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October 6, 2002

Padraig Harrington

J.P. McManus


GORDON SIMPSON: Okay, every one. Well, Padraig, third on the Order of Merit here. We have the winning combination from Ireland, on the far right J.P. McManus along with Padraig here and it's been a fantastic day for both of you gentlemen, so let's break a tradition start with J.P. and just give us your thoughts on today.

J.P. McMANUS: Well, for me it's a day that I'll never forget. As I said to Padraig, it's a memory for the rocking chair time to come and I found that, now to be with Padraig not just today but throughout the whole week and even today when it looked that he would have to get down and work a little harder, he was always conscious of the team score and trying to help and really, I was just glad that he got on with his own game and not worry about me. Because for me to win and Padraig not to have won, it wouldn't have been so good. I know that. But now that Padraig has won and we have got the double, we have really got something to celebrate and we will.

GORDON SIMPSON: Okay. Thank you. And you, Padraig, a couple of great putts there on 18 and also on the second extra hole when maybe it looked like he was very much the favorite.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, you know, all week I played a little bit I know different. I played a lot of good shots and I was putting really well coming into today. Today I felt a lot better about my game and I played really well. I kept getting odd yardages with my wedges and didn't really get the ball that close or close enough. And I wasn't holing the putts. So I wasn't feeling very good on greens. It was a bit off for the first three days. And one of the things I said going out is I got to stay patient and I did feel good about everything all the way through. I was disappointed on 15 to make a silly mistake as I did. But I still, I felt fairly positive that I could, the last couple of holes suit the guy who is behind at St. Andrews. 16, 17, 18 are great holes if you're a shot behind. They're terrible holes in you're a shot ahead. Because if you play them well you can make a birdie or two and obviously the last time around those holes I felt good. Obviously, my back was to the wall on 18. I had to hole the putt. But it's one of those putts that you see on TV so much and things like that that I knew the line. I just knew I had to -- I was giving it a hundred percent of the which was great. My focus was great. I feel sorry for Eduardo having missed on 18, having missed on the second play off hole. But I really badly wanted to win. I wanted it so much. I have lost plenty of play-offs before, and lost plenty of tournaments. So it means a lot to me to come through. Especially in the play-offs.

GORDON SIMPSON: Yeah, that was your first win in four attempts, I believe.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I wasn't thinking like that. As I said, I felt good all day, I felt very relaxed, very positive all day. The only thing that probably got to me all day was I hit a poor tee shot on 14 and I backed it up with a poor second shot on 15. Besides that, all day I was good, I stayed positive, hit lots of shots, stayed patient. One of the things I was trying to do was as J.P. pointed out was I was trying to focus on the team event, I was trying to help J.P. Because I knew that was a distraction for me to be able to help him, it got me away from being moody and thinking about myself. Thinking about the team keeps you positive, keeps you up beat. And it was a nice -- J.P. all week was so confident in that sense that we always could have a chance, and not necessarily about golf, which is tremendous.

GORDON SIMPSON: We'll open it up to questions and I'll repeat them again.

Q. Was it a follow-up from the Ryder Cup in terms of being in focus?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I have to say it has been an extraordinary week for me in terms of preparation. I knew that when I was coming here after the Ryder Cup that I couldn't prepare like I would like to have three practice rounds. So I decided that if I'm not going to prepare a hundred percent, well, then there's no point in preparing. So I only played nine holes in the practice. I did have a practice on Tuesday on the range or Wednesday on the range, did nine holes practice on Kingsbarns. And that was it. So I was unprepared. And since then, which is very unusual for me, I've only spent about half an hour to an hour on the range after my round. I obviously warmed up before the round. But I didn't go to the range, didn't go to the putting or chipping green, and normally I'm so obsessive about practicing. And it was a nice break. Because of that week I decided that I was allowed to have a week off and enjoy. And obviously that's result of why I played so well. I relaxed a little bit and possibly, you know, didn't -- not that I wasn't trying, because as I said to J.P., after the first round, when I shot 6-under par, I said, unfortunately now it gets serious. I was here to enjoy this week, but because I shot 6-under and I was obviously in contention, I had to try a little bit harder, let's say. But I still didn't push it too much and go out and beat balls, and that really helped. I was strong because they're long rounds of golf. So I was very strong mentally all week because I didn't push it too hard off the golf course which was good.

Q. What were the lines of the putts on 18 and 2?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: 18 was one ball left of the hole, downhill left-to-right. And I think I was -- I think I got a good read and I felt very positive on it. I think a lot of people might have been hoping that it might breakdown towards the Valley of Sin. But I actually felt I was coming enough across the green or down the green that it was still going to slide a little bit to the right. And it obviously just got in there and on the left half of the hole. But at that pace it always looked good. Left lip was the other putt. On the second hole. I hit it there and again it went right in the middle there with a good solid putt. The two putts, especially the one on the second hole I just hit it much more positive than I hit a lot of putts during the day. Because there was no second guessing, there was no second best to those putts it was either hole them or not. And that's probably why my focus was a little bit sharper and why I holed them.

Q. What was the length of the putts?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: 18 must have been about 18 feet. Certainly 15 feet. And the one on two got a hell of a lot longer as I walked up to it. When I heard the clapping it was quite I was thinking, oh that's four feet. Even when I got over the hill I thought I might have been four feet, but it was certainly eight feet I would say.

Q. In terms of you're quite close now to Retief and Ernie?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I knew that I needed to win one of the big events in order to have a chance. Obviously coming into this week this was the last of the big money events that I could win for the Order of Merit. I can't say I was putting myself under pressure to win the Order of Merit, but I was putting myself under pressure to win the event and because of that now I have a chance to win the Order of Merit, and I will have to think strongly about my end of season schedule and look to see what I'm going to do and obviously it's a big focus. I think I'm looking at here, I'm about 33,000 sterling behind, 44 or something, 54,000 euro. Oh, 45 -- it was, you know, it's a funny figure, it's a question of who plays, -- it is if you can go and have a big result, it doesn't matter too much. I'm not going to be able to win that much money by just turning up and making cuts. It's a question of having some good performances between now and the end of the year.

Q. How would you have felt if you hadn't won the play off?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I tried -- I felt good all day I've got to say. I felt very positive that that was my turn. I think it would have been a lot harder to lose in the play off if I hadn't holed the putt on 18. You don't like losing a play off. Especially seeing as I lost three before. But I -- he yeah, it would have been tough to take. But even before I went out, even though I was positive that today was going to be a good day, I still wasn't going to be, I didn't feel to be, you know, if I didn't win I wasn't going to take it too badly either. But it would have been tough to lose in the play off, and I do feel for Eduardo losing in the play off, you know, especially missing the putt there on the second hole. But as I said, I really wanted to win myself.

Q. Have these been the best two weeks of your career?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: As two weeks in a row, yes. Undoubtedly the best two weeks. I think I could have finished last here and it would have been the best two weeks of my career anyway.

(Laughter.) Yes, back to back, yes, definitely the best two. I have a week off now and I don't think even in the whole week I'll come down from the high that I'm on. The Ryder Cup is phenomenal. I think that that has helped me back up and win this week. And it is important to me -- I played quite well this year, I played -- it's important to get a few wins. Because I'm in contention a lot. And, but I've been asking myself questions if I don't win sometimes. So it is very important individually to win this week. And I'm very happy. It should give me some confidence too.

Q. What went through your mind when someone wandered across the fairway before you teed up in the playoff?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well I was into my own game. So to be honest, I would have been -- I was really just going to hit her anyway.


No, it didn't bother me at all. I've got to say, I wouldn't have had any thought about it myself. It was fine, to be honest. The concentration was great all week. I certainly -- one person walking across the fairway, you know, it's a student town and it's a full town right now, so.

Q. Will you be having tea or what are you going to fill that cup there with?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think there will be, yes. I've got to say, you know, it might be a soft drink or too. But I'm on a high anyway myself. I don't need anything.

Q. How frustrating has it been not winning up to now when you've been in contention?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's only frustrating at the moment you lose. As in you don't get frustrated maybe when you're on the practice ground or when you're preparing for events. But on a Sunday evening, if you've lost another event, it is frustrating. I've got to say that I stay pretty positive outside of that. On a yearly context it would have been frustrating to go a whole year without winning. I've always said that one of the things I wanted to do was maybe win bigger events, and obviously this is a bigger event. So this is a stepping stone for getting up there and winning the very big events. So it would be frustrating as I said if you finish second all the time. But I'm taking this as a win in the Dunhill Championship and that will do me very nicely.

GORDON SIMPSON: Okay folks, one more.

Q. (Inaudible.)

J.P. McMANUS: No, I didn't, it was bad enough as it was.

GORDON SIMPSON: Okay. Well, gentlemen, it's been a wonderful day, and as I said, I think you'll probably have a good job filling that cup right there. Padraig, well done. J.P., also well done. Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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