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August 9, 2007

Padraig Harrington


Q. Padraig, an interesting stat; everyone talked about how tough the rough was. Five times out of 10 today you hit the green in regulation. What was it about your from out of the rough that made you able to rescue yourself?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I haven't really thought about it. Maybe I missed the rough on the right holes, no idea. I'm always trying to get the best out of each shot. And I wouldn't --

Q. Can you recall if you had short irons or mid or long?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: They were all short irons. You asked me to talk about bad shots here. Like I hit it to -- I didn't hit the green on the first hole out of the rough. But I hit it. You know yourself out there; you're going to get some bad lies in the rough. You're going to get some -- you know, the only two holes I can think of where I hit it in the rough I hit it to the edge of the green.
One of them a hole I 2-putted it. Should be 7 out of 8 really. So I don't know. Who knows why. Sometimes you're good down the rough; some days you're not. It's not that I have any particular talent for hitting out of the rough. I must have just hit it on the rough on the short holes.

Q. They were saying last week Carnoustie was a bit of distraction in preparing for this one. Is there any sense in which it could be a benefit this week?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You know, obviously since I've won at the Open, things have moved very quickly. It's been a bit -- there was a lot to do at home. Last week there was still things going on. This week there's still things going on.
The benefit is the fact I've won a major. You feel like you've won one, you can win two; you can move on from that.
So there's a certain level of confidence. And I also feel that there's a certain level of adrenalin coming on from having won in a certain level and a certain high from it. I haven't hit a wall as of yet. That may happen in time, but at the moment I'm knocking it down well and I'm working hard, working through it.
Like this man pointed out, I seem to be good out of the rough today. I kept a good positive outlook. And I think it helps when you have a win a couple weeks ago. You always feel reasonably good; the game is on your side at the moment.

Q. Is there any -- did you have any momentary thoughts of, "Oh, what if I don't follow it up?" Was there any question? Are you just feeling good about your game in general?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm just sort of guided -- certainly in the past in my career when things, good things happen to me, I tend to keep my head down, put the blinkers on and keep going forward, certainly for a period of time. That would have been the case when I came out to the Tour and won. Certain element, to me, when you do win, you kind of -- you know, I don't want to ever get to the stage of trying to prove anything after winning a major championship, but there is a certain element in the next number of tournaments where you're very conscious to give it 100 percent to get the most out of it that you want to try and play like the Open champion.

Q. Do you feel sorry for Angel on No. 6?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yes; he hit a lovely tee shot right over the pin. His whole tournament finished on one hole. And he was playing lovely golf up to that. That's the nature of major golf. Sometimes I don't think it's realized, it is on a knife edge out there sometimes. It's a very fine line between keeping yourself in the tournament, blowing yourself out or doing well and winning the tournament.
So he, on one hole, knocked it back. He dropped -- I think he dropped nine shots in two holes or three holes just there. He was playing lovely golf up to that. Yeah, he could be winning the tournament.
I think Angel is U.S. Open champion. I don't think too many golfers will feel sorry for him. He's going to be aware of these things, bad shot, bad hole, bad day. And it's a win just coming around the corner. He's got to look at the positives.

Q. After hitting six out of 14 --
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You are the stat man. I have no interest in stats. I don't look at stats and I don't have any idea. The only stat I care about is I shot 69.

Q. Would you make any adjustments?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I have to explain to you I don't want to know my stats.

Q. Can you just talk about --
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Can I make it any clearer?

Q. Can you talk about the 69; and obviously, you know, it could have been one shot better except for 17. Are you happy with it?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm happy with it. 17 is -- it was a simple bogey I made in the end. Plenty of guys made simple bogeys out there today. I wish I didn't do it. I didn't play a good chip from the back of the green. But I'm not going to get hung up on it.
69, 70, 68, even up to 72, 73, will make no difference to the winner at the end of the week.
I'm in good position. But it's how I play the next three rounds. Doesn't have any bearing on that -- that will have no bearing on whether I win the tournament or not.

Q. How do you find the course?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The course is great. You've got to hit a lot of fairways. Hit it nice and straight. (Laughter). Hit greens.

Q. How many did you hit (laughter)?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I hit a lot. You looked at the stats again. (Laughter) the course is very fair. Very playable golf course. It's all there. They have reasonable pin positions in on the longer holes organization the holes that you're hitting wedges into they have some very tight pins.
So a reasonable course and good pace of greens for holding the putt. I think you would continue to see individual rounds, low rounds, individual guys going out shooting low numbers. But overall, for 72 holes, I think the golf course will be the winner and it will be like a typical major, it would be a single-figure winning score.

Q. What's the strongest part of your game today?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: My head, thinking, worked my way around the golf course now. My misses were in good spots and did a good job getting the ball around.

Q. Will it be a big positive to play early tomorrow after playing in the heat of the day today?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You know, maybe the winds won't be as gusting or swirling any, because it did change a bit out there. The greens certainly will be cleaner, tidier in the morning, breaks out in the bunkers and things. I think it should be an advantage. But it doesn't work like that all the time. I'd say if it's easier tomorrow, I shoot 69, I'll still be happy.

Q. I just wondered with the heat factor, it would be a little bit cooler tomorrow morning?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The heat factor is a factor out there. But you can manage that. It's just a question of the discipline to do the right things. You've got to drink the right stuff and eat the right food and try and stay in the shade as much as you can. If you manage it properly, it doesn't become an issue. It's certainly a factor in the first place, but if you pay attention and you do a good job you shouldn't have to worry about it.

Q. What do you eat and drink in a condition like this?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Quite a substantial amount of water. Some Gatorade. Quite a bit of fruit all the way through the day. A substantial amount of fruit, I would think, today. And some other dry foods and things. I think that's about it. It's eating the meals the night before and all those and the practice.

Q. That was my next question. Do you eat a lot before you go out to play?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I eat a lot all the time (laughter) all the way through the day. I constantly -- I'll eat six pieces of food at least during a round of golf. So even on a hot day today you don't want to eat; but I made sure I kept nibbling away.

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