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April 13, 2008

Padraig Harrington


Q. Birdies and bogeys in equal measure on a very windy, taxing day at the Masters. Looking at what happened around you, that's a good round. What were your impressions of it?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Short game was poor. Middle of the round, opportunities -- reasonable opportunity on 8 to get -- missed some good chances, and then on 8 I had a good chance to get up-and-down and I didn't hit a good chip. 9, played a poor chip, 11 I played a poor chip, and 14 I hit a poor sand wedge in, so there's five shots, opportunities as far as shots, and you can't give that away on a windy day. So I know where the work needs to be done.

Q. The two birdies in the first three holes, did you feel at 4-under you might just be just edging into contention?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You know, we always knew that there was a possibility out here on this golf course, especially in these conditions. I felt good about my game. I was well in the zone. I think I was a bit rushed after 11, and I rushed my chip shot even though I was standing there for -- it took me a few holes. I played a bad pitch on 14, as well. I have to look back and reflect in a couple of places where shots went adrift.
I think Trevor looks like he's going to be a deserved winner. I don't feel like -- I think it's his week, but certainly I feel like I left some shots out there. I was very comfortable on the golf course most of the week, especially early on today when I was out there. I was well in the zone, and that's what you want when it comes to major championships. You want to be able to get yourself into the right mental state because if you do that, you know, good things will happen.

Q. Since Carnoustie things have changed in the way you approach majors. It seems that nothing other than winning will satisfy you, but can you be satisfied with the high finish this week?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm not satisfied with the high finish, no. It won't go down in my CV, finishing whatever, 6th at The Masters. It's nice to do it, but we're all about trying to get out there and win. You have to be patient to get yourself in position for 6th place. What finishing like this says to me is I'm doing the right things.
Okay, there was some mistakes this week, but I feel my preparation was good. I set my stall out that I was building up for the Masters and now I've set my stall out that now it's the U.S. Open now for the next couple months. It's all about -- in some ways I put myself under a bit of pressure, and I'm glad I came here. I was 4-over par outside the cut line after 30 holes of golf. You know, I played good golf since then.
Obviously didn't get the right side of the draw at the start of the week, but I feel like I'm walking away saying, yeah, there's nothing in my golf swing that needs to be worked on, there's nothing in my ability to play the game that needs to be worked on that will win me majors. It's all there, it's just a question of getting the best out of me in these weeks.

Q. You must have been pretty pleased with the start, birdieing 2 and 3?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's always good to get a start in the wind, always good. You feel like you have a buffer and you feel like you have a few birdies made. The ball is going in the hole, you're seeing things. It's always a good thing. That's probably the biggest key in the wind.
I played the 1st well and my ball came off the green, I chipped it up and holed a 10-footer. So much better playing it that way and holing a 10-footer than two-putting it or something. Momentum is very important in the wind, and that's why I was disappointed with my poor chip on 8, poor chip on 9 and a poor chip on 11. Three holes, three shots.

Q. 11, talk about having to wait after that.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The problem after 11, then, as far as waiting, I rushed my tee shot on 13 and hit it in the bushes, and then I definitely rushed my pitch shot on 14 because we were trying to make back up our time, keep in position.
You know, these things you have to deal with, and that's part of golf. It's something I have to watch out for, that I don't hit the shot before I'm ready.

Q. Is this another finish that you say to yourself, this again is a week I could have delivered?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No question. What I take away from there is I don't feel like I was going to win this week. I feel like Trevor Immelman, it was his week. But when I look at it, I don't walk away and say I didn't have the ability to win. I had the ability to shoot the scores this week.
The areas that -- if anything let me down, my putting the first day, and I could have been better with my chipping. Those are strong points in my game, and I don't see them as general weaknesses, so I will look to those areas. You've got to keep them strong as well as working on other things.
But yeah, I walk away from this week not doubting my swing or anything like that and feeling -- my basic attitude is if I bring my game to each major, I will get into contention in a number of them, and then if you're in contention in a number of them you will win some of them.

Q. Did you come here worried about your putting stroke?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I putted very poorly at the end of last week, actually all last week. That's the nature of putting. Sometimes it comes -- it's not always predictable, and sometimes it does -- you know, you get a little bit out of kilter with your alignment and then you're thinking of the wrong things when you're playing.
So yeah, I'm happy that -- one of the very pleasing things is actually I haven't been comfortable on the greens all week, but the last three days I've really knocked it down well and focused well, and the putter performed adequately, for somebody who wasn't 100 percent comfortable.

Q. Is there anything in particular about your putting?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm a little bit out of synch with my alignment. That just happens. When you get out of synch then you start thinking about it and you get a little confused with what you're doing. But certainly the last three and a half days, or three days, even though there wasn't the putter there today, I just managed to blank it out and just go with it. I hit some beautiful putts there today. I hit some really, really good putts.

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