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January 17, 2009

Padraig Harrington


Q. How do you rate your job of of work today?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: 68 is a reasonable return. Always was a little off the lead and one of the leaders could go forward like Paul Casey and the guys around that score, they did shoot 67 or whatever Paul is doing now, he could be doing better and there was a chance they could run away with it.
My score was okay and have to be happy with that and can't complain. First bogey-free round of the year. A lot of work to be done tomorrow.

Q. How much does what you did on the back nine, winning your two majors last year help you?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Not very much at all. Tomorrow I have to come out and play the front nine well. What I did in the back nine at the two majors is good. Being in the lead or close to the lead or thereabouts can bring a lot of confidence that I can play the game when I need to.
But I need to be firing for more birdies or free wheeling at that stage. There will be little pressure on me tomorrow. I have to go out there and make some birdies, hole some putts, and then see if we can get ourselves somewhat into contention coming down the stretch.
You know, it's looking like it's going to be mainly in Paul's hands, and he's a dangerous player when he does get on a run like this. We've seen him in the past run away from fields. He's one of those players when he gets hot, the game seems easy to him. He's not the sort of guy I want to be six shots behind going into the last round.

Q. A few players have done not much during the winner and enjoyed relaxation and you've had a bit of that. Interesting the different results you get when you come back regarding expectations.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I actually did the opposite. I spent six weeks -- eight weeks off and spent six of those working quite hard, working on the game and even at the end of last season, I was starting to do the work; I've been in the gym.
I'm sort of mixed up in the sense that I've done quite a bit of work and I'm out here this week to see where it's brought me to. There's a lot of shots I'm hitting out there that I'm a little bit -- that I was a little bit out of sync because of the practice and work I've done over the winter. This is a great week for me to come down and get perfect conditions and good facilities and get a game where my game is at.
I like some of the stuff I see, and I realise eight weeks off never does me the world of good in terms of my competitiveness or certainly my mental game and routines and things like that. So some issues have to be cleared up before the season really gets going again for me. I probably have the same thing -- I play in three weeks time and I'll probably be in the same boat as I am today with another couple of weeks practice. By the time the Masters come around, I will hopefully have it cleared up.

Q. You are obviously thinking about that already.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, the whole season, the start of the season always builds up to the Masters and you really want to be -- I'll playing another six events before the Masters. So hopefully through those six events I'll get whatever little things I want sorted, sorted out.

Q. So I'm sure you've enjoyed the news about Monty being The Ryder Cup captain in Wales. Are you in the loop?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I heard yesterday from the journalists. I suppose, is Ollie the one on Bet fair betting on himself or something like that? It's amazing how these things get out. There's always somebody somewhere figures it out.
I'd be all for Monty taking the captaincy. I think we need to putt our absolute best foot forward at the time and I believe he is the man for the job. I'm a little bit surprised that he's prepared to give up his chance of making the team and that really is taking a lot of commitment from him.
But as regards being a player who is potentially going to be on the team, I'd certainly like to see him as captain and I think that will give us our best chance of winning in Wales. As I said yesterday, it's a little bit unfortunate for Sandy, but you know, I think the majority of the players on the Tour, and certainly the younger players, anybody probably younger than my generation, don't really know Sandy.
My age and up, we obviously know Sandy and we would like to see him have the job. But half the team, I think only -- I think only one guy was older than me on the last Ryder Cup Team, so you've got to think this time around it's going to be pretty similar and most of those guys would be familiar with Monty and don't know Sandy. And it's unfortunate because he does deserve the job.

Q. Monty is popular in a strange kind of way.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Would you like to clarify that? (Laughter).

Q. He's been so busy in a receive I object kind of way, winning eight Order of Merits, he has not always had time for the younger players. So how would that relationship gel in The Ryder Cup situation, do you think?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Monty is quite good off the golf course in the players' lounge and that. He's always interesting. He's always got an opinion. He's always got something to say. So I think that most of the younger players can relate to him. He's around and as everybody knows, you have to move away from him on the range, he talks so much.
But he's a tough competitor on the golf course. I think the younger guys and certainly the guys who are in contention for the team and would know him reasonably well would all get on with him. He's a guy, as I said, he's quite an interesting person. Sit down and have a chat with him, you'll be entertained for half an hour.

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