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February 21, 2007

Padraig Harrington


RODDY WILLIAMS: Very well played. It was always going to be a close match, and sure enough, down the 19th, but what a way to finish.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, obviously I had a ten-footer on 18 to win the match, and when I missed that, I really -- I felt that was -- I didn't feel good going into playoff holes. I felt that was a great opportunity missed.
Thankfully I hit a good tee shot and a good second shot down the first hole to about 40 feet. Lee chipped it up stone dead. I'm in a difficult enough position. I'm putting up over a tier and up and over a hill, but I did know the line from having played the hole the first time round.
When I hit the putt, I knew it was on a good line. Probably would have gone a few feet by, probably four feet by, so I was happy enough to see it hit the back of the hole and drop.
RODDY WILLIAMS: You were saying outside that probably the putt on 12th was key for you.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I was 2 down and just lost -- I had just lost 11 carelessly, and all of a sudden I'm not playing 12 well. I'm struggling, I'm losing that, and I'm looking at a 12-footer to go three down.
The difference between 3 down with 6 to play and 2 down with 6 is play is huge for me. Playing a hole badly was the best thing for me.

Q. Tell us what it's like playing with a mate in such an important match? What was that like between you?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: When you go play match play golf you want to play your own game, you don't want to watch your opponent. When you're playing with somebody you know you have so many expectations because you know what their game is like. It is difficult to play with somebody you know.
You know, I don't think there's any difference in playing a friend or somebody you don't know in terms of what putts you give and what you say on the golf course in terms of good shot or whatever. But I think there is a difference in you have certain expectations of the person, you know their game, and those expectations -- it's bad enough when you have some for yourself without watching your playing partner, as well, so it does make it a bit awkward.

Q. Was there any conversation between you?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Oh, yeah, plenty of conversation. We talked away. Yeah, just normal conversation like -- more or less maybe not quite as much conversation as there would be in a first round of a 72-hole stroke-play event, but pretty similar to the conversation you'd have in the last round of a stroke-play event. Things were chatted about if they were sort of brought up at the time, and just the rest of it was just a good, tight, solid match.

Q. Coming here as European No. 1 from last year, first of all, does that give you a sense of pride? And secondly, what does it do in terms of adding any pressure to you?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I wasn't thinking about it (laughing) when I was playing today. In terms of being European No. 1, yes, it adds some expectations, some pressure. You carry the banner for Europe for the year and you want to do well.
But when you go out there on the golf course, no one gives you a one-hole lead for being European No. 1, so you've got to do your job and not really think about things like that.

Q. You've had mixed fortunes in this event over the years. Do you take a sort of fatalistic approach to the Accenture, or do you see it as a big event you want to --
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: There's two issues to it. It's very early season for me. I struggled big-time with my concentration today. I had to work very hard towards the end to get my focus right. It is very early season, so I can't have too high an expectation about how I'm going to do this week.
And the second thing, it's match play. You can play the best golf and be beaten in match play. So you have to have that fatalistic approach that you go out there, you play your best, you try and raise your game against somebody who's playing well and is opening you.
That was the good thing about my game today. When things got tight I hit it close over the last five, six holes, which other years in this tournament I haven't been able to do great. I can remember matches I've lost where I've just been -- if a guy throws two birdies at me, all of a sudden I don't know what to do. At least today I made a few birdies at the end to come back.
But it's tough. As I said, in match play, the guys today with better figures than me who would have lost.

Q. You were in contention last week at the Nissan. You've gone 19 holes today. Is tiredness going to be a factor tomorrow against Stewart Cink?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I don't know about tomorrow against Stewart Cink. If I'm disciplined enough today, there shouldn't be any problem going out and playing another 18 holes tomorrow. Tiredness might be a factor, and I hope it is a factor Sunday afternoon. I'll put up with it at that stage.

Q. What about Stewart as an opponent? Have you played him before?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I have. I have played him certainly -- I played him in the Ryder Cup, not in singles but in four-ball or foursomes. I've played a lot of golf with Stewart over the years in stroke play events, so I do -- am reasonably familiar with his game. We have to go out there and play our own games tomorrow and see who plays the best.

Q. Up until the final hole, the 19th, you were never up. What do you say to yourself? You obviously didn't chuck it. What kind of things do you say to yourself?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, 12 was the big putt, not to go three down. All the time you keep telling yourself to do your things, keep applying yourself to what you want to do, not to throw the towel in basically, not to give up heart.
I think one of the hardest things to do when you're down is to make -- as it always is in match play, even when you're not down but even more so when you're down, is making the right choices in terms of what pins to fire at and what not. The pins were awfully tight today, incredibly tight. Most pins seemed to be more than a couple yards from the slopes that run off.
It's hard when you're 2 down not to play to 20 feet, yet if you're 2-up you can do that, but if you're 2 down do you go after a sucker pin.
You just have to be telling yourself, let's make the right decisions. Let's do our thing. Let's go through our routines and assume that that's going to work out for the best.

Q. What are your plans for the rest of the season after the Accenture?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm playing next week at Honda; have a couple of weeks off; play a couple going into Augusta; three weeks off; play a couple over here; a couple in Europe; two weeks off; play one here before the Open, U.S. Open.
I don't know what I am going to do the week after, might play here or in Europe. A couple of weeks off, play the Open, a couple events after, a week off; the Bridgestone; PGA; week off. And then I'm assuming -- hoping -- that I'll play the next four, as well. I'm not assuming, hoping.

Q. Are you playing the CA at Doral?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yes, they are the two events -- CA and then Houston, so I play all the world events.

Q. If you make it through to the weekend, will you resist the temptation to set up in the middle of the night and watch the goings on at Croke Park?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I will resist it if I make it through to the weekend. But I remember last year -- there obviously seems to be a Sunday game -- it is a Sunday game this time around, isn't it? Yeah. I remember trying to find an Irish pub to find it.
It was South Beach last time so we managed to find somewhere to find it. Hopefully that's a problem that I'll have to deal with. It's a long way away yet, though.

Q. The second shot on the playoff hole, that's a hybrid club?

Q. Distance, and is the middle of the green what you're looking for there?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I had 257, and I hit my Wilson 19 degree hybrid, which basically is replacing my 3-iron. It's kind of like a 3-iron, 2-iron distance. I hit it probably a 2-iron distance, and I don't carry a 3-iron. That's what I use instead of it.
Yeah, the shot was don't go left. That was the shot. Try and hit it on the green but don't hit it left of the pin because of where the pin was situated. Anything down the right you're okay, but anything short, left is not good.
So it was hit it down over to the right half of the green and try and draw it back in. If it drew -- which mine did, thank you very much --if it stayed straight, you'd be where he was, and he'd have to chip and putt from there. Tough pin positions, a lot of tough pin positions out there.

Q. How long a putt was that you made?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: 40 feet. I'm sure ShotLink will give you an exact rundown, but 40 feet.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Padraig, thanks very much. Good luck tomorrow.

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