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January 15, 2009

Padraig Harrington


Q. Decent start?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I suppose it's what I kind of expected. I felt reasonably good, coming at the end, I was disappointed to make the bogey on 8, and had two reasonable chances certainly with shots into the last two greens. So maybe a shot or two better would have been certainly what it felt like.
But 1-under is certainly passible, anyway.

Q. Where were you when the storm hit?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: We just hit our tee shots on 14. So, on the tee.
Yeah, you know, I'm happy with what I saw.

Q. You're a person that likes one or two tournaments to get going?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, as I said yesterday, trying to get myself going and get myself into position on Sunday afternoon, and if I can build to that, I'll be happy. I never expected to come out -- I knew there would be some build-up, let's say. 1-under, okay, keep shooting under par all year, I'll be okay.

Q. The birdie on the par 5?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, it was a nice tee shot. I hit it in the bunker. The ball came out a bit funny and I holed a 15-footer.
Yeah, I was happy, happy in general with a lot of things I saw. I was a little bit unsure of myself at times, but that's what happens when you start the year out. It takes a little while to get into things.

Q. So as expected?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Exactly as expected. It's totally different when you have a scorecard in your hand.

Q. But you never know what to expect usually.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: This is -- well, what I would have said, I was a little bit unsure of myself at times over shots and played safe a few times and maybe got distracted a few times.

Q. What do you get distracted by out there?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Just simple things in your routine you get distracted. When you work on something in the winter, you get distracted by it, is what happens.

Q. So it's a technical thought?

Q. What was your main body of work during the winter aiming at?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Changing my hip action.

Q. To achieve?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Hit the ball better. I wasn't trying to change -- I wasn't trying to change anything in the swing, but changing the pelvic tilt. It's to try to get my hips to stabilise more on the golf swing, that would be it.

Q. Is that for more power?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: That's what we all do, to strike is it better and further, all of the above. It's my hips, it's all part of it, just changing the angle of my hips during the swing.

Q. You said you were a little unsure out there, in the bunker at 6 perhaps?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The bunker itself, obviously it got washed out. It was firmer than I expected and the ball came out flying.
But these things, the second shot, I really did get distracted over that, and a little bit thinking about my posture rather than thinking about the shot.

Q. How many sort of genuine birdie chances, would you say?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I hit a couple of -- I chipped and putted the first, which is nice. Then I hit a really nice iron shot to the next three greens, but none of them that close, because they were over the pin actually. Then I made a few more up-and-downs, which is nice. Then as I said, on the front nine, I started to feel a bit comfortable again and started creating a few chances after my birdie on the second.
Then the bogey came a bit out of nowhere, and I felt good. I hit a nice 5-iron into 12 feet on the 7th hole and hit a sand wedge that pitched up the hole at the next and swung back and hit a 5-iron down the flag there.
So I felt better as the round went on, which is a good sign.

Q. First round every year like that, you'd walk off smiling?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Look, you can't -- in the end of the day, I shot under par, and if I don't go the year -- that might be one of the goals, lads. (Laughter).

End of FastScripts

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