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May 17, 2007

Padraig Harrington


PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Just didn't hole the putts today but I made two good pars the last two holes and that's a little bit satisfying. At least I kept my score as it was and 73 is well in there. You know, keep playing the same way over the next couple of days and things will even themselves out I'm sure and I'll make a few more birdies than I made today.

Q. The double bogey 6 at 10 proved quite costly.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I'm out 35 with two 3-putts, which means I've played quite well and taken a lot of chances -- to take a 4 at the 10th after hitting a nice shot in there was definitely a bit of a blow and caused me -- caused the round to stall as well as anything else. I lost all momentum there, and, you know, it was one of those things, I kind of was salvaging after that, and, you know, to get home in eight pars after that was okay.

Q. Paul McGinley spoke at length about the conditions this morning, have they improved somewhat for you this afternoon? Were you surprised scoring was not a bit better?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I thought it was ideal for playing golf. You know, I thought somebody would play well with confidence, and you know, somebody's playing well, they are hitting the fairways and the rough isn't an issue and they can make plenty of birdies. I am surprised that only 4-under is leading. I thought somebody would go lower, but there's opportunities over the next three days. I think as players get used to it, they will attack the golf course a bit more.
You know, you've got to hit the fairway. Some of the tee shots, you've got to, you know, messing the fairways is quite penal, so you are struggling to make pars on those holes.
So, yeah, it is a tougher test and it's a good, long test. The conditions are ideal for scoring and the pins were nice. There was no, you know, they were nice and fair and a good test. So, you know, I thought the scoring would be better. Certainly I could have played a lot better through 15 holes, no question about it.

Q. Got the best of the conditions as well, didn't you, in the morning.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: There you go. So I have.

Q. The guys this morning, they seem to say the crowd should get birdies and eagles --
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You're asking a question that you know the answer.
Yeah, you know, I'm a great believer in the, you know, my ideal golf course, that we'd have no rough, there you go. That's how I envision the game. I do, you know, it's a good test out there. It's a very solid test and I like the fact that you come to different style of golf courses.
Certainly this course suits me being as tough as it does. But, you know, I suppose it's not going to be quite as exciting, you know, players are cautious. You know, you miss a green as I did on 10, you're 20 feet from the hole but you know, you're slightly out and you're really -- there is some, you know, difficulty when you're out of position out there.
So it is something that you're always weary of that and you always hit to the safe side of the green, 15 feet away.
But that's the great thing about, you know, golf; we get a different test every week.

Q. Is there a factor --
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, it's a super test. That's the great thing. You know, the ideal conditions we're playing, you know, just need to -- me personally three 3-putts is a lot. I wouldn't normally have that in 72 holes. That probably killed my momentum, and a number of putts as well, short putts as well, driving them a little bit through the break. So, should work a little bit on the pace of the short putts for me.

Q. Is it the torpedo --
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, that's just being a little bit anxious over the putts. Just trying to hit them into the hole rather than rolling them into the hole.

Q. So was it a chance lost?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It was a good chance lost. First 15 holes, another day, I would have been well under par. I would have been well under par for the day, no question about it, a different day but if I play the same way for the next three days. There's nothing lost today. I could have been better, but over 72 holes I'd be very happy if I played the exact same way.

Q. And another thing about the golf course, it was a good crowd out there this afternoon?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It was a great crowd. -- I made two birdies.

Q. Enough to get them excited?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'd say between us we'd maybe seven or eight birdies between the three of us.

Q. Is it a good thing to have the course this difficult, for the fans especially?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You definitely get more exciting golf when you have, you know, tight and fast, especially around the greens. Obviously it's hard -- it's hard to get fast when you have a lot of sand but certainly I would, you know -- yes, you answered your own question, Charlie, no question about it. 20-under par winning total is not a bad thing, and that does create more excitement.
But you know, it's a good -- that doesn't say that this isn't a very strong test and we need to play golf courses like this. They have I think, you know, in the end of the day they have set out that somebody shot 15-under par for two rounds the last time the tournament was here and they set out that they want this course to be known as a championship course and level par to be -- it's going to be low under par is going to win.

Q. What happened with the double-bogey?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I hit a lovely tee shot, lovely second shot, looked like it kind of went downwind rather than across wind and went through the green, about a yard off the green on just a real ugly lie and I tried to play a pitch-and-run out of the ugly lie and was it wasn't, you know, and I didn't hit a good chip, tried to hole the putt, knocked it by three feet and just drove the next one straight through the break.
These things happen. You know, that's golf. It doesn't happen too often thankfully but they happened. I hit a really nice shot into the next and was happy, hit lovely shots into the next three holes, all really good iron shots, next four holes, gave myself lots of chances after that so didn't get to me.
You know, that's, you know, pretty good. As I said, I'm happy I responded nicely to it. It did stall my round and as I said, at that stage, you know, two 3-putts in the first ten holes, to be 1-over par -- if you're a couple under you're flying along and everything is good and confident. After that, I didn't really see the way into the hole from 15 feet.

Q. David probably set the course up --
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: He did a good job. They did a very good job. We came out there and it was a very realistic test, very much so. No question he did an excellent job. The tees were in perfect position. They were not too far forward and not too far back. Pin positions were good. There were some good tough ones and some reasonable ones but nothing extreme out there. Everything was good. I've got to say, I thought he did an excellent job in the choices he made today. No question about it.

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