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July 3, 2008

Padraig Harrington


Q. The 72, could have been better?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Could have been better. I'm happy with how I played. I had a number of iron shots today which happens. I hit a number of iron shots, good shots that went long. A couple came up short and I struggled with getting the distance control off some nice shots.
But I was very happy with my short game. I really felt I was probably as solid as I've been all year on the greens.
So, yeah, quite pleased. I would have liked to have done better. Obviously scoring-wise, but as I said, you know, kind of a little bit windy out there at times and gusting, just like the last, I had a little pitching wedge into the last and I pitched it 144 yards. I was trying to pitch it 124 and I hit it nicely, exactly how I wanted it.
So just that's -- you just stay patient and you wait for it to turn around, and one day those will go close rather than giving yourself a difficult 2-putt. So can't complain.

Q. Well, it's about 2 1/2 weeks since the U.S. Open and a midseason break, is it almost inevitable that you have rust on the scoring side of your game?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The biggest effect today is with the neck injury I struggled with my properception at times and got distracted three or four times on the back nine with my alignment. And I hit a bad drive on the sixth hole, hit a cart path, finished in an unplayable lie in the rough, and actually wasn't too bad where I was, except for the one area I was in. I end up taking six.
But I look back at that and it was the distraction, rather than anything else, as I said, and it is important to -- I should be better with the next couple of days and the more times I play, the more comfortable I get with that routine rather than sit there and just got knocked out of it.

Q. You are moving your head side-to-side.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's a little bit jammed but the problem when you do something with your neck and this was the issue whether I would play or not, when it clears up, you've spent three or four days moving your neck and your shoulders independently -- not independently, actually together; whereas when you're normally moving your head and neck it moves independently and that takes a while to get your properception back.
That was the one issue. I wouldn't have played this week if it was truly injured because of the fact that it would take so long to get the connection between your neck, head and shoulders back so that you're not -- you never want to look -- when you go to look down the fairway, you don't want to move your body. But if you have a bad neck, you will lift your body sort of thing.
So it takes a while for that freedom to come back, and even if that neck is fine, I'm likely to turn my whole body than just turn my head.

Q. About the situation that you're in, you want to win every tournament that you play in, but with your position on The Ryder Cup points table, would you take a second or third?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Absolutely. There's no question, I've had an interesting year with The Ryder Cup. I haven't played too many events. I've really tried to keep it down, and my good events, you know, I've Top-10'ed in half the events I've played since the start. I had four Top 5s in the states out of nine events but I'm not gaining points. I'm just finishing a pile where the points are spread, so I would take points over a win at this stage just to make that Ryder Cup easy.

Q. Sound like you're concerned about it.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Oh, I am concerned, yeah. I'm very aware of it. I am concerned. I want to make sure I play my way into the team. You never want to be sweating it for these things.
And as I said, it feels like it would be very easy to say that my form has not been good but as I said, over half of the events I've Top-10'ed in instead of, you know, a lot of top 5s in the states sort of thing out of nine events.
The game has been good without -- I've been better off with one win and no top fives sort of thing but then the consistency is in -- besides a poor month of May which is often the case with me, the rest of the time the game has been consistent but nothing -- need that spark, need that win and as I said maybe -- even this week, I'm playing a week that's half the prize money of next week and half the prize money of last week but it suits my schedule. It makes it a little tougher on myself but hopefully I do the right thing. It only takes one good week.

Q. You don't want to rely on a pick?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No. Let's make it easy. I'll try and make it easier on the captain so that he has more opportunities. I don't want to throw my hand in that certainly, hand in that ring. Get in by merit and as I said, you know, it gives him more freedom to work around it.

Q. Do you think you would get a pick?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: As I said, I'm not going to get into the -- I'm sure -- no, I'm not going to get into it. It's up to Nick to do it.

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