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April 12, 2002

Padraig Harrington


LARRY PUGH: Padraig, you had another very strong day. Congratulations.


LARRY PUGH: Open it up for questions, please.

Q. You had some birdies today on some holes that have been playing very difficult the first couple of days, 1, 9, 14. Explain about what happened there and how you went about doing that.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: That's golf. I didn't particularly choose to play those holes better than the other ones. I played every hole -- I attempted to play every hole the same. It just happened that they were holes that I holed the putts on or hit it close. I don't have any special tactic for playing the difficult holes.

Q. How did you go about birdieing those?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I hit a drive and 7-iron to two feet at the first. I hit a drive and 6-iron to 15 feet at 9, and holed -- it was a four-foot swing on that putt so it was a nice one to hole.

I hit a 3-wood off the downslope to about ten feet at ten and knocked it in so that was a good birdie.

14, I hit a good drive, 7-iron, to about four feet. A bit simpler than yesterday, and holed it.

And 15, I hit a drive and 7-iron to 20 feet and horseshoed out for eagle, which was probably the most disappointing thing to happen in the day. I would have liked to have won a nice piece of glass. I've never won a piece of glass for an eagle here, so it would be nice.

I think that's all the birdies.

Q. What was the second shot you hit into 13?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I hit 5-wood. I had 238 to the pin and a few yards behind it, so I thought it was made for my 5-wood. I pitched it 235 and I pitched it 238 this time and went over the back, pitched two feet from the hole. So in the air, I'm thinking eagle. I didn't finish in bad position, to be honest. It was a very forward up-and-down, but that's Augusta; I took four, to get down from there. That's what happens here. It's a very testy course. It tests your patience.

I wasn't a bit disappointed about it, because it happens, and it's going to happen again over the weekend, I'm sure.

Q. Are you saying that after dropping a few shots yesterday it was important to have a good round today?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yes, I didn't feel very comfortable coming in yesterday, made a few mistakes. Didn't feel very comfortable today, but I was prepared for it. I hit the shots I wanted to hit, which was quite nice because as I said, I'm not feeling that comfortable over the ball, so it's good to shoot a good score when you're feeling that way.

Q. Are you comfortable about the position that you find yourself in now?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You know, I'm busy worrying about myself rather than the position I'm in. I'm so uncomfortable, I'm so not feeling great over the ball that I'm just clued in to that, and that's all I can think about. I'm not thinking about other people or other -- what's happening around me. I'm totally engrossed in what I'm doing.

Q. Did the mud bother you today, the mud on your ball?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You know, you don't get -- you usually don't get a huge amount of mud on the ball because it's this rained, because the surface water cleans it as it skids on top of it. I only had mud on at 14 and I hit it to four feet. It was still wet with mud on the ball, so I'm sure it came off, straight off when I hit it, and it did.

Yeah, I made three bad decisions today, I've got to say. I chipped on the back of 4 when I should have putted through the fringe because I just needed to get it on the green and I chipped it by 10 feet. Hit a good chip, but it was the wrong shot.

Then I got to 13 and I'm thinking, should I chip it or putt it and I was half in my mind and I putted it. The fringe, because they are wet now, have changed totally from what they were like on Monday, Tuesday when they were dry. You could putt through them quite easy. I hit the putt on 13 exactly the way I wanted it, but I hit it because I reckoned it would be soft; I should have chipped it.

17, I hit it up the left side and I have a clear shot to the pin, ball slightly above my feet and nice tight lie on the edge of where the spectators have walked. So I have an option to drop it because there's casual water there. But I liked the lie and I hit the shot and I came up a yard short but, in fact, I was basically, five, six yards right. Thinking about it afterwards it would have been a better angle, if I moved out more I could have gone at the left of pin, instead of trying to draw it into a tight pin, I could have drawn it on the left with a fade, which would have made more sense, but not as good of a lie.

Q. What did you hit there?


Q. How far did you go past the pin after that third shot on 13? Did it go all the way back?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Oh, yeah, it was 50 feet, 60 feet.

Q. And when you were, eight feet, ten feet?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I must have been five yards to the back of the green and I was four yards over it. So I was 27 feet or something like that, 30 feet away and I putted up the bank.

You know it wasn't a great putt. It was almost going by, I'm surprised it -- once it's down the tier, it's 60 feet. And I hit a lovely putt about 3 1/2 feet. It was swinging left-to-right as it went by the hole, and I hit my next putt, it moved out the other way. I actually hit four good putts and I hit a good putt back, a 3-footer, I was enjoying that.

Q. When you look at the leaderboard and you see so many players from around the world, only a few Americans up there, are you surprised by that?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No. I think the game is becoming very, very strong throughout the world. You only have to go down, the European Tour goes down to South Africa and to Australia to play events, and the standard is so good there. The players play so well in Australia, play so well in South Africa, it's only a matter of time before they bring their games from their home countries out. There's some great players there you have never heard of, so you can only expect that the players will come from all around the world.

LARRY PUGH: Thank you very much, and good luck on the remainder of your weekend.


End of FastScripts....

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