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May 24, 2007

Padraig Harrington


Q. It was a round you almost chiseled out at the end. How much do you like Wentworth now?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I was struggling today to really focus all day really. Certainly when I started on the range, I was struggling a lot, and knew it was going to be a tough day out there. But certainly, I made some good golf at times and tried to play very conservatively all day and birdied the four par 5s, which is why I shot 69.

Q. When you get your round, finish up with two birdies on 17 and 18 and a good up-and-down on 16, does it really put a gloss on what was a hard, chiseled-out round?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I thought, you know, my putt looked like it was going to drop on 13 and I'm thinking, 3-under par here, with a lot to play for and then I 3-putt 14 and then I'm back struggling. Good chance on 15.
16 I got a couple of bad breaks on the same hole, so I was happy to hole the putt from six feet to make a par, and any putt outside -- any putt outside of four is nerve-wracking. So to make a 4-footer and another 5-footer on 18 was very pleasing as I said.

Q. In context of the week you have had, celebration at home, to get off with a 69 is pretty good, isn't it?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: My goal today was to try and limit any damage. I didn't feel good going out there. I was thinking out there, don't limit it. Limit the damage to when I tee it up tomorrow, I'm still in the tournament.
Obviously I've done slightly better than that and it leaves me in a very good position going into my early round tomorrow. But I was definitely thinking, you know, try and limit the damage this afternoon. It didn't feel good.
The body and arms felt a little disjointed today, but it's nice to have done a good score as I said. And hopefully you know tomorrow, with the early morning greens, it will be -- well, I don't need anymore opportunity, I'm quite happy with 3-under and as I say I can push on from here.

Q. Can you win this tournament, with all of the reservations you have about the greens at Wentworth?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I've got a very, very relaxed attitude, yes. I'm just rolling my putts up to the hole and if they fall, they fall. On 14, I hit a lovely putt from about, I suppose it was close to -- it was probably close to eight feet, six, eight feet and I probably missed the hole by four inches and I hit a lovely putt.
You know, you just have to be very blasé about it.

Q. What were you expecting with the last week taking a lot out of you this week?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's took a huge amount out of me. I've really struggled. I struggled yesterday and as I said on the range today, I really felt disjointed. You know, there was a few shots out there, definitely the focus was an issue and I did try and play conservatively all day.
Funny enough, I played the holes, like from 9 through to 18 there the last ten holes, I played them quite well because they don't really allow you to play them safely. You either play them well or you don't. When I was put under a bit more pressure, my game was good. So, you know, that argues well for the next three day.

Q. Is it easier to relax with the pressure off a bit, or do you enjoy it a bit more when the pressure is on?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I certainly play better when the pressure is on, no question about it. But I'd like to be 100% ready to play and I'm not. There's no question about that going into today I wasn't. But there is obviously a certain amount of confidence from last week, and that's probably why I shot 69 today rather than 73 or 74.
You know, hopefully now get another night in, another night's rest and hopefully I come out good tomorrow. The key I said is this is 72 holes and there really another 54 holes to go. I was working on the principle of to the doing any damage today. The longer I stay in the tournament, the more chance I have. The 69 is ahead of schedule.
I know these are the easiest tee-to-green conditions we've ever seen Wentworth play, and it's quite a monster now. You know, it just goes to show, these are perfect golfing condition out there. So it isn't -- it's a hell of a track, and if you've got it with a bit of wind, it would be a lot tougher. But hopefully, I'll be a lot stronger tomorrow and get stronger as the week goes out.
The better you play -- the danger would be if I went a few over par, I would be going the wrong direction. Like yesterday I must have been hitting the ball, I was at least 20, 30 yards shorter off the tee than I was today, you know, and clubs were going two clubs shorter. So adrenaline does play a big part and keeping myself in the tournament will help me play better over the next few days.

Q. Will you go to the range?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'll go straight to the physio, rubdown, and have something to eat, no question about it.

Q. Is this a measure of your development as a player that you can do as you did today while not feeling 100%?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I think I'm getting -- also, you know, it is easy to go out on the golf course when you're not feeling 100% if you've won the week before, because you're not under as much stress or whatever. I haven't improved, no question about it. But also some of the circumstances, obviously things are going in my way at the moment, where the game could be very difficult some days; whereas some days the games goes in your favour and it doesn't seem so hard.

Q. A lot of crowd support?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: People were very aware of it and cheering me on, I got exceptionally good support. No question about it. Always the support is always needed, always wanted. You take it when you can.

Q. Part of the reason and part of the deal about the 1 million Euro bonus is that we talk about it, we ask you about it; did it cross your mind out there?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Oh, I'm very aware of it. Who wouldn't be? No question about it. I'm very aware of the whole situation and what the odds are on me going into it this week and how much you'd have to put down to win the million Euro and. I keep in touch with that no question about it.

Q. Does it add spice to both events or just this one?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think it adds spice to the first one because obviously there's only one person coming through. I don't think this event could take that much from it because the fact that it is only one person. And that person has to win this week.
So I think it adds more to last week. We're still talking about the Irish Open at Adare.

Q. The 12th hole with the ditch coming out into it from the right?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, it's an interesting hole now. I think it's amazing they moved the ditch five yards. That's all extended to five yards and everybody is taking a totally different way of playing the hole. We're all trying to lay up and go from there.
Yeah, it's interesting how such a small change can change the hole incredibly.

Q. What did you hit?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I tried to hit as easy a 3-wood as could I off the tee and hit it right down the middle between the two hazards and hit a hybrid straight down the putt 30 feet and nearly holed the putt. Yeah it was interesting I was considering whether trying to hit driver but the right play was to lay up.

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