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February 24, 2006

Padraig Harrington


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Paddy, for joining us for a few minutes here in the media center. Nice win out there; looks like that match went back and forth quite a bit today. It must have been a really good match.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It didn't really go back and forth. The first time I went up in the match was 15. I was just down all the way and really trying to avoid going further down. I never looked like I don't think I looked like winning a hole, me winning a hole out there. Maybe 18.

Even then I was out of position off the tee. I think the best I could do was hang on in there. Eventually he didn't finish off the match, really, and then I got a couple of breaks. After he went 1 up on 11, well, that wasn't from long range, it was unexpected. And he really let me back into the match.

I was never threatening. I was never doing anything to get back into the match. It was more or less up to Vijay. And that three putt definitely put him on the back. And then he three putt 15, as well. He's given away two holes. Okay, I missed the shot on 16, but I got a big heel print in the way and I just lost trying to roll it and ended up hitting it, ended up hitting it through the impression. It didn't bother me too much, because it was kind of an outside influence.

Obviously on 18 all my putts had dropped all day, so that's when I assume when you get left with a left to right putt, you assume it's going to drop into the hole. And as I said, most putts all day, anything that hit the lip today went in from it. It was my sort of day that saw the ball go in. So I was more than shocked to see that one stay out.

Q. Yesterday you mentioned you were between two swings. Did you get that straightened out?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Oh, I was worse. I really struggled.

Q. Which one was working?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I wish one or the other would be fine, that's the problem. I'm doing neither. I'd be fine if I've done nine weeks' practice during the winter, and trying to turn that practice off and play golf is very difficult. I'm right in between. As I said, maybe I would be better going back to just thinking about my technique. But I'm just stuck. It will take me a few weeks to get out of it.

Q. You're stuck and you're going to the quarter finals?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, but most of these it's not been up to me so much. It's been more up to certainly the last two days, the two guys had the opportunity to take the match and to win the match comfortably if they holed the right putts at the right time. Neither of them finished it out, gave me a chance, and of course I got the breaks at the right time. So it's definitely it's more the opposition than my doing.

I just hold on in there and really I really struggled with my shots today, worse than yesterday. I don't know what it's going to be like tomorrow.

Q. It seemed like you're putting it really well, other than 16, like you said?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, don't say that. Obviously I'm doing something okay. I'm trying to that's obviously what's been keeping me in the game, yes. I don't want to tempt fate by saying that.

Q. You don't have to say it, I'll keep it to myself, then.

We were in interviewing Geoff; we didn't see your decisive hole. Could you run through the finish?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Vijay hit it left off the tee, and the bunkers on the left are very penal. I hit it right off the tee, through the first tree, through the second tree, down into the rough and fine. He hit 2 out over the water, 40 yards short of the pin. I probably hit probably my first good shot of the day, I hit it to about 15 feet. Vijay chipped it to 15 feet, he missed, and I tiddled mine down to the hole and took an easy 2 putt to win it in the end. It was a non event at the end.

Q. You had to claw back yesterday?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I was 2 down yesterday. That was the thing that gave me some confidence today; I was only 1 down at worst at any stage. So, yeah, the problem was I couldn't see myself doing anything to get out of the match today. The three putts on 12 and 15, it's two holes, when you finish tied. And it wasn't going to be a situation where I I never felt comfortable enough I even hit I hit good shots on 18 sorry, 9, 2 and 3 and was ten yards out, at least, with each of them, as in that's the way I had no control over my ball striking. Even if I hit them straight, I was probably 15 yards short on 18, ten yards long on nine it's the 18th, because it's reversed.

11, I was ten yards big or more.

And 12 I was ten, 15 yards short. So I'm all over the place with I can't must be a nightmare for my caddie. I have no idea how far the ball is going, so I don't know what he's thinking (laughter). It's a real struggle out there. There's no consistency in the strike.

So I'm getting all sorts of different trajectories and ball flight and distances and lefts and rights and just about everything.

Q. Overconfidence is not a problem?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, no, I'm not struggling with that, never.

Q. Is it more going in a match against Davis Love playing like this or if you were in a field of 144?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: If I was in a field of 144, I could miss the cut and hide and go to the range and nobody would know any different. It would be me and my caddie would be the only ones talking about this. I wouldn't be trying to explain how I won three matches and was really struggling with my game. The only way going in with Davis is I'm lucky to have gotten this far and go out there and take my chances, just there's no real pressure on me. There would be a bit more pressure if it was the final or something like that. You'd be wanting to win, and you'd be really disappointed that you're not playing so well.

But quarter final, yeah, I've done well to get this far. I'll go play my hardest tomorrow, no expectations and see what happens. Well, actually I have only poor expectations. It's a great position for me. I'll go out there and play and see what happens. It's better than losing in the first round, and I'd be doing three days of practice and wouldn't be feeling bad about my game. But I'd be probably doing good for myself the next week.

Q. Do you have any kind of chance of finding something in the morning?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'll tell you how bad it is; I'm going back to my room, rather than going to practice. I just have to leave it alone and let it settle down itself. It's more over practice than anything else.

Q. You've won tournaments struggling with your swing, haven't you?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, but not normally this I've actually played very well when I've struggled with my swing. But this is a notch down from that. I'm actually struggling with my setup, which is even worse. So I'm distracted. Like everything that moves I'm I'm just fidgety, I'm out of my whole routine. It's more my routine is totally broken down than my golf swing; it's much more that. I'm just out of sorts getting over the ball and losing focus before I ever take the club away.

Q. You were that way on the very first tee; didn't you step back?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Every hole today I'm rabbit ears not rabbit ears, I've got big eyes; I'm seeing everything. My routine is just in pieces. And that's it's because of a winter break. That's what you lose when you stop practicing and working on your game; you lose the routine. I'm over the ball and not getting into my shots at all. That's why I played slightly better both days toward the end because obviously the first nine holes, the more I do it, the better I kind of get at it.

I need weeks of practice, at least. That's why it always takes me a number of weeks to get warmed up in the year. But normally I wouldn't be in the situation I'm in, I wouldn't be in the quarter finals. I'd be in a field of 144, and nobody would know the difference I was trying to work these things out.

Q. Is this like Malaysia?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, close enough for Malaysia. It was a little bit better in Malaysia, because I was doing a little bit of preparation going into Malaysia, but it seems to have gotten a little worse this week.

Q. To hear you talk for the last ten minutes, it's amazing you're sitting up there.


Q. Have you drug these guys down in the mud out there?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I don't think I'm helping their game, I don't. I think Vijay would have gotten frustrated today that he hadn't taken a two or three hole lead. And it's the greens are exceptionally fast, you're never safe out there. Vijay, I wasn't going there was nothing I could throw him. There was nothing there. And it was just a question, like holes like 7 where you had to hit the middle of the green to win the hole. He obviously aimed left, and I'm aiming too far left and hit it right. And all of a sudden he's got to get frustrated with his game. He probably would have played better if I played better, that's for sure.

Q. Do you get yourself in this situation every year, in a way, by you taking a longer than normal Christmas and New Year break?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I have to accept that.

Q. This is nothing unusual for you?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, I have to accept the fact that I really take a few weeks to get anywhere, back into sort of the rhythm of things.

Q. You used to say about the Accenture, that this was an awful long way to come for 18 holes, but that's changed?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You know what, I tend to knock it down and really focus this year, trying hard sort of thing. But one or two rounds is what I see my limits are in a week like this, because of the fact that I am just so rusty. I'm just not competitive in terms of just in terms of my routine. Like I've spent nine weeks' break in my routine, and coming back out to see what do I expect?

Q. If you can get this far playing

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: But I might have lost the first round. It's easy to lose out there. Tim Clark was 5 under the first day and lost. Some of this is luck of the draw. It's not a question of in any shape or form think it would have been a breeze if I played well. I'm sure I could have anything can happen.

Q. Did you go say the short par 4 on the front there, No. 6, did you go for it?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: That's a perfect example. Not a chance in the world I'd take a driver.

Q. You laid up all three days?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I wouldn't have the ability to hit that shot in the moment. I could hit it anywhere. Even though it could reach the green, I just like I knew I just hit a 4 iron, and that's the most I could take on.

Q. You parred it all three days?


Q. Because today Vijay went for it and had a bad chip?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: But all that is, he obviously hit it to 25 feet off the tee and chipped it to 12 feet. Things like that, he wasn't closing the match out. And that obviously gave me if anything by him not closing them out made him play worse and gave me an opportunity to play better. So I don't for a second recommend trying to play golf like I'm playing at the moment.


End of FastScripts.

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