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July 18, 2008

Padraig Harrington


Q. Talk about your round a little bit, including the exciting finish.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Obviously conditions when we started off, a little bit of rain, we were starting to feel sorry for ourselves, but conditions were actually very good all day. The wind wasn't really -- wasn't up at all. The ball was traveling a good bit more. Slight change in the wind direction, which made a number of the par-4s, instead of playing crosswinds they played directly in. That certainly made it tougher. It's easier when you've got wind coming from one side or the other. It determines what shot you're going to hit.
My own round was going nice, steady. I had a few birdie chances on the front nine. And then a stray shot on 10 and 11, and all of a sudden I'm starting to leak a few shots and I'm starting to wonder what the cut is and stuff like that. On one hand I know I'm not too far away from coming back into the tournament, and on the other hand, I want to make sure I've got another 36 holes on the weekend to give myself that chance.
I holed a really nice putt on 13 from about four feet. That was a difficult read. It was nice to hole that, and I think probably birdieing 15 certainly gave me that comfort, you know, coming to the last three holes.
And obviously 17 was a total contrast to yesterday. I finished 6, 5 yesterday after doing all the hard work for 16 holes. Today I finished 3, 3, and there's a lot of -- there's one big high today and one big low yesterday, but this equates to more or less the same thing, I suppose.

Q. Has patience been a factor this week? It's been a really resilient performance.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, it was nice. It's a bonus whenever something like that -- you make an eagle. In any major championship it's a big bonus to finish 4-under for the last four holes. You don't expect that in majors. But I did stay patient. I worked hard. I stuck with my game.
Even when things weren't -- when I started dropping a couple of shots I stayed with it and hit some nice, solid shots after that. You have to stay patient out there. It's the sort of -- always in majors, you know, you kind of have to wait for a little run like I got at the end of my round. You might get two or three of those in the week where you made a couple of birdies in succession and that sort of makes up for all the steady golf you have to play a lot of the times, hit it to 20 feet.
A lot of the putts I had today were across the break. I had a lot of -- cross slopes, two-foot, three-foot breaks, and you couldn't really go at them. The one on 17 was straight up the hill, and it was nice. It came up -- once it got over the tier, it was just tracking nicely and held its line. You just have to wait for your chances and take them when you get them.

Q. Was there a twinge of pain from the wrist? You've got to like the position you're in.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Obviously on 11 there was an issue with -- I was hitting out of some very heavy rough on a bank, and I felt I could hit the wedge on the upslope so that I wouldn't dig it in, and when the club did dig into the ground, it wasn't that it hurt my wrist; that's the positive. It just gave me a bit of a fright that it would hurt my wrist, and that's why I let go of the club.
But the fact that it didn't hurt it and the fact that my wrist came through it, it means it must be pretty solid because there was a good bit of jarring in that ground. So I've got to be happy with that.

Q. Do you like the position you're in?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm delighted. 2-over par, two behind, well in there, 36 holes to go. You know, two shots -- you just want to be there with nine holes to play. I believe conditions are meant to be tough tomorrow, so, you know, this is exactly where you want to be. It's unlikely anybody is going to run away with it, so I just want to make sure with nine holes to go I give myself a chance and be in the position that if I have a finish like today it's going to count.

Q. Are you amazed at where you are?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, I played links golf last week, so I was familiar with handling the wind and things like that, so there was nothing in terms of getting used to links golf that I needed to do this week.
I played nine holes on Tuesday and actually played very nicely for those nine holes. You know, I walked the golf course with a number of players on Tuesday and Wednesday to see how different shots were reacting. The only place I'd say -- definitely on 17 and 18 it caught me out yesterday not having a practise round. I thought the tee shot on 17 would have been off the left, but it actually plays -- probably played straight down yesterday and down off the right today, which I didn't realise, and certainly that cost me yesterday a shot or two.
And 18, again, that possibly cost me not having played it.
But besides that, I was quite comfortable going out on the golf course.

Q. How much of a confidence boost does this fact give you going into the weekend?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, you know, it's always nice in a tournament when you're battling away for a couple of good things to happen to you. It helps you stay patient, again, for the following rounds. When you get the odd break, as I holed a bunker shot today, I holed a good putt for eagle on 17, when you get those breaks, it helps you be patient. It helps you wait the next time when you need it, and I think that's the basis of this round today, is it will help me keep playing solid golf the next couple of days and wait for my chances and knowing that I don't have to push them, that it will happen.

Q. Do you think it's possible for a 53-year-old to win this tournament?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think if Greg Norman is interested. He's a mighty fine player still. I've certainly played some golf with him over the last number of years, and if he takes an interest, he can really play still. Yeah, I do think it's possible, no question about it.

Q. Is there anything about what happened at Carnoustie that's been helpful to you?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Not so far, no. There's no resemblance to Carnoustie so far. Hopefully on Sunday evening it will be the exact same, but so far it hasn't really -- nothing has -- I don't even know what I was doing after two rounds at Carnoustie.
I knew today even when I got to 6-over par today, I was kind of saying to myself, look, I only want to be -- if I'm within six even going into the last round, I have a chance. So I was still wanting to have that -- what I was worried about was maybe missing the cut. Knowing if I had 36 holes more I could get inside that little buffer zone of six shots, let's say. It's interesting, you know that if anybody is in with a shot who's probably making the cut this week. You just don't know, if the conditions are that tough tomorrow, who knows what's going to win this week.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I would have to think so. I would be cautious, again, and take the anti-inflammatories. I'm staying off it in terms of my exercises. I'm not putting my pressure on my right wrist. I'm avoiding doing those. So essentially I'm minding it, but I believe that it's okay.

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