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September 17, 2004

Padraig Harrington

Colin Montgomerie


Q. Quite a start this morning?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well it was very important for us. We had a meeting together and decided that if we could win this morning it was almost psychologically worth more than a point to Europe, a point and a bit if you like to try and beat the Number One and Two players in America, in America -- that's a big difference. We got off to a flying start and birdied the first four holes which under that pressure was fantastic and didn't really allow them to get back into the game, birdieing six of the first eight. It was super and I had a great partner and I think we helped the six behind, they saw us ahead if you like and played accordingly.

Q. You are smiling, Padraig.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: We had a great time out there and it is easy when you have a partner like Colin, he showed his class again today and it is easy for me playing with him because I can afford to miss a few holes and he is right there. If you birdie the first four holes and you are up in the match then it is going to be enjoyable but I think it was about as enjoyable a first morning match as you can have.

Q. What was your reaction when you first saw the pairings?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: We expected it before, we were asked if we were asked to go out in that match.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: There was a reason why we went first, we had an inkling that they might be doing this and there was a reason why we started proceedings this morning.

Q. What is it about these Matches, Colin?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I don't know, I seem to end up with very, very good partners you know. I unfortunately finished with Bernhard Langer but now I have Padraig so I am very very happy indeed.

Q. How respectful were the galleries?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The galleries were great, everybody was great and it was a super day. As expected there was loud cheers for the US and respectful applause for us, very, very good.

Q. What are your hopes for this afternoon?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well we try and finish before the 17th because it gets a little tight around that hole so we'll do our best and see what happens this afternoon.

Q. Why do the Europeans always seem to get off to a good start?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well I think the Americans are under a little bit more pressure than we are possibly, we are coming in here as underdogs again so there is maybe less pressure on us but that is for you guys to figure out and analyse, our job is to win and that is what we have done this morning.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: That was great. I have to say that myself and Colin were in a good frame of mind going out. We elected to play that match, that is what we expected and I suppose we wanted to put two solid guys in against them, two of our big hitters let's say, and it worked.

I felt great on the first tee. That was my third Ryder Cup start and I went from not being able to see the ball to not bad at the Belfry to pretty good today. The only worry I had was putting the ball on the actual tee, after that, everything else was pretty solid. Because we knew this for a while that this would probably be the match we would be playing and what was expected of us, I think that helped us and I also think the build-up we have had this week helped us going into the match. We definitely prepared properly and I think it showed the way we started. It is a perfect start.

Q. Like the Hoch match all over again on the first?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, it sets the whole thing going doesn't it, it's true and we knew that winning that game was like a point and a bit and it was so important for us to get off to that start to give the other six guys an opportunity to say look Monty and Harrington are doing it, let's follow. It was a bit like the Hoch thing because it does feed through.

Q. How proud are you of yourself now?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I was proud of myself to get into the team and I had a little lump in my throat this morning on the first tee shot to be honest. I hit it into the bunker, then hit a seven iron out of the bunker and holed it! What's this all about I'm thinking! I am a little tired now to be honest but I will go out again and give it everything because the adrenalin keeps you going. But the first, as I said, I did feel a little lump in the throat because to be standing where I was after having come through the four months I have had, was something. It was super to have Padraig as a partner, he is fabulous, really fabulous. A few people might not have put us together in the past but I thought we dovetailed beautifully, we enjoy each other's company, and we're not bad, are we.

Q. So you weren't really nervous on the first?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, not nerves, just real emotion there. I had a smile though as I backed off from the ball, I said I was going to have a smile on the first tee, to myself really than anybody else. I took a look across at Woods and Mickelson and I thought, "right I've got back into the arena that I felt I belonged in" I'd got back into it and I was proud of myself for that.

Q. They looked more nervous than you.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, they were, because there was more on them.

End of FastScripts.

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