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November 8, 2007

Padraig Harrington


Q. 68, are you happy with that?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I have to think about that. You know, my start, I played really well early on and missed a lot of opportunities, then made a couple of -- I missed two fairways and made two bogeys sort of thing at the turn. If you do miss the fairways out there, you know, even on some of the shorter holes, it's difficult to control the ball out of there and a struggle to get to the greens.
Yes, it can be difficult. But then I holed a couple of putts and got me right back this there 4-under par. I know there's a couple of 8-unders, but it's a 72-hole event, so plenty of time to catch up.

Q. The 12th, that's where you really got underway.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, it turned around. After eight holes, I could have been 8-under, but at 3-under, and all of a sudden I've dropped two shots. And, really, I can kicking myself and only 1-under par. I hit a really good tee shot on 12 and holed a really good putt that possibly looked like it wasn't going in, and that was a big bonus; and birdied the next and right back to where I should have been sort of thing.
I am disappointed with the last couple of holes, playing them 3-under par yesterday in the Pro-Am, missing a couple of putts; and today I play them at level par. It's a strange game.

Q. You obviously go to the gym and stuff like that, but last week, you really performed well last week, did that take it out of you?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I was pleased with how I performed last week. The biggest thing you can do in this game is when you have to turn up and play good golf; more or less I did that last week. I was a couple of shots away from the playoff.
So, yeah, I was really pleased and really motivated, but not winning last week has helped me, pushed me on a little bit last week. Even though I am tired, and most of the shots out there, I was throwing it down a bit and I wasn't trying to hit it flat out. My body does feel a bit tired, but I'm motivated this week to get going.

Q. It's been a busy year. What is it like to stroke that Claret Jug every single morning?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's with me this week, too. Yeah, that's pretty special. What's fantastic about it is you bring it somewhere like this, it's amazing the attitude towards it. In the Pro-Am yesterday, everybody wants their picture taken with it. It's phenomenal the sort of view of the people when they hold it. You know, it's a great thing to have and be the champion.

Q. Was there any reason for the putting; were the greens hard to read?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I holed a 2-putt -- I just missed a putt, and then thinking about it a bit, I hit a reasonable -- greens are great. I'd hit a good putt, just didn't get the line. Hit a bad putt on the right line; good putt on the wrong line. It just happened --

Q. And you were hitting the ball so beautifully.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The first eight holes, as I said, I could have birdied any one of them. But you know, it's an interesting game. You try and play so well but sometimes, being a little bit erratic can be better for you, because you'll hole your putts more. You know, I hit a couple of nice shots, and you miss the putt and you think you're putting badly; if you miss the green and chipped it up to two feet, you'd think you were putting well.
I was happy with how I played and happy I got the return on 12, 13, 14. 12 and 14, I holed two good putts, and 8. Whereas I did miss a few, those ones made up for it.
Yeah, you know, it's one of those days that a couple more dropped and I could have been, if it was my day, I could have been a few more under par, but certainly 4-under par is well in there.

Q. What were the length of the putts on 12 and 14?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I hit a good tee shot on 12 but it must have been 30 feet I suppose. And the one on 14, 14 was only 15 feet, but I chipped it to 15 feet so it felt like a big putt. Hit it on the front edge to 15 feet, so it felt every bit of a 30-footer even though it wasn't.

Q. What did you hit on the first?

Q. 8-footer, was it?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Probably five feet. Five feet at the first. Yeah, good chances, but the course gives up those chances. The rough, I can tell you, I found out on 9 and 10, didn't do a huge amount wrong on 9 and 10 --

Q. You could only lay up short.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I thought the ball would come out a little bit better. I could have got more club to it but I went -- I was hoping to pitch it on the front and it obviously died short. I could have got there on 9 but I couldn't get there on 10, really, up the hill.

Q. In terms of toughness, is it tougher this year, the course, than the previous two years?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It was wind year last year. The three new tees actually are easier holes. They have lengthened three holes, and they have made them easier but putting new tees in. That's strange.

Q. Better yardage on the second?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Better yardage. Like they lengthened 13, and now you can hit at the bunker on the left; whereas before you had to go right of that bunker, and that meant that you had going down along the water. Now you can hit it just straight out of the bunker.
18 gives you a better angle across the hole. You can see it off the old tee. You couldn't see the fairway, really. It was kind of strange.
Which other one did they lengthen? 16, 3-wood today, didn't make any difference.

Q. You certainly enjoyed it out there today.

Q. Still getting all of the congratulations that there have been at other venues for having won The Open still as you go around?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, it makes a big -- there's a bit more emphasis, expectation from people out there. There may be a few people who mightn't be out there following are out there following me because I am The Open Champion, so it is nice.

Q. Is it surprising to see the leaderboard, 8-under?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Considering I holed a couple of putts, if I holed a couple of the short ones, I would be there myself.
So 8-under with no wind out there -- somebody is going to hit all of the fairways and all of the greens, and the greens are good. Doesn't matter how tough you set up the golf course, how much water, somebody is going to play well. I see 8-unders every day out there. It would be hard to shoot four of them, but I certainly see -- I think it's a tough course, and there is some intimidation factor. Like if you play -- there's a number, like 6 and 4, they are good, solid holes. There are a lot of good holes out there. But if somebody is playing well, they have plenty of opportunities with four par 5s and a par 4 reachable. The greens are ideal, yeah, no problem.
I think if you're going to win this tournament, you have to throw at least one in like that. I don't see myself shooting 68 four days and winning it. You know, I think somewhere it has to give somewhere along the line, a 66 would be a good run.

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