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October 7, 2006

Padraig Harrington


PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I didn't realise par was 71 and I was trying to break 70. I thought I had shot 69 and that was a lucky extra one to make there. I played well early on and hit it superb for 11 holes. Coming home I hit some good and some bad shots and made some bogeys and while I was disappointed to make the birdies it was a tough, tough golf course. We played off Championship tees and it is not the weather, not that sunny to be playing all the way back on some of those holes.

Q. 16 and 17 proving difficult?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: 16 is 250 yards and we are hitting six iron into it. I hit a nice one but missed from three feet. You are up there and it is windy and all sorts of thoughts are going through your head. 17 was three wood, I needed three wood second shot and to be honest I didn't feel like hitting it. There is a lot of gorse up there. I tried to squeeze a hybrid up there and caught the bunker. It is a four and half today the 17th so it was nice to birdie the last and get one back. I felt I played well enough to shoot 68 and birdieing the last always makes lunch sit a little better.

Q. Leading the team event as well?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It helps you focus. It is always good to focus on the team and do things for the team and that helps the individual score. It certainly helped me in the middle of my round yesterday. Today it was tougher and a bit more of a grind. Yesterday was a big bonus for me and when I won with JP a few years ago the team carried me through the middle of that round as well. It certainly helps.

I Q. In the Order of Merit mix - Mallorca in two weeks?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: We will have to wait and see how things go. I set myself a bit of a goal to try and push on for that. I was a bit out of it but with a couple of big events to go I knew I I could win one I would put myself in the mix. Don't know what will happen tomorrow, we will have to wait and see but tomorrow evening I will be able to tell you my plans.

Q. Mallorca might be the place to get some valuable points?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: There is a long way to go with this one. I have got to say it was tough out there today and tomorrow is going to be another tough day at St Andrews. We are just going to have to stay focused on this and worry about Order of Merit when it is all done and dusted and totalled up and home and hosed.

Q. You looked a long way behind but felt you still have a chance?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: With three big events I was a long way behind but I was trying to go out there and motivate myself to get something going. After the Ryder Cup it would be very easy to sit back. It is a bit of a downer after you win something like that. I was trying tog et some sort of focus and while it was a very long shot and still is a long shot, it I something I am using as a motivational goal.

Q. And a first win in Europe for a couple of years wouldn't go amiss?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It is a long way away but yes that would be sweet as well. All these things are things we can talk about tomorrow if it goes. All I can do is go out tomorrow and do my thing. Bradley is obviously playing very well and is the man in form. It is going to be a tough day tomorrow whatever. There are a lot no guys not far away. I was hoping to make a couple more birdies today to try and break away from the guys who are a couple of shots back but that was not to be so we will have to work hard tomorrow.

Q. What did you make of the course?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It is in fantastic condition but wow it is a tough golf course. We are playing it with no rough so some holes you can avoid the bunkers but drivers are going 240 into the wind. There are some tough holes out there. You could hit 9 iron 190 yards downwind at times but that is links golf. Thankfully there was a little give out there and it wasn't uncontrollable. It wasn't that windy really was it. Just cold. That what was doing the damage into the wind.

Q. Is it hard to keep your concentration when it is that cold?

I wasn't. I wore a tee shirt and jumper for most of the round and wasn't feeling it. But 15, 16 and 17 you are back into an exposed area and it did get cold. I wasn't struggling to grip the club or anything.

Q. Is it a formidable test for the Open?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: There are some new bunkers and things and it is a very stern test. But that is the great thing about the Open and they move it to different golf courses. You come here and know it will be an incredibly tough task for the week and another venue you think you can make birdies. That is the way it should be. You should mix it around, have some very tough where level par or even over par will win and somewhere 14 under can win as well. It is good the way they mix it around in the Open.

Birdies and bogeys

3 - 9 iron to 1 ft

6 - 6 iron to 8 ft

10 - PW to 25 ft

11 - bunker off the tee and shipped out.

12 - hybrid tpo 35 ft

14 - 6 iron, chip and putt

16 - 3 putt from front right

17 - - Bunker with second shot

18 - 9 iron to 10 ft.

End of FastScripts.

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