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November 9, 2000

Padraig Harrington


GORDON SIMPSON: Padraig, a fantastic day's golf. Between the two of you, 12-under par. 66 for yourself. A very pleasing performance.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm happy. Obviously, the bogey at 18 slightly tainted it, but I'm not going to let it really take away from what's a really nice score.

GORDON SIMPSON: Was it the case of you were sort of sparking each other off? It looked that way on the score board.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah. From the start, both of us started holing putts early on. I think my caddie (Dave McNeilly) caddied for Nick (Price) a number of years early in the '80s. They were telling stories and stuff like that. It was a good atmosphere all day, an enjoyable day. Both of us were quite relaxed, and it showed in our scores.

GORDON SIMPSON: Do you tend to perform well when the atmosphere is relaxed?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I do like to talk on the golf course. I do like to try and enjoy it. Sometimes that's not always possible. Today was one of those days that it just was easy today. It doesn't always happen like that. Obviously, as I said, it was just really because it was sort of just a nice game of golf.

Q. You said you didn't play very well last week, but still scored 7-under. How much better did you play today?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, I think I've counted it up there last night. I spent 15 hours hitting golf balls in the range in the last three days. My hands are sore. I'm tired from doing that. Normally, that's not a very good day, very good preparation for a tournament. Obviously, I didn't feel like I was hitting the ball very well last week. I felt it was necessary to do that. Thankfully, it's paid off in many ways. I certainly hit the ball a lot better than I was hitting it last week.

GORDON SIMPSON: How many balls do you reckon you must have hit?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: They were bringing them in large buckets to me. People were sort of bringing golf balls over, spare golf balls, and giving me extra balls. I was managing to get it -- I was last to leave the range on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. It's not good preparation for a tournament, but it's obviously worked this week.

GORDON SIMPSON: Would it be into the thousands, would it?


Q. Given that you played with Nick today, you'll be playing with him tomorrow. You hope he'll have the same effect, will you?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Obviously, it's not confirmed whether I'm playing with him tomorrow yet. I don't know how anybody else is doing on the course. Things like that don't always work out. Expectations, you just don't know. Obviously, we just got into a nice roll today, as I said. We were holing putts, it was like two-ball, lovely to play. We were moving along nicely. It was a nice atmosphere in the game. We were chatting going up the fairway. So it's just -- you can't predict that's going to happen again. But, yes, Nick is a very easy guy to play with, very easy to play with.

Q. Today was very relaxing, very nice game, you said. So maybe that's the reason both of you decided to finish in the first and second position to play again tomorrow.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, yeah, that's what I'm suggesting. Because we started well and because the atmosphere was good, we just played a game of golf like we were out, a two-ball game on a Sunday in a club. We just moved along nicely. That's the way it felt to me. We were in a nice little rush, moving on nicely. I suppose the fact that we both started well, we weren't protecting, we weren't overpowering or struggling. We were both going well early on. It helped things along.

Q. What is something you can say about playing with Nick Price? What is the best thing?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: He's just very easy to play with. He says "Good shot" when you have good shots. He plays very steady golf himself. It's nice to watch. He's one of the gentlemen of the game of golf, so he's a very easy guy to play golf with. That's just the way -- I'm sure anybody who gets drawn him has a nice partner for the day.

Q. Are there any stories Dave told you about the old days with Nick?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: There were a few stories, but I'm sure I probably shouldn't share them. No, I can't remember them offhand. There was a few stories I'm sure I've heard so many times at this stage. When they're told with the person who's involved and things like that, or, you know, Nick certainly would have known some of the characters in the story, I'd say, it made it all the funnier.

Q. What were you working with on the range on your golf swing?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: To make it a little bit wider at the take-away, and a little bit more -- how would you say -- not so much more upright, but keeping -- the problem with my swing last week was I was getting inside on the way down. We were trying to keep it more or less on the same track on the way up and the way down. So it was really just a bit more whip, a bit more on the backswing as well and just to try to keep my hands out of it.

Q. You had 15 putts for the first 13 holes. What was that indicative of?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I certainly -- I hit some of my shots close to make birdies and missed some greens and chipped close to make some pars. I holed a good, long one on the 6th hole. But I think that was the only long putt of the day. So it was more good, sort of bad, few good bunker shots, few good chips, a few good irons really reduced the putting.

Q. I gather it was a big adventure over 7, 8, and 9?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, it was. Especially on 8. I hit it in the trees, then I hit it in the right-hand bunker. A very nice bunker shot that was -- we were surprised. Like it did a chicane around the whole. It was funny looking from where I was. It looked like it was going to fall in. It went left and kind of went around it like it was avoiding it. 9, I just hit it in the left, just left of the fairway. It just kicked left off the fairway. I'm blocked out. I putted a shot, and it just came up in the right-hand bunker of the 9th. If you know the 9th, there's a tree there in the way of the bunker. I was hoping to get -- there's a light in the tree, and there's some wires from the light. I was hoping to be able to move the wires because it would give me an inch more room. They were sticking out from the tree. But it wasn't, so I played out. I played it; it would have been a foot right in the hole. It wasn't -- I could play it a foot right in the hole. It was just convincing myself I could do it. Obviously, it's difficult to play a bunker shot when you can't actually see anything, because the tree was directly in front of me. I couldn't see where I was trying to land it. You have to convince yourself that there was room to get there.

Q. Could you go back to the Nick Price element of your round. Do professionals take a lot of note of who they're going to be playing with the following day? Does it bother you, who you're playing with?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I don't think we take note of it, no. We don't look at the draw and say, "Who are you playing with?" But when you're out there, sometimes you can enjoy a round more than others, depending who you're playing with.

Q. Some details on your round?

GORDON SIMPSON: The birdies.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: 1st hole, 3-wood, 9-iron to 5 feet; holed a putt. 4th hole, driver, 7-iron. Sand wedge to 6 feet; holed a putt. 7th hole, I hit 7-iron to the fringe of the green, 35 feet away, and I holed it. 10, I hit 3-wood pitching wedge to 8 feet; holed the putt. 11, I hit driver 4-wood; chipped up stone dead. 13, I hit 3-wood, I got stuck behind the trees in the right. I hit a 5-iron, cut a 5-iron about 15 yards off course to about 3 feet and holed the putt. 17, I hit a good drive. I had 224 to that pin on 17, and this week I've dropped a 3-iron and put a 2-iron in because of a couple of the -- long 15, par 3, and a couple of holes you can hit a 2-iron off the tee. So 225, I probably would have went with 3-iron on the -- if I had it in the bag. But 4-iron was -- I could hit a high 4-iron and get the wind behind us. That's what I went with. It kind of convinced me. Obviously, if I had the 3(-iron) and the 4, I probably would have been thinking, "Oh, let's go for safety with the 3-iron." That was a bonus. On 18, I hit a 2-iron about 4 feet; missed the putt; (inaudible) it drifted right. I thought the wind was kind of into me off the left. It was actually just off the left. It went through the fairway into the trees. I chipped out. I pitched to about 10 feet and I missed the putt.

End of FastScripts….

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