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July 19, 2008

Padraig Harrington


MALCOLM BOOTH: Ladies and gentlemen, we've got Padraig Harrington, three-round total of 214, plus 4 and leader in the clubhouse. Just take us through your thoughts returning here to defend your title and now going into the final day quite possibly in the final group.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Obviously I don't know what to think at this stage. It was one of those days you stayed focused and in the present doing your thing, and I suppose I won't really know what to think too much about it until I sit down and get a rest later on this evening.
I'm happy with the score. It could have been a little bit better, but tough conditions. I certainly would have taken that going out there. I thought it was probably one of the toughest conditions to putt in I've ever experienced, it really was. There was no sense of preparation over any putt. By the time you got over it, you still hadn't got any clarity in the line. You still hadn't got any clarity in how hard you were going to hit it because you weren't sure what the wind was going to do to it.
So that was probably the toughest part of the day. I think tee to green it was interesting. You know, the wind was blowing and in some ways it helped you focus and commit to what you were doing. But I found it harder to do on the greens.

Q. I know you're not normally a leaderboard watcher, but on a day like this, were you checking to see that this was happening to everybody?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I never saw a leaderboard. I kept my head down and didn't look at it once. I had no idea how the leaders were doing.
I knew everybody would find it tough. You know, I could see that. David played with me and didn't really play too badly, and you could see his score.
So you could see that if things got away from you and you didn't get the right breaks, it was going to be a difficult day.
The key on a bad day is to get the odd break here and there and to stay patient and to wait for those things to happen. If it turns against you, who knows if -- you know, if that gust downwind on 12 which I knocked it over the green with had happened earlier in the day, who knows, maybe I wouldn't have been as happy going around there today.

Q. How do you feel about more of the same tomorrow?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Is that the forecast? I have no idea what the forecast is.
Going by the weather service over here, they don't, either (laughter).

Q. If there are high winds tomorrow?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I'd look forward to that challenge. Yeah, if it was high winds it would probably give me my best chance of winning, yes. Saying that, high winds, it can mean you could go -- a guy can go from leading or close to leading right out of a tournament. But it's easy to go out there and have a day like David today and not play too badly but for everything to go against you.
But certainly it would give me the best chance of winning, yeah.

Q. Ross Fisher and Anthony Kim said they felt like they had gone through 18 little wars together. Did you feel like that?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: There's no question when it's that tough as it was, say Thursday morning. The only good thing about today was it didn't rain.
But you tend to -- it gives -- everything is played one shot at a time. You know, we talk about that all the time, but when it's windy like that you battle one hole, one shot at a time. At the end of the day sometimes it's hard to remember what you did earlier on in the round. It's hard to remember -- it seems like a long day. Good for me, though, was the fact I only played nine holes before the tournament started. So the 54 holes feel like -- probably feel like 108, but at least I didn't tire myself out on the Tuesday-Wednesday.

Q. As a sports fan, what do you make of what the certain 53-year-old is doing out there right now? If the thing ends right this second, you guys would be off in the last group.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I played a couple times -- I played with Greg at Royal St. Georges. A few times I played in exhibition against him when we played at Doonbeg. When he's interested, Greg Norman can really play. He knocked the socks off me in Doonbeg, and you could see he wanted to play golf that day.
I've seen him at other times turn up at golf courses that he's looking at the design of the golf course and he's got other things in his mind. Like anybody else, if you're not there, it doesn't happen.
But when he wants it, you know, and he's as fit a 53-year-old as there is, so once he puts his mind to it, he certainly can play. He hasn't lost any of his ability. Certainly that's what I would say in this game. Royal St. Georges, the tougher the shot got, the more he enjoyed it, the more he was into it. It just goes to show it's really a question for a lot of guys later on in their career, their interests move on, their goals in life change. But Greg seems to be back thinking about it this week, and he's well capable of putting it together as he's shown in the first three rounds, and I don't think anybody should expect anything but good play from him tomorrow.

Q. Can you compare your position just now to 12 months ago at Carnoustie?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Nowhere in comparison, there really isn't. Last year I was going into the last round under no particular stress, just go out there and play and anything can happen. Tomorrow I'd love to have the same attitude, but you know, obviously it's going to be a tighter day. You know, I'm likely, as you said, maybe to be in the last group or thereabouts. So it's going to be a day that you're going -- you're watching others, as well. But you'll try not to watch them, but you will be watching what's going on around you, whereas last year the only person I was focused on was me because I knew I needed to go forward in order to have a chance of winning.
Tomorrow you're not sure whether having a great day or a steady day -- a steady day could be good enough. That wasn't the case last year. A lot more purpose in the focus last year, as you said, just going forward.

Q. How is the wrist? And could you imagine being in this situation Tuesday or Wednesday?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, I had so much time -- I had plenty of time to imagine being in this situation on Tuesday and Wednesday. The wrist seems to be fine, no problems with it today. I will continue to have treatment and continue to look after it, but I'm confident in it at this stage.

Q. You mentioned that it's a very different scenario, but will you try to remember and repeat what you did last year?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'd love to tell you that I'll do everything the same as last year and play the same that I did last year. I will attempt to do all those things, but I have to be -- I have to realise and be big enough that I might necessarily be in that zone tomorrow, but maybe I don't have to be, either. As I said, it is a slightly different day, and we'll go out there and battle away and try and keep the focus and stay patient and do all the cliché things that you're meant to do and see if I've got the experience to manage to do it.
MALCOLM BOOTH: Padraig, thanks very much for joining us.

End of FastScripts

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