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March 16, 2008

Padraig Harrington


Q. Pleased you came here?

Q. Needed the competition, didn't you?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Certainly did. It was good all-around. As I said, trying some new irons and things like that. It was very worthwhile. Obviously would have liked to have done a little better today, but 25 and 24 (under par) is a bit out of the range. It's their week. I'll leave it to them.

Q. Surprised at all the scoring?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, they are obviously quite a bit ahead of the field, which is unusual for two guys to be doing that.
You know, the golf course is set up well. It's in good condition. You can hold putts. Things are a little bit tougher today. 6- or 7-under par today is good playing, yeah. Not surprised, but it is I suppose unusual to separate yourself from the field by nine shots.

Q. Just wondering what you think of the two of them, becoming almost match play, isn't it?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Certainly has. I think any day you go out leading the last round, you shoot -- Jeev has dropped a shot at 17. But any time you're 6-under par, you'd be surprised if the other guy keeps with you.

Q. 18 is no bargain, either.

Q. Graeme and Paul said earlier this week it was like home this week; three Irish guys in contention, what are your thoughts?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Ballantine's being Scotch, Celtic, yeah, I suppose -- you're struggling, picking at straws there, aren't you.
Well, you know, the golf course, it's very good, yeah. I've got to say, I like the course, I like the challenge. They have got good weather for the week in the sense of very easy pins. Like if they wanted it 10-under par or even lower than that winning, they could have got it. But it's a good setup, but that's a good sign that they can mix it up a bit.
Yeah, it's a good test all week.

Q. What do you think about the opportunity for young guys playing the qualifier for The Open here soon?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's wonderful the R&A have given the opportunity for players to qualify. Players are good enough to play in the Open, otherwise it would be a financial burden to go all the way across to Europe to try to qualify, so it is great the R&A are getting a more international field, it's a brilliant idea. Brings a more international flavour to the event, which it is an Open Championship.

Q. Graeme and Paul up there --
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I'm going to go watch it, actually. No, it's fantastic. Great playing by them. Looking forward to watching the last hole.

Q. How do you gauge the potential of this event?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I see it going from strength-to-strength, yeah. The course is good. They can obviously make it tougher if they want with difficult pin positions. I can see it growing. They probably need a better date in terms of weather. They got a good date this week, but if it had been a bad week, it would put players off.

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