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September 29, 2006

Padraig Harrington


Q. Not exactly the way you might have wanted to finish the round, but it ends up 69 and a pretty decent day, and now I imagine you're glad you're finished?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It did get a little nasty right at the end, and it's the sort of golf course you never want to miss fairways on. The rough is heavy. It's going to happen. I think that was my first 5 in 36 holes, so it's going to happen a few more times in the weekend, so just got to make a few birdies to match up with that.

Q. Our friend, Tiger Woods, is trying to run away with this thing.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, just something about these world golf events. Yeah, I don't know, you would think after winning a few, he wouldn't be as motivated but that doesn't seem to happen to Tiger.

Q. We know consciously you can't control what anybody else does, you have to control what you do. How do you approach the weekend?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, obviously, you know, he's a few shots ahead, so my approach is obviously to be quite aggressive and take on my shots. You know, it's probably a little bit easier being a little bit off the lead to try and attack the golf course, and, you know, try and move forward. If it was a little bit tighter, maybe I would be a little bit more conservative, but looks like I'll have a nice weekend to go after it.

Q. I know you've been asked and asked about things last week at the Ryder Cup, but I would just like to make a comment. I think that the Ryder Cup and you personally will bring a lot of people to Ireland. It certainly came off beautifully.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I suppose after all the years of it building up in Ireland, there was a lot of relief afterwards that it did go off well, and nothing could have really gone better as it turned out. The crowds are great. Everybody enjoyed themselves. There was also the right result for us. You know, it was nice to win in Ireland.

I don't know if it will ever be certainly in my playing career again, so, you know, it wouldn't have been great to lose it. So it was very important that we did win.

So, you know, I can't it was a dream come true I suppose last week for everybody.

Q. Not quite the fireworks of yesterday but are you happy enough with that?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I could have been better today. My focus wasn't as strong as it was yesterday, and you know, thankfully, I recovered a few times. My short game was good. I kind of lost patience early in the round. I was playing well and felt I should go at more pins and I wasn't, you know, just wasn't patient basically and I didn't play so well then on the back nine. As I said my focus and concentration wasn't quite as good. Went a long way without 5 on the card, 35 holes.

You know, there's a lot to play for, 36 holes over the weekend. Obviously Tiger is a bit relentless, but you know, it's something to give me to chase on the weekend. There's no point in holding back now. It's about being aggressive on the weekend and trying to make plenty of birdies.

Q. Does it become a different tournament when he's doing what he's doing out there?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, it's different tournament whether anybody is up there. You've got to chase them.

Maybe if it was somebody inexperienced, you might they would come back. But at this stage, I'm thinking let's make lots of birdies on the weekend and don't worry too much about making the odd bogey.

Q. How disappointing was the finish?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Not really, in the end of the day, I went a long time without a bogey. I went a long time without 5; 35 holes. It's going to happen again, and it's the weekend, I need to make some more birdies, that's it.

Obviously I have to do a bit of chasing on the weekend and the goal is to go out there and make lots of birdies and accept making a few bogeys.

Q. Are you playing for second?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I suppose it's in his own hands. But no, I'm not going to play for second, no. I'm going to try and go out there well, in the end of the day, if I was playing for 50th, I'd be trying just as hard.

So I'm going to try to shoot the lowest score I can on the weekend, try to be aggressive, not worry about, you know, making the odd mistake, make a few more birdies. I felt today I was just, you know, especially early on, I lost a little bit of patience. I felt I was hitting nice shots, but maybe just a little too safe, and I feel I've got to take advantage of when I'm swinging it well to go after a few more pins.

Q. Are you surprised at what Tiger is doing, even he can shoot such a low number?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, you can't be surprised at him, can you. I certainly felt I could have been a few better. Obviously he's 15 under, what's he, 7 under today, it's impressive, no question about it. But I suppose that's why he's world No. 1, and there's something about these world golf events that he seems to like. You would think he would lose his motivation.

Q. Do you still have plenty of gas in the tank for the weekend?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yes, yes, definitely. I'm ready. I think my focus wasn't as good as it could have been today. That's where my emphasis lies for the next two days.

Q. Can you go out and get aggressive on this course?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Why not? You know, I think I've got to try to be more aggressive. I think my short game was strong enough today that I could afford to miss a few greens, short side myself and still get it up and down. I've got to take responsibility for that tomorrow; that I am going to make missing some short sides, but I am going to get up and down.

Q. Are you by nature happier when you're being defensive, or do you have to go against your nature basically?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think I definitely over the years have become a more defensive player. You know, certainly when I first came out on Tour, I just hit it, found it, and kept going after it. Now I play a more sensible game and do tend to hit more into the middle of the green 20 feet away from the hole and not missing the short side.

And the pins have got tighter, too, over the years. I think that the nature of the game, with the pin positions, it is breeding more cautious play. But this week, everything is in such good shape, the greens are good enough to hold putts on, so you've got to be that bit more aggressive.

Q. 15 has been good to you, you hit driver on it again, didn't you?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, driver, very nice, two yards further. It was further actually to the pin. It was two yards further to the front of the green. It was probably 280 to the pin.

Q. Tiger Woods is a distinctively different fish in stroke play than match play, is it obvious or not?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No. I just think when you're playing match, it's one shot at a time, it's easier to be you know, it's easier to take on somebody who is better than you in a match. Everybody, if you were the underdog, you always want to play the match. You don't want to play 72 holes. You're going to play a 18 hole match where you can go after it and one bad hole doesn't mess you up.

Q. The fact that the rough is very heavy

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Very lush, very lush, you're better off missing by a long way. Every week is the same. They grow in the rough for the tournament so the stuff close to the fairway is the newest, lushest bit of rough.

End of FastScripts.

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