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April 12, 2008

Padraig Harrington


PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, it was good day for scoring with the greens being soft. After the thunderstorm it was good for golf. I suppose I'm reasonably happy with the score, feel like I maybe should have done a little bit better. But obviously I was trying to do the right thing to try to -- early on in the round and things weren't happening, so it was nice to make three birdies in the last four holes.
So I am pleased, but certainly the opportunity was there today to shoot a good score.

Q. Are you aware at the moment that tomorrow there's a chance of winning but it's going to require something very low, or are you just happy to have shot a good round around here?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Certainly looking at the guys on the leaderboard at this very moment, I'm wondering how far away from me they're going to be at the end of the day. Who knows, I hear tomorrow is going to be a blustery day, colder day, so it certainly could make it awkward for people out there leading.
Certainly, yeah, my eye is definitely on the leaders rather than a finishing position.

Q. All those years of hitting balls on windy days in Stackstown, a windy day here on the final day would probably suit you more than others, and you might need it with the lead at the moment, in that 9-, 10-under par category.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think anybody who's chasing would like a windy day just because it makes it awkward. If I don't get the breaks tomorrow, no big deal, so be it. But if the guy leading the tournament has a windy day and he gets a few gusts of wind, it's a tough day for him. Definitely everybody chasing would always look for an awkward day, tricky conditions, and hope that they get the breaks.

Q. You found birdies towards the end of your second and third rounds, typically on the 17th and 18th in the third round. The rest of the golf course is giving you, not problems, but you're not firing birdies in the same aggressive manner. Is there something to be taken from that for tomorrow?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Not really. You know, it's a strong course. I birdied three of the four par-5s today. I hit my second shot in the water on 13, which if I look back at anything in the round, that was a couple of shots gone. That would have given it a very sweet round actually if I had birdied 13.
But you know, this golf course, you can't automatically say I'm going to go all-out with any pin position. You have to wait and see where you are, what club you have and whether you feel good about the shot and choose the right shots at the right time.

Q. 2-under into the final round. Would anything other than a victory kind of make you happy this week? You were very happy walking off with 7th last year.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I was only happy because I was in contention last year. I'd be happy if I can get myself into that position with nine holes to go tomorrow and have that feeling coming down the back nine.
I'm content that I prepared well this week. I prepared as -- I wouldn't say I was 100 percent by any means so far this week, but preparation has been good. I felt good out there all the time.
Things like that, yeah, regardless of the results, I always look back at how I prepared and how I got through the week. But as regards results, I have no interest in finishing anywhere else in the field but first.

Q. You've improved with every round. Is there a number tomorrow that would give you real pleasure in posting a target because you'll be out, not early, but within sort of four or five matches of the leaders.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The only thing you're interested in is the number that's good enough.

Q. What did you hit into 13?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: 4-iron. I took plenty of club, but off the downslope, grain into me, I tried to help it a bit up in the air and caught it fat. They do know how to -- I had only 175 yards to the front of the green. They do know how to make every shot difficult out there.

Q. You've been the driver quite well the last couple days. Did you find something or is it feeling good?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It felt fine, yeah. Yeah, I definitely hit the driver well the last two days and was getting much more comfortable with it today. I need another round like that tomorrow.

Q. Where is that coming from, because you were struggling a little bit last week?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Focus. That's it. Trusting it.

Q. Putting was quite good, as well.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Same thing, trusting it. Sometimes it takes a while.

Q. Will you go away feeling frustrated because you didn't --
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, I won't be feeling frustrated at all, not at this stage. I know I can't ask for anything more from myself in terms of -- in my preparation and things like that. Okay, things mightn't have been be A-1, certainly the putting the first day and things like that. But that happens. If I could predict my putting to be top-notch every day of the week, it would be fine. But I did the right stuff in preparation, it just wasn't 100 percent when I got here.

Q. Is there any one putt or a collection of putts, for example, first couple of holes, four holes on the back nine yesterday that you felt, yeah, the putter is working, good to have it back?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I holed a nice putt on 10 yesterday, you know, and it was more to do with my commitment to the putt than anything else, and certainly that encouraged me to keep doing that all the way home.
And today, you know, I certainly willed a few putts in today.

Q. How long was the one that went in?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It was about four feet, really nice putt, because I probably hit it about -- certainly a club left of the hole from four feet, so it was nice to see it breaking, and I hit it sweetly, and in the middle she went.

Q. The first couple of days things could have been a lot worse and yet here you are. You could still be in contention. That's something that maybe didn't look odd at one time?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, there's no question, nobody is going to consider that Tiger Woods isn't in contention. He's only two shots ahead of me, so I've got to consider that -- I know the leaders are well ahead at the moment. This is Augusta. If it was anywhere else, we wouldn't even be considering it, but this is Augusta.

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