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February 17, 2008

Padraig Harrington


Q. Padraig, 3-under 68, good playing. We talked to you yesterday and you were optimistic things were coming around early in the season.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, yesterday I was optimistic. Today obviously, well, it's a good return and that probably wasn't as comfortable as the score was. Certainly at times, you know, concentration wasn't 100% but that's what you get early on in the year. Decided to be as competitive when, you know, I'm certainly not in tiptop shape.

Q. Being defending British Open Champion, Carnoustie, or Carnasty as some of us call it; Riviera showed some teeth with week without any rough at all.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I don't think I had a lie during the whole week that I couldn't get to the green from.
So, yeah, it's set up as easy as it could, but it's a great golf course. It's a long course and we are hitting some long irons into some holes and there's plenty of run out there, too. Obviously with the greens as firm as they are -- and they were not exactly fast, so it could actually play harder.

Q. Got to be happy about what you're doing, next week, the Match Play, so you have to be excited going into next week's Match Play?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I'm happy how things are going along. You know, it's always tough going into a match, if I come up against somebody who is in real good form, you know, I don't know if I have the ability to raise my game at this time of the year. But certainly the first two weeks are encouraging.

Q. Can you talk about how this day started, five or six shots back?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I got up at 6 o'clock, went to the gym -- no, I was five or six back, and I tried to get myself to be aggressive. I was more -- how many shots was I back, six, seven? I tried to be aggressive and go out there and by any chance, maybe shoot a 6- or 7-under par and see what happens, because I knew the course is tough enough that anybody defending it there, wouldn't have to do much wrong to shoot level par or 1- or 2-over par, and that didn't happen. You know, it was a question of knuckling down and getting best out of the round I could.

Q. Do you take satisfaction out of the way you played the back nine particularly good?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm happy with the performance. I took more satisfaction yesterday. I've got to say, today, a little bit up-and-down, but you know, as I said, it's early season. This is what I'm here for. It's good to be in these positions that at least I'm being tested and shown up sort of thing. If I was down in 30th or 40th place where it would be -- it wouldn't show up as evidently as when you're trying not to make mistakes as well as trying to go forward.

Q. How are you feeling?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm feeling the best I have all week but I still do need to watch it. I have a tendency to overdo things and I've got to make sure I just take it easy for the next couple of days. My game is good enough; just don't overdo it between now and Wednesday.

Q. When did you start thinking or preparing for the Masters? When does it come up in your mind?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Already. All tournaments lead to the Masters at this time of the year. You know, out here that's what you're thinking about. You're thinking about getting your game in shape so when the Masters come around, you're ready.
It's an interesting balance, because you don't want to come out too early, but you want to have enough tournaments under your belt so you feel competitive so, that's interesting.

Q. Do you like the Match Play venue next week?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's a good course. Yeah, it's not a bad venue. It's not -- this is a much better golf course, much better venue, but you know, next week is a good, solid golf course. It's probably not as interesting a town as L.A., but you know, this is one of the top venues of the year.

Q. Would you say you're going in there next week with more confidence than you would have had other years?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I would think that would be fair enough to say that. I think having played a couple of weeks, yeah, two weeks is good. As I said, I could be a little bit better. I need a little bit more form, but at the moment, not bad.

Q. Was this a tournament you felt like you were contending, or was it more of a different situation with those guys so far ahead?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: World Ranking points. That's what it is when you don't win. That's what you're thinking about.

Q. Is that normal --
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I don't know, not day-in, day-out. I think it might make a difference in major situations, but not normally, no. I'm not that sort of person. I just do my own thing and not really thinking about that.

Q. What happened on 17?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I hit a nice shot in to ten, 12 feet and had a reasonable chance. Hit a good putt, thought it would be a little quicker.

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