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January 20, 2007

Padraig Harrington


GORDON SIMPSON: You got out of the box fast today and nice finish to get your nose in front at the end.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah obviously after a good start I felt I was hoping to push on, maybe shoot a really low score, and you know, essentially win the tournament today, maybe get to 17-under, 16- or 17-under. Obviously that's not to be, but it's always worked out well when you're ahead. Obviously with three guys just behind me, and a few a little further back, at the end of the day, it's just going to be -- hope I'll be leading tomorrow. Have to be prepared to play well tomorrow to win the tournament.
GORDON SIMPSON: Seems to be one of the fields where if you look at the leaderboard, anyone can shoot from anywhere and get right up there.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, that's why I say I would like to have made more of my start. At 12 now, but if I got it to 16 or 17, it could take all of the 8-unders out and the 9-unders. Even the 12s would have to play well, but that's not to be. Have to look at the fact we're going to play another 18 holes of good golf tomorrow.
It's never easy, is it?
GORDON SIMPSON: No, it never is.

Q. (Will you have your eye on Paul Casey tomorrow)?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm not going to -- I've done particularly well. I've played three rounds of golf this week and I haven't managed to see a score board once until the 18th green each day, so I certainly will not be looking at one individual out there. Well, I will actually be looking at one individual, and that will be me. I won't worry about anybody else. There will be more than Paul Casey trying to play good golf tomorrow, and I would be a foolish person just to worry about one individual.
There's a couple of guys who can win this tournament tomorrow, so I'm going to focus on my game and hopefully play nice and solid and make them work hard to win it.

Q. (Do you prefer playing with a lead)?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I prefer having a lead, yes. I think there's no pressure when you don't have a lead, but I would like to have the lead any time, preferably by six shots.
Ultimately it is a different scenario when you're leading a tournament. You are a little bit more protective and things like that, but I'll take that ahead of chasing, because, well, it's less stressful. Obviously the odds of winning are less. That's the reality of it.

Q. (Your thoughts on Shiv Kapur and what do you think of his game)?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I thought I was a very good player in HSBC and he looked like an even better player today. He doesn't seem to have too many weaknesses or many weaknesses. Fine player and one I would be worried about tomorrow if I was looking about individuals. But I won't be. (Laughter).

Q. (Key shots today)?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I hit a nice bunker shot close on the second, missed left edge of the green which for me is pretty good.
I hit a lovely 7-iron into the fourth, to be 15 feet away nice birdie.
Lovely 4-iron into the seventh, holed the putt from 8 feet. A lot of nice shots out there. I tried to hit my drive awfully hard on the eighth hole and I thought it was worth taking a chance. Slightly penal, I ended up missing a short putt.
But besides that, 8 and 10 were the only two mistakes really in the round. The rest of it was really solid. Gave myself plenty of chances.

Q. (Key to playing well this week)?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Normally the guy who is leading the tournament has putted well. I'm reading the greens very well and very happy.

Q. (What happened on the par 5)?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Hit a really nice drive. I was just trying to drop it off to the right and it drifted a little bit in the wind and I was not quite sure whether it would make it in the fairway or not. Turns out it didn't quite make it in the fairway but was lying nicely in the rough. I had 231 to the flag and I was going to hit my hybrid actually and my caddie said to hit a soft 5-wood and I hit a soft 5-wood to 35 feet and as you can see, it wasn't as much downgrain as I thought it was and I knocked it eight feet by the hole and hit a good putt coming back. I think it was important birdie, you feel that the reachable par 5s, you feel you should be getting something back out of it, and it was important today to do that.

Q. (Will you have a number in mind tomorrow)?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm not too fussed. It's nice to have a one-shot lead. If I didn't have the lead, it wouldn't be here nor there. Obviously I'm going to have to go out tomorrow and play good golf. It's not enough of a lead that 72 is not going to win it. Who knows actually what's going to win it, but I'm going to have to play good golf tomorrow and it's irrelevant whether I'm 12-under or 13-under. Probably need to be 15 or 16 for it to make a difference.

Q. (What would a win tomorrow mean)?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It would be a big pleasure and quite a surprise. Yeah, I'd be thrilled with that. I'm thrilled already that I'm well ahead of the game of where I thought I would be. I'm in nice position, and the things I want to work on I can do it gradually and keep working on it while still playing good golf at the golf course.

Q. (Crowd was good for you today)?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think so, yeah. Excellent golf every day for me. But it was nice to get a very nice reception on 18 before and after I finished the hole, that is appreciated. It was a warm welcome, and hope that goes the same tomorrow.

Q. (About strategy for tomorrow).
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You know, I never looked at a leaderboard, somebody could have been four shoots ahead or two shots ahead.
Same thing -- no, I will look at the leaderboard. I will make a conscious decision tonight at what stage I want to know how I'm doing. Maybe 17 and 18 if you're behind, you try to go a bit more aggressive up the right-hand side. 16, 17, 18, now that I'm thinking about it, if you're chasing birdies, you certainly play different than if you were able to just make par.
So I will look, I will want my caddie to tell me when I walk off 15 green tomorrow how I'm doing.
I'm always trying to win but the main thing is just keep my -- watch what I'm doing and let everybody else look after themselves. If I was looking at leaderboards, I played the first day in the afternoon and wouldn't know Phillip Archer shot 9-under par. Sometimes it's good to keep your head down and play your own game.

Q. (Who is here with you)?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, actually my family all went home. I have three people with me this week and it is nice, I have my mom here and she's having a great time. It's nice to have people with you, more so for after the golf, somebody to talk to about the golf or not about golf, whatever, you know, that's why it's great to have family when you're at a golf tournament.
When you're at the golf course, they can't really help you when you're out there. But afterwards when there's things to be discussed, it's always nice to have family there because they can be very supportive or encouraging.
GORDON SIMPSON: Thank you very much, Padraig, and thanks for your perseverance for the band.

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