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August 3, 2007

Padraig Harrington


PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm not too sure. I was struggling with my game. I played poor enough that it made it very difficult, and I got up-and-down all over the place and holed a few putts, holed a long one at the last. If it was an easy course I would have probably only shot 69, 70. It probably suited me that the course was toughened up today. As I said, I just didn't hit the shots, so was just trying to get the ball in the hole and getting up-and-down and just working my game around.

Q. You only had 24 putts.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, that's a case in point. Yeah, I holed a few putts today, a long one at the last there. As I said, I didn't play well. I need to play better on the weekend. The course is tough and I'm struggling a little bit, but I said, it should all be okay.

Q. Talk about how your life has changed since you won the Open Championship.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, in fairness, in Ireland, the Irish media will be out at tournaments and they'll talk to me anyway. It's a jump but it's not a massive jump, what's happened to me. Generally I've progressed in my career all the way along. And winning the Open, well, it's obviously the highlight of my career so far, but it is very much a progression. It was the next step for me. It has changed, but it isn't a quantum leap.

Q. How important is this week for the preparation for next week?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: That's what's keeping me going today. As I said, I am not hitting the ball as well as I would want to, but I know with the PGA coming around next week I've got to stay in there and work hard this week. I'll have to do it Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday next week.

Q. You drained a long one at the last, did you?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I did. I holed about a 35-footer at the last.

Q. That helps massive.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I holed a 30-footer at the first and a 35-footer at the last.

Q. A mad scramble all around then, based on what you said?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I just hit it in the rough a lot, and it's really tough to get out of the rough out there. I started well, finished well, but the middle of the round I hit it into quite a bit of trouble. I know I dropped three shots, but even dropping those three shots in the middle of the round, one of them I holed a 20-footer for bogey.

Q. If you can scramble away and break 70 here, it's not going to put you far back. Are you surprised actually how close you are?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I didn't realize everybody was finding it as hard this afternoon, as I said, because I was finding it hard because I just wasn't hitting it well. But yeah, it's a little bit of a swirling wind. The ball can go through it at times and then move. I can see it being a tough course. I didn't quite realize -- I didn't know anybody was 6-under par, but I'm not too far behind the main body of the field. Even seven shots behind is not too much at this course. They proved today that you can go out and shoot 65 and certainly don't have to do too much wrong to shoot 73 or 74 out there. I need to play better on the weekend but it's still there.

Q. Do you feel like this is a good preparation for next week, or is it too tough --
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: This could be a major championship course, no doubt about that. Certainly the fairways are as narrow as we see, the rough is as heavy -- my group today must have -- this is unusual, in my group today I think I saw five shots out of the rough topped between us, hit ten yards (laughter). None of those shots -- they were like 9-irons they were trying to hit. I hit one on 8, probably hit it 25 yards in the rough, and I know Darren did it and Boo did it twice on 18 and I think it happened before somewhere. Yeah, the rough -- the ball seems to go down in the rough. It's long, and the ball is sitting down in it.

Q. Does that almost like take away from being able to prepare for next week, or does it help?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, it definitely helps. You've got to hit it right, and what's tough about this course is the fairways are firm and not exactly flat, so they're bouncing -- anything moving a little bit just bounces into the rough. It forces you to hit the golf shots. Certainly off the tee I don't think you'll find a tougher course.

Q. That's what Casey said.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Basically the greens are so good the guys are holing putts. A lot of people are holing out from six, eight, ten feet, and that just shows how strong the golf course is. I don't think anybody -- the greens are good for holing putts on, so that means that the rest of it must be tough.
I hit a bunker shot on the 12th hole, just slightly mis-hit, pitched it three or four yards past where I wanted it, and it just kept running off the greens. The greens are easy enough to chip off them or putt off them or whatever, so it is very much like a major course.

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