buffer and bounced back, as in it could have gone into the fringe and just stayed 15 feet from the hole, but it actually jumped off the fringe twice like a snooker table, like a cushion. Those things don't happen when things are going good, do they.

Q. What did you do at 17?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: 17, it was straight into the wind today. I hit driver, 3-iron. Pitched to two feet.

Q. When was the last time that you felt so unsure about your game?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Most weeks. (Laughter.) Yeah, most weeks, without a doubt.

Q. Why should you feel that way?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: That's just me. That's the way I am. I'm never a very confident person. This course punishes that sort. You've got to select your shot and go with it here. It's a tough golf course no not select a shot and not go. That's the nature of me. I've always been like that.

End of FastScripts....

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