August 10, 2001
GRAND BLANC, MICHIGAN
NELSON LUIS: Thank you for joining us. Obviously a nice second round for you here getting you right into the middle of the tournament here at 10-under. Obviously a good start for you and looking forward to the weekend.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I am looking forward to the weekend. 10-under par, two 67s, pretty simple scores. I made birdies on the easy holes, so you know I am looking forward to the weekend. I have got -- there's not going to be too many guys ahead of me, 36 holes to go. Probably need to play just the same as I played the first two days. Something around there we will have a chance at the end of the day if we do that.
Q. How has the course set up for you today as far as going at the pins compared to yesterday?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Obviously after the rain the course is a lot softer today played a little bit longer because of that. As I said I made all my birdies. I think I made them all on the short par 4s and the reachable par 5s, so I didn't really hit my irons that good even though I certainly drove the ball very straight today, kept it on the fairway, should have been hitting my irons closer, but as I said, I kept hitting them into the middle of the green.
Q. You are working with Sam Torrance's father?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah.
Q. How long have you been working with him and has it basically kept you in that Top 5 position on the Volvo Order of Merit?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I am working with Bob Torrance for three years - three years and three weeks or so, just after the U.S. Open actually. Since then -- well, I have -- I think I was 11th and 8th in the first two years on the Tour Order of Merit went down to 30th my first year working that year that I changed over and I've come back up to 6th, and 6th so it's improved my game to no end, to be honest. I hit the golf ball far better than I have ever did and so getting the results now, it seems to be that way anyway.
Q. The shot on 18, what was the yardage on that?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: 126 yards.
Q. What club?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: 5-iron.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, well, you know, I suppose when things are going for you that happens on a day like that, as I said, I think I missed the 1st fairway and the 18th fairway today that was it. Wasn't a good drive on 18, very pleased to have gotten away with it. Actually nearly made birdie. That would have been nice.
Q. How often do you see Bob Torrance?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Every week I take off I spend two days with him, so, I would suggest it would be at least once a month for two days; then he comes to some tournaments on top of that. So once a month.
Q. This is your first time here. What are your observations so far?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I am enjoying it, 10-under par certainly enjoying it, yeah, it is nice, you know, to be honest, I chose to come here, I got an invite, very pleased to get an invite. I wanted to come and play a U.S. tour event. Usually when I come across it's been a PGA, it's been a TPC a Masters or one of those ones that are overhyped. I wanted to come -- not overhyped, but there's a lot of pressure on them. I wanted to come and play a regular U.S. tour event just see what it is like. Delighted I got an invite to come here, lived up to its expectations. Really enjoying it.
Q. You were 5-under in the pro-am?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, I wasted a good score at the pro-am.
Q. Are you considering playing here again? Do you like this experience?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: By the end -- yeah, I do like this experience without a doubt. Of course you couldn't like playing in the U.S., but I also like playing around the world. If you look at my schedule over the years I play in Asia, Australia, South America, South Africa, all over the place and I enjoy going and visiting those countries. So whether I'd like to come here and play full-time it would be very difficult, you know, if I play 15 or more events here, that means if I play less than 30 events in a year that means I have less than 15 events to go and play in Europe or else where. So committing yourself here means you are committed and that's it, you can't really go and play in other countries. While if I stay in Europe I can go and play a few tournaments here, few tournaments in Australia and a few tournaments in Europe. That certainly suits me at the moment. I do enjoy gaining the experience, from going like, yesterday, in this heat, I didn't have a problem because I am used to playing in Asia and you know about the heat out there.
Q. The speculation over the last few days was about Ryder Cup on the U.S. side, they have to play this week and next to get in. You are pretty much sitting pretty on the European side. Does that play into your mind at all getting your game ready for next month?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, I have been past the qualification mark or whatever would be called the so-called of notion qualification mark probably four months now. So I haven't really decided to look at other people trying to get into the team. (Inaudible) I scheduled my schedules to prepare you know, there's nothing I need to do now that is going to get me ready for the Ryder Cup in six weeks time. The work will be done in a few week's time not now.
Q. But you like being in your situation where you don't have to worry about trying to fight and get those points?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The last time around I finished second in the last two events, I holed a 10-footer on the last green to actually qualify for the team. The time before I was last man out, I was the last man that didn't get in. So I have had two goes of really sweating it, really trying to make those cuts, grind it out, and make that last few points, so, I am very happy not to be in that situation this time around and I am very happy to be watching other people in it. Maybe it is a little bit sadistic, but you know, there's a lot -- there's a lot of talk about it in Europe too, you know, who is going to make the team; who is going to be picked; what points are going to be needed, so it's a lot of hype that I am delighted I am not involved in it.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Sam is a very popular guy on the European Tour. He is, how would you put it, he's a guy that everybody knows. He is not a quiet individual, let's say, so he is well known by all the players. That's one of the reasons why he is Ryder Cup Captain, even the young guys know Sam Torrance and respect what he has done in the game of golf. I think, okay, there's a little bit -- I probably know him a little bit more from what his parents tell me about him, but Sam lets everybody knows who he is.
Q. In 1989 you were starting to get involved in team golf in the Walker Cup. Connors shot have an impact for you (Inaudible)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The Ryder Cup has been big in Ireland. Obviously O'Connor's shot in '89 but you have got to remember Eamonn Darcy's putt in 1987 at Muirfield (inaudible) on the 18th green, I think Philip Walton holed the winning putt in '95 in Oak Hill. And you know, and other Irish guys Dave Smith, David Feherty have had all good Ryder Cup campaigns. Chris O'Connor Sr. Held the record with 10 Ryder Cups with the largest number for a long time. He is tied now I think -- it's a big issue in Ireland, yes. I think one of the courses I played at when I grew up a lot in competition was Chris O'Connor's Sr.'s home course. There was the 10 pictures of the ten different teams up on the wall. So you know, I think the Ryder Cup is a big deal in Ireland.
Q. How was it for you, for your players as opposed to the Americans who are all there in one country, one flag, you guys are a conglomerate? How does --
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You'd be amazed you know, in Europe there's a reason of bonding between the players in Europe and often that's given as one of the distinguishing features between the European and U.S. tour. That the Europeans tend to bond more because we kind of have to, we are going to foreign countries so you have to ask people where the restaurants are, where if you are in the States you always know there's, I don't know, an Outback down the road or something like that. It's very easy over here, so in Europe there is a little bit more communication between the players because of that. But when you get in a team atmosphere, it's the exact same I am sure for the U.S. teams. There's guys out on the U.S. team week-in and week-out they are competing hard against the other players but put them in a team environment and all of a sudden they are trying to help the other guys out. That's the same way with the European team. I was amazed actually how much there was of that at the last Ryder Cup, how much the team came together. It was exceptional. I was surprised how much of a team it was and how much the guys, you know, put together.
Q. Fairways, they were saying that the fairways yesterday were somewhat hard due to the dryness that we have been having, yet the greens were holding. Any change today?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Oh, yeah. Fairways were much softer today. I was hitting the ball quite long yesterday getting (inaudible) Today I was struggling to get it out there at all. It was pitching dead in most fairways. It played a little longer today but then you can hit a lot more fairways because it wasn't running. Bigger target.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It would be as I said, that's one of the things about the U.S. tour, it is a very convenient and easy as in you can stay in the same hotel every week just in a different town, eat in the same restaurants, play in the same conditioned courses, same speed greens, but variety is the spice of life. As I said there's something about going to an empty Spanish restaurant cueing for ten minutes waiting for service, that's European and that's the way it is. It is just a little bit of character, let's say, and you know, travelling throughout the world, there's nothing like it to be honest. Playing you know, playing golf courses whether they be links golf courses in Ireland and say Britain or heading down to -- heading out to Malaysia and playing in the heat and Bermuda greens, variety is great, to be honest. And possibly that's one of the reasons I didn't like travelling so much that I am -- I still feel I am in the learning process and the more you play more variation in the golf courses you play, the better you learn how to play your shots.
End of FastScripts....