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October 4, 2008

Padraig Harrington


Q. Can you talk us through the front nine?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, you know, it was obviously very conditions out there. I hit a drive on the second hole, went 195 yards, it was difficult. I had three 3-putts on the first six holes, which on a tough day, the key is when you get bad days, you're going to have a lot of long putts and you've got to get close and get the ball to the hole and get some momentum. When I'm dropping shots as I did on the second, third and fourth, hitting some good shots in those holes but it's hard going forward. Would have been an easier day on the back nine where there's two reachable par 5s and you're under par and then you are approaching the tough holes but approaching them and you're so many shots away it gets hard after that.
Going forward, new nine holes, my caddie was saying there's still 27 holes left and still plenty of possibilities. I was trying to focus on the team. I knew we were a few away and trying to make a few birdies for the team. I always find in this tournament, having a second thing to think about, trying to get the team going, always kind of brings on my individual score.

Q. On the back nine, you are a good performer in these conditions; what's the secret?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, you've got to -- you know, you've got to play sensible shots all the time. I think that maybe even early on, going at pins, it's not necessarily about hitting all the fairways. It's about hitting it in the right place and making do.

Q. What about the last hole, a great up-and-down, does it bring back lots of great memories?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I was nearly in the same place as I was in the Open except one shot less to get there. In the Open I was hitting 5-iron from 220 yards downwind and today I was hitting 5-wood from 227 yards, and with a little bit of -- into a left-to-right wind, I knew the out of bounds wasn't so dangerous.
So it wasn't anywhere near as tough a shot this time around.

Q. 6-under par heading into tomorrow, do you see yourself as favorite?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm actually four. I wouldn't see myself as favorite. I'm happy that at the moment, I stand two shots behind, and only two behind, it's not too much to make up. It's only a couple of putts on the way out and you're right in there.
Yeah, I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I'm not -- I wouldn't say I'm confident with how I'm playing but I'm interested to see how this situation pans out tomorrow and I'm quite interested in getting into the hunt on the back nine and trying to make a few putts.
One of my traits, I work very hard with Ronan and his job is is to remind me of when things are going south, you have to get reminders to stick in there. He was pointing out, just 27 holes to go in the tournament through nine holes, and just tried to settle the ship at that stage.
I made good pars on 7,8 and 9. I chipped up on 7 and made a very nice 2-putt on 8, but holed it from about 20 feet. And 10, I made another good 2-putt -- or 9. From 11 on, I started to play a little bit better and having a decent few birdie chances. Actually hit the ball nicely from there on in. Hit it in the bunker on 14 which was disappointing but no harm was done. Two good shots into 17. I know I hit a bad tee shot on last but the rest of it was okay. I had a punch in the air when I holed that putt; might just make the difference for the team qualifying. So that would be nice. It was about ten feet on the last. I ran it by about ten feet.

Q. How hard is it to keep the concentration in that weather?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's not hard to keep your concentration but in these conditions, on the second tee, I stood up and there was a bunker on the left, about 255 yards and I'm worried about not knowing the conditions fully and hitting a hard draw and bumping into it. So I hit a soft tee shot let's say with my driver, 195 yards.

Q. Darren was saying he hit a 9-iron 219 downwind today so that sums it up. Can you remember a short iron you hit a long way today?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I can remember hitting a 9-iron yesterday from 60 yards.

Q. A long 200-yard.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Not really. I toned down my irons downwind. Off these tight lies, it should spin and not go ridiculous distances, so, no, I didn't.

Q. Were conditions as hard as you will you will play all year check?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: If you had not thrown in the rain -- I hit driver, 5-wood at the first to 175 yards and I hit it really well. Next hole was the hole. Robert hit 7-iron off the tee and hit it 240 but it only went 240 because the bunker stopped. It would have went about 260. That's the third hole. That tee shot was so hard today. He hit 7-iron, and he hit it 240 and the bunker had stopped it at 240 and would have gone 260.
So, yeah, it was really tough. And like I hit a 4-iron on the fourth hole, and then I was trying to hit a little draw and ripped it down the flag, I think I had a good 60,70 yards and came up 30 yards short, so I almost hit it 137 yards. It was in the bunker so would have run a little bit long. It really was not going out there, and it wasn't that windy -- well, it was windy enough, but it wasn't ridiculously windy.

Q. Playing here how much do you draw on winning here two years ago?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It helped me a lot the back nine. Every hole on the back nine. More so than last year funny enough. When I was here last year, every hole I walked on the back nine, I was thinking I did this, this happened, or I got this break here or I holed this putt. All the way through the back nine, I was completely into the -- a replica of the 72nd shot I hit in the Open, just being familiar.

Q. The Order of Merit still a goal?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Oh, yeah, it's very important. I know if I can win here this week, it gives me a great opportunity on the Order of Merit and I'll come back in here more often.

Q. So you're talking about happy memories have helped you --
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: If I didn't have the '06 going for me, really, I should be off resting. If I didn't have all of those things and the fact that I like coming here, I would be struggling in a week like this.
You know, I know I need a couple of weeks rest, and if not the winter break, to get myself sharp again. But obviously on a week like this, where the interest is there, it really helps.
Charley Hoffman, the young American kid is out there, and they just love it here. Some things, you don't want to take too seriously. If the weather is not good, you just have to smile and you've just got to go with it. [] and he's a perfect example. He's just loving it, just like the McDonald's ad.

Q. Was there any time on the front nine today you felt like throwing in the towel?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Not at all. Not at all this week, no. I got really tired in the middle of my round yesterday when it just came to a stance at a point in that round and I got tired. But all week, I think the team thing for me is a big help here. I'm very keen on it.

Q. How hard is it after playing in the States and trying to have a higher ball flight and then coming back to play in these conditions?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I don't have a ball ever keeping the ball down, no. With the driver, I've had a problem the last couple of years, but what I'm actually working on in my swing is bringing the ball back down. I've gone to a 9 and a half-degree lofted driver where I won the two Opens with an 8 degree. So I've actually gone up in loft for what I'm working on.
But still, I never have had a problem with -- sometimes I might hit my driver a bit high but any other club, you know -- I can keep the ball down but I've worked, if you asked me to hit a normal swing, it would be up in the air. The only club sometimes I might hit my driver a bit high is the wind.
What I'm working more on the golf swing now is actually neutralising that flight and hitting more of a medium height and a little more spinning. That's why I have more loft than the driver, so instead of adding and trying to get a situation where I'm taking loft off the driver.

Q. Do you think The Race to Dubai will add something to the Order of Merit?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think The Race to Dubai will add a sparkle, yes. There was been an issue the last couple of years, and I think while it's an achievement for the guy to win it, I think The Race to Dubai will put more height to it and make it more exciting. I know many of the pros, including myself are looking at our schedules to give ourselves the best chance of going out there and winning that.

Q. Will you play more in Europe then?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I definitely would see myself, yeah. I have obviously a very tight schedule on both sides of the world. I would definitely like to give myself a good chance of winning that, especially in the first year. You know, first guy to win it would be a nice achievement.

Q. So you'll concentrate more in the first year than in the FedEx?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think the FedEx is a shorter run, so you don't concentrate on the FedEx. The FedEx is four weeks that you're trying to get hot or four weeks; where the The Race to Dubai, it's the whole year long. It's a different thing. There's no point in adding extra tournaments for the FedEx, but for the The Race to Dubai, it would. It's a whole year thing.

End of FastScripts

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