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November 7, 2007

Padraig Harrington


SCOTT CROCKETT: Thank you for coming in to join us, Padraig, and welcome, as always. Just give us your thoughts going into the first tournament on the 2008 European Tour season.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yes, I think after coming very close on the Order of Merit last year, and this week, the first event of the 2008 Order of Merit, there's a keen sense to get on to a good start and get going in that race.
So I think I'm a little jet-lagged, but I'm well motivated for this week.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Have you had a chance to play the course yet or will the Pro-Am be the first time?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No. Obviously I've played it the last couple of years and I'm very familiar with the course. Here, obviously, there's a lot more rough this year, but I think that one round in the Pro-Am enough in the context that I know it from previous years.

Q. I know you've been in about four continents in about four weeks, is the traveling starting to catch up with you or not?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, actually, as I said, I think some of it is motivation. But I feel remarkably good. I feel, you know, ultimately, you can travel to a tournament and maybe not -- if I'm really, really into it this week, I think losing out last week has got me very keen to start well this year.
I feel sort of much better now than I did maybe towards the end of the summer, September month, I wasn't very -- how would I put it -- 100 per cent strong. I feel ready to go now.
It does feel like the start of a new year to me rather than the tail end of last year.

Q. How much have you reflected on what you achieved last year?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I haven't exactly sat down and reflected on it. I think I will going into the winter break before I do that.
I have attempted to set goals, new goals after the year, especially winning The Open Championship. Whereas, I've set them, I think it will take the winter break before the full focus of going forward comes in.
I'm still very much playing in the current year, and I do need to -- it's when I stop and look back and sort of prepare for next year that I will really get into those goals.
As I said, I had set those goals and it's just a question of probably a break will do me a world of good to get ready for next year and to focus on it.

Q. Is there something in your game that you would like to improve on in the year, and there weren't that many weaknesses, but you're always working.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I could name every aspect of my game that I want to improve, and I know how to go about doing it. It's a question of juggling all the balls in the air and making sure that in trying to improve all areas of my game, I don't let another slip.
So there's no part of my game that I can't see an ability to improve and that I'm not trying to improve but it is tough to maintain all elements and to keep moving forward.
But certainly there's always an ongoing focus now on the golf swing. It's not -- there's no radical changes, but it's continuing focus. And always there's the mental side of the game that probably is the highest emphasis. That one tends to give me the most -- the most relevant to my results is the mental side. When it's good, I'm good and when it's not, I'm not. That's probably where the consistency is.
You know, I obviously have a good short game and that needs constant work to keep it up to that standard.

Q. I heard you say on Sunday that you lost focus a bit on the fourth after what happened.

Q. That must be very rare for you.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I have been -- that's something, you know, all players have to work to when they are totally focused on their own game and don't get any sort of outside distractions.
And that's definitely an area of my game that needs plenty of work. I would say my mental side is very good, but it has lots of room for improvement, definitely. It is the difference between when I do play very well and not.
So the focus is probably the biggest area that needs continuing emphasis and continuing work on, and things like that tend to slip where I was very focused. It's something that has to be addressed and worked on. You know, it's not something that you can -- it's not like flipping a light switch and you get it right straightaway. It continuing practise and you know, you need to keep working on it.

Q. Last week at Valderrama and you had a chance to win the Order of Merit, and on the last day, you had some birdies on the front nine but not on the back nine. What do you think was the problem?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think I played level par on the back nine, a couple of bogeys on the front nine.
You know, I had a great week at Valderrama. What more could I ask for than to get into contention in a tournament that I haven't. I took nothing but confidence away from Valderrama, the fact that I turned up at the event and performed on cue. Came up short at the very end, but as I've been saying all week, I would have been -- going into any event under the spotlight and perform and get yourself into position, and but for a couple of putts; you know, I would have been there or thereabouts.
Yeah, I'm really, really happy with my performance there. I couldn't be more pleased. As I said at the start of the week, I would have taken level par in the clubhouse, and I came up one shy of that missing a couple of putts on the last couple of greens. I thought it was well done that week.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Thank you very much for coming in.

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