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April 11, 2002

Padraig Harrington


LARRY PUGH: Open it up for questions.

Q. What was the long decision with the scoring about?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, there was a couple of things. Stuart Appleby didn't know whether he got his club in the water hazard on 13 and they had to go take a look at that and he actually did as it turned out.

As a group, we were timed at 16, and we were -- Stuart was questioning whether we should have been told or how to know whether you are on the clock or not, and the fact that we actually were in trouble on 13 and 14, and we had been waiting all day, we were just surprised we were on the clock. And the fact that we both had bad times on 16, I was just curious because I didn't think I took that long to hit the shot. So it was a surprise to me. I was last to hit and so it was just curious, when was the clock started, because it seemed like we didn't take the time, 51 seconds to hit it. It didn't seem like it took 51 seconds.

Q. So no penalties?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, just a warning. It's a distraction, though, obviously. Especially the distraction for me is more the fact that I'm surprised I took 51 seconds, so the next time I'm going to be worried about going over there.

Q. Is it possible for a 69 to be a mixed bag, or is it all good? You were 6-under through 12 --

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You know, for me, 6-under, I'm going along great, playing nicely. I had a difficult shot on 13, I went for it and I didn't hit a good shot, took bogey, that's fine. I didn't hit a good drive on 14, took bogey, not the end of the world, a bit disappointed with 15, 16, 17 and hit three good putts for birdie and any of the three could have gone in, if not all of them. So that was a slight disappointment with that. And I bogeyed the last, it always leaves a sour taste. It never goes down well.

LARRY PUGH: Do you want to go through your birdies for us, please.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I hit driver, 3-wood just off the edge of the green on 2, chipped up stone dead to two feet and chipped up.

Next I hit a drive and lob-wedge to 12 feet and holed the putt.

6, I hit 6-iron to a foot.

7, I hit driver, pitching wedge to four feet.

9, I hit driver and 8-iron to five feet and holed it.

11, I got lucky. I hit a drive down into the left rough, or left first cut, and hit 5-iron and pulled it. It carried up -- I thought it was definitely a danger going into the water and I holed it from 25 feet behind the hole for birdie, so that was a real bonus.

13, as I told you, I hit 5-iron into the hazard. Straightforward six.

Next, I hit driver into the right trees and I hit it to the front edge of the green and didn't hit a great chip and that was a 5.

18, I hit a driver and 5-iron left and chipped up to about ten feet and missed the putt.

Q. Did you have a bad lie on 13? Seemed like you had a hanging lie in the fairway?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's a beautiful par five. You think that you can reach it in two, but you never have a good lie for your second shot there. I was on a downslope, slightly above my feet, as well and had to aim right to draw it in there off the lie, bit of a limb of a tree hanging out and obviously four yards short of the pin is the water and four yards right of the pin is water. So it's a tough shot, but I was going well, and I felt, you know, that I could take it on, hit it into, 20, 30 feet behind the hole. I thought that was my best option.

Q. What's the adrenaline like at 6-under after 11 holes in the Masters?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: There's adrenaline in the first tee at the Masters. That's the nice thing about the Masters. You know when you tee it up on the first hole you know you're playing a golf event of some stature, that's for sure.

I don't think I had any more adrenaline after 13 or after 12 holes. I think I was obviously a little bit more cautious about what I was doing and undoubtedly that was my downfall on the last couple of holes. Obviously I hit some good shots as well as some bad ones, so that's good to take note of .

Q. The course changes, everybody wrote about all week, supposedly favored bombers, you look at Love, Cabrera, Garcia, yourself.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Thank you. (Laughter.)

Q. You were sixth in driving here last year; does it look like it's playing to form, and did it feel like it was playing to form for a long hitter?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think this golf course is always suited to longer hitters by virtue of fact that they can hit shorter irons into the greens and get more elevation. Perfect example is 18. I was hitting 5-iron in there, and it's a bit of trouble, but it's the elevation, how high you've got to get it to stop when it gets up there.

Whereas, a long hitter, like I would hate to be hitting 3-iron in there if I was a short hitter, I'm sure there are other guys hitting 7-iron, 8-iron in there and it becomes an easier shot when that happens. The course has always suited long hitters, but not in any way -- maybe slightly this year a little bit more, but the changes are very good changes. Actually, they slightly widened the fairways on those holes but require you to hit probably a little bit more shape in your tee shots.

Q. Going around, chipping and putting -- would you have expected to take a 66 at the end of a round or would you have snapped someone's hands off if they had handed you a 69 on the first tee?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'll take 69 every day. There's never a day that you tee it up here that you would not take 69.

Saying that, when you are 6-under par, you are not trying to shoot 6-under par, you are trying to shoot 7-under par, that's for sure. You never get complacent out there and say -- like if I was complacent on 13, I would have just hit wedge to 20 feet by the hole and 2-putt. When I was 6-under, I wanted to get to 7, and if I was at 7, I would still be trying to get to 8. You just don't stop. You can't get on the golf and think you are 6-under par and think this golf course is so difficult, I should give a couple back. You've got to think, "Today is my day,let's keep it going. Somebody has got to do it."

Q. You talked about the adrenaline at the first tee, that you know you're at the Masters. Can you describe it, is it butterflies, golf ball in your throat, what is it?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm sure it's different for everybody.

Q. What is it for you?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: For me, I suppose it's just the butterflies, really. Certainly, it would be butterflies for me. To be honest, a little less than this year than other years, getting more comfortable with it. But it's a very nice feeling. It's something that you know you can't get -- you're not going to get it unless you put yourself through this playing under this sort of competition.

Q. You said that it gets more comfortable. Are people more comfortable with pronouncing your first name, or do you hear some bizarre things out there?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I obviously hear bizarre things. It doesn't phase me too much now. I don't get too stressed about however it's pronounced. Most people, if they make the effort to pronounce it, that's good enough for me.

Q. What's the worst thing they have said?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's never bad. If somebody's making the effort it can't be bad.

Q. You had a good finish in the U.S. Open a couple of years ago and you played well these last two weeks, do you feel like you're maybe getting close to winning over here?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You know, my focus is still and has been for a number of years, on my actual game and how I'm playing and how I'm swinging the golf club. I'm not that sort of -- I haven't got out there that I'm thinking about results. I'm much more concerned about how I'm performing and how I feel about things and improving my general game and swing and elements like that. I suppose time will come when I will have to say, yeah, well, that's it, I'm going to start trying to -- less focus, let's say on the technicalities of my swing and more focus on just getting the job done.

Q. I presume you know that you led the putting stats last year?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I had no idea. No idea at all. You know --

Q. But you have putted well here in the two years here.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Putting stats can be false in a way. I 2-putt the 17th today, but I actually had a 1-putt on 17 today and I missed 12 feet. So who really knows. Yes, obviously I putted well, if I led the stats last year, you must have done something right last year. So maybe I played badly and just got up-and-down.

Q. If you won this week, there's been a steady stream of guys who have won that come and play over here, most recently Retief and Cabrera said that he would love to play here on this tour.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Both of those are on your tour. Cabrera is a member already, isn't he?

Q. He wants to be.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I thought he joined up. I thought he went to school.

I don't know.

But about me, anyway. (Laughter.) I totally like being a world player. I still believe that you've got to go down to Australia, some of the best golf courses in the world are there, South Africa, Asia. I've played in South America, all over the world. I like playing all over the world.

If you do play over here, it does limit your ability to play elsewhere. There's six events in Ireland this year, so if I played a minimum of 15 events, and you probably want to play 20 events to do any way well. 20 events, play six in Ireland that means I can't play another event anywhere else in the world because I'm only going to play 26 events a year, 27.

I would like -- I do like playing over here. Obviously, everything is fantastic. The whole tournament setup, the conditions of the golf course, everything is good. But, I do believe that, you know, golf is a worldwide game and I do like traveling around the world playing there, and playing over here. I probably would -- you know, I'd probably like to play more. I have a lot of opportunities to play as it is. The U.S. fewer is very welcoming in letting Europeans play over here. But I do enjoy playing all over the world, lots of different events and I do like that. I do a lot of travel. So it's a difficult situation.

It's easier for somebody, like Retief is South African, he's European, so it's easy for him to move across. Michael Campbell, he's from New Zealand, he's closer to home in the States. Angel Cabrera is closer to home playing in the states. It's easy for them to move. I'm Irish and I have to play certain events in Europe no matter what, so that means I'm very limited in events elsewhere.

LARRY PUGH: We thank you. Good luck the rest of the way.

End of FastScripts....

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