August 11, 2001
GRAND BLANC, MICHIGAN
NELSON LUIS: Obviously a very nice round for you again. Got you to 17-under. Right into the thick of it heading into tomorrow.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I am very pleased with the score. I don't think things -- I wasn't -- didn't play as I possibly played the first two days. Hit more good shots there than I hit a few more bad shots. First two days I kept it very simple and made all my birdies on straightforward holes. Today I was a little bit more erratic. Actually had a few chances. I didn't putt very well today which was -- I missed a couple of first a holes; missed a couple of short ones for birdie. Then coming home the last six holes, hit a little left off the tee for the last four, five holes. So I was quite happy with the score.
Q. (Inaudible) 17-under after three rounds, 4, five shots off the lead --
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I hadn't been looking at the leader board to be honest. I have been trying to play my own game. I am not surprised. I really don't know -- no, I am not -- that is one of the reasons possibly why I shot 7-under today because I expected -- I have seen a few scoreboards walking around the course, some of the scoreboard walkers, I could see the early guys were all shooting -- a lot of them were getting 6-, 7-under par, so I knew I had to do it, so I am not surprised that some other leaders have done it, obviously Kenny Perry being out in front, for him it's the right man to do it.
Q. Haven't had a chance to look this up yet because of trying to keep track of all the birdies, is this the lowest you have gone in the States under par?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I haven't yet -- I haven't played that many over here. When I do tend to come over it tends to be for the likes of a major, things like that. One of the reasons why I came over here I wanted to play a regular Tour event in regular conditions instead of coming over and playing you know, what tends to be a U.S. Open or pGA, pretty brutal course in tough conditions. It's nice to come over, yes, it is the lowest.
Q. Justin was in here and he said it was kind of fun to -- knowing next week everyone is going to have to be grinding on a major championship course to come out here a week before and maybe have some fun?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: That's what I said about the course early on in the week that it's a course that I am sure all the pros enjoy playing. It gives up a lot of opportunities for birdies, par 5s are reachable so it is a fun course. Without a doubt -- I haven't really looked towards next week's course to be honest. I am concentrating on playing the Buick Open.
Q. This experience in a regular Tour event will it change your outlook on how much you play here in the future or anything, will it wet your appetite more of this type of golf?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Obviously it would. Obviously it's a pretty -- it's a nice feeling doing well in the tournament and yes, it would encourage me to play more. The problem is playing more here means playing less elsewhere, and playing less at home, so it's always a scheduling problem. Definitely I'd like to play more here in the future, but for every tournament I play extra here it's at least one tournament less I play around the world. It's a juggling act trying to balance off the right schedule. But certainly, I think I will play a total eight events in the States this year, that seems like a reasonable number to me.
Q. Darren and Lee and Sergio have all won here in America as another top Europeans. Is it important for you to sort of state your claim over here prove that you can do it?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'd like to state my claim in Europe first, actually or any stage, so staking my claim here, yeah, it's -- you know, I am still learning as a player and I have still lots to do, so winning here or doing well here tomorrow may improve me in the eyes of other people, but I am still the same person that tees it up on Thursday whether I miss the cut or whether I do well in the tournament. So I set my standards and judge myself and don't really like to let -- I am not trying to do things for other people. I am trying to do it for myself. So whatever somebody else perceives I am, after a week like this, that's fine by them, but it's my own impressions that I am worried about, and those around me, really, so it's not a big issue for me as regards what other people necessarily think if I do well in this tournament. It's more important for me as I said doing well in a tournament like this does he encourage me to maybe play more.
Q. Any kind of a mental hurdle to come over here and win in America?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Without a doubt that there is. There's either pressure, you know, being over here, I think tomorrow I must be the only European out there. So, yes, there is. There's a bit more intensity. There's a little bit more focus on me, I suppose, you know, say being an outsider in the group tomorrow, so yeah there's more pressure. Who knows obviously some players find it easier the likes of Lee and Darren who won over here got over that hurdle and it's there to be managed.
Q. Looks like the leader is at 21 and a lot of guys 15, 16, 17, what do you think it is going to take tomorrow, what are you going to be looking to do tomorrow to get into it?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I will be looking just to play my own game. There's nothing I can do about Kenny Perry tomorrow, how he plays, or for that matter anybody else out in the field. Only thing I can control is how I play the course and that's what I will be looking to do. I won't set any totals because you know, if you think that a certain score is going to win and you surpass it, you back off at that stage so you are just better off going out and playing one shot at a time and seeing what you end up with, seeing where that finishes you up in the tournament.
Q. There's so much talk here this week and next about the Ryder Cup and the selection process and the American Captain's picks all that. How closely do you follow that as a member of the European side?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I follow it because I was in that position in the past. I have been, I think, four years ago I was last man out and two years ago I was last man in. So I am conscious of what they are feeling. To be honest the fact that I am in the team is the reason why I can come over and play a tournament like this out of my schedule and you know, I am not worried about Ryder Cup points or order of merit points or anything like that. I am here to play golf which is nice for me. Obviously I am watching some golf on the Golf Channel this morning European golf, I am watching friends of mine at home and it's tough for them. I know they have been -- it is very hard when you have to sort of grind it out the last couple of tournaments to make it into the team. They are under a lot of pressure and just thankful I am not there.
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