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July 19, 2002

Padraig Harrington


STEWART McDOUGAL: Padraig Harrington, 67, 136. How do you feel now?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Halfway in the tournament. It's a good position to be in.

I suppose there could be lower shots but you can't be in a better position going into the weekend, but it really is -- there's a lot of work to be done, far more -- there's more than half of the work to be done. To be in this position or close to this position already at the other two majors I was two shots behind but in the last group at the U.S. Open. I was leading after 27 holes and reasonably up there at the Masters. I know what to do, it's a question of doing, which isn't easy. You have to get yourself into these positions in order to have a chance.

Q. How will your experience in those other majors being around the lead, help you on the weekend?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's got to help. I can't put my finger on it and say I'm going to be half a shot better or one shot better or anything like that, I can't say I do anything.. I've always known what to do. It's a question of being able to do it and obviously with experience you get better and better at it. Whether I'll be able to do it this weekend, who knows, but at least I'm in the position to keep trying.

Q. Are you playing as well as in the other two majors?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I would say I'm playing similar to the U.S. Open. Probably better than the Masters. The Masters was a little bit more erratic. Different, yeah. They're different golf courses, to be honest. A different way of playing them. In the Masters I hit a lot of good shots and I hit some bad shots. In the U.S. Open it's really just about solid shots all the time.

Q. Is this more like links golf or American golf with no wind and the soft conditions?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It can be played either way, to be honest, I hit a few low shots today rolling them into the green; I hit a few high shots stopping them. This golf course gives you a lot of options out there, and that's probably why a lot of players like the golf course. There is very few holes you can stand up on and you must hit a certain type of shot. You can hit a number of clubs off the tees, a number of different shapes, a lot of players are playing each hole differently which is great about the course. Obviously, you know, if it starts blowing windy, it's going to be a real links golf. At the moment you do have an option of playing the other way. Which is nice, it's always good to have something different.

Q. Would you like that wind to blow?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm happy with anything, I've got to say. I'm happy with anything. I think it would be a shame to play 72 holes of links golf without the wind, but it might blow me as quickly as it blows anybody else away, that's the nature if the wind blows out there. I'll take my chances if the wind gets up. I assume it will, and I expect it will, so we'll wait and see.

Q. (Inaudible)

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Tiger is four under; isn't he?

Q. There's like 30 guys within three strokes of the lead. Does that change the dynamics a little bit?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I said on Tuesday when I was in here, I said there will be a dozen guys having a chance to win coming in on the back nine on Sunday. If there are 30 guys in at the moment that's a fifth of the field, if you cut it down in the next two days, I'll be probably right, 12 guys with nine holes left to go. There are a lot of varied ways of playing the golf course. The players can play to their strengths and avoid their weaknesses all over the golf course. Every hole allows you to do that if you're not comfortable with the driver you don't have to hit it once. Obviously you can on the Par 5s, but you can avoid certain things. So that means a lot more people will be in contention, if the wind blows that will force people to play certain clubs, certain shots, and obviously that will take a few more players out of the equation. But we'll have to see what the weather is thrown up to us.

Q. Given your consistency of play, weaknesses and strengths comes into it, is it going to come down here with the way they work it out in their own heads?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think it obviously does, no matter who you are, it always comes down to probably a good mental side at the end of the day when the mental heats up; that's probably what Tiger is the best at. But saying that, I think at the moment, with the conditions you have a lot of options, a lot of choices so you can play -- it's easy to have a game plan out there because you can always play to your strengths mentally. Obviously, if the wind blows, that changes that, and it means you must stand up at one hole with the driver and you can hit the 3-iron off the tee at the moment and you're still okay at the hole. Gets tougher mentally with the weather conditions undoubtedly. The wind always makes it tough mentally. Who knows if we're going to have an another wet day tomorrow.

Q. Do you really enjoy this or is it more like hard work?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I am enjoying it. It is tough work, but I'm enjoying it. In some sick sense I actually liked it which is strange. That's what I'm here for, to be honest is to get into these positions. I say that actually I'm here to get into these positions and actually get a result of out of them. I managed to get into them in the past and it's good going when you're in there. I'll tell you what, it's disappointing if you mess up at the end of the week. It might be all worthwhile if you succeed sometimes.

Q. (Inaudible)

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I've done everything. You name it, I've done it. Plenty of times people have played great golf. Plenty of times I've messed up. I've been in this position a lot, so all sorts of thing, and you know, as I said, Paul McGinley must be the unluckiest golfer in the world for me to birdie the last three holes to beat him at the Volvo Masters last year. (Laughter).

Q. Two weeks ago you felt you should have won then?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Not really, actually. I had a great chance to eagle the last not to give myself a good chance. I was going for it. Different sort of scenario obviously. It's one shot really at one time. I've got 36 holes to go now. It's much more of a grind over the next 36 holes than one shot at the end of the day. If it changes to that, I'll take it on and see what happens.

Q. Being the European Tour and being a European Tour player do you feel more comfortable in this kind of a Championship?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, it doesn't. Actually, as I say, I worked with Bob Torrance my coach now, it's four years one week this week, and I've just trying to build a game I'm more comfortable with in the States. And actually, I enjoy playing in the States and I'm very happy playing in the majors over there. I don't see it as any different really playing over here, a few more familiar places here, but I'm quite comfortable wherever.

Q. Are you the type of person who gets nervous in these type of situations?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Not really. I'm not that sort of a -- no, not at all. Not off the golf course or anything like that. I would be as nervous as anybody else in the tournament. But away from it, I actually get away very well, and I don't brood over -- I can nearly assure you I'll sleep soundly tonight and tomorrow night.

STEWART McDOUGAL: Padraig, thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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