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July 16, 2009

Padraig Harrington


Q. Good score, what's your reaction to it?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I would have taken this score -- anytime you're shooting 60s in a major tournament you can't be too displeased. I would say, you know, I hit the ball well but played probably with a certain amount of trepidation. I wasn't exactly the most confident after the last couple of weeks. I hit a lot of nice shots where I was aiming in the middle of the green. I didn't really have the confidence to chase the pins and was trying to hole from 25, 30 feet most of the day.
It was good. I got up-and-down when I needed to get up-and-down. So certainly -- while I wasn't shooting the lights out, it gives me hope for the next three days.

Q. The pressure to perform perhaps, the trepidation you spoke about do you have a plan for getting rid of that?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, that was the whole idea. I spoke with Bob, and the plan was that we're trying to build it every day so that I get better day by day in terms of my confidence and belief. I certainly struck the ball real solid all day. If I trust it a little bit more, as I did in a number of shots, it looks pretty good.

Q. You said you looked for a key in the practise round on Monday. Did you find that key and do you think it's reliable for the week that you can actually be there with a chance come Sunday?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I did change something, changed a few things on Monday on the range. But probably it was in my swing today. I certainly felt like I had it there. So I'm actually back working on just making sure I focus on my target and try and trust it.
As I said today, most of the times I did trust it today. So I just need to be a little bit more confident and maybe take on a few more pins.

Q. (Inaudible.) Was that in your mind at all that you couldn't really let it go today?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You know, I wasn't in control of my ultimate score. I was just trying to play each shot as it came, and I wasn't trying to think what score I had to shoot. It would have been nice the last couple of holes, I had a few 20-footers, if I could have knocked one of those in and been a shot better maybe or something, I would have been very pleased with the round. But one shot ain't going to make a difference when it comes to Sunday. There's a lot of golf to be played, 54 holes. If I play the golf from here on in, hopefully I'll be there or thereabouts with nine holes to play, we all know anything can happen in those situations.

Q. You said you're familiar with trepidation. Are you closer to being confident than trepidation now that you've got this round under your belt?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Oh, every round of golf I play is better and good for me. As I said, I felt like I was striking the ball well. It's just a question of trusting it a bit now, and the more rounds I play and the more I get up-and-down when I miss the odd shot, the more confidence I'm going to have.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: They've told me. I didn't know.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I hit a lot of nice putts. The last two greens I left it short, I didn't -- but the other eight holes I think I rammed the ball at the hole all day, which was very pleasing. I hit a lot of nice iron shots where I was aiming at those holes, too. That happens.
In 72 holes -- what was very important to me I chipped and putted the second hole and I chipped and putted the third hole. That gave me a lot of confidence going forward. I haven't been doing that. I made a really good up-and-down on the second, and I holed a good putt on the third.
That's what's been missing from my game. I haven't exactly been saving myself. I did that early on. I gave myself opportunities later on, and if a couple of more putts dropped, yeah, we'd be a little lower.
In terms of winning this tournament it doesn't really make any difference whether I holed those putts or not. It will make more of a difference Sunday afternoon.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I just got a little bit distracted with the alignment and read. Even though I read the greens well, I just wasn't trusting the pace, just didn't really trust it enough. I made a lovely run at a lot of putts as I said. The last two greens I just -- maybe just got a little bit defensive, don't be too aggressive. I just mis-hit the putts, that's why they came up short. If I trusted it, yeah, I probably would have squeaked in the hole. And certainly the one on 18 was on line. The one on 17 would have needed to hit a better putt than that.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You know, I certainly early on made -- the second would have been the perfect example. I'm hitting my second shot at the middle of the green, I pulled it a little bit straight down the pin. So I'm looking, I'm watching it thinking I'm going to make birdie and it trickles, goes into the wind a bit and goes off the green. I would have taken five or six with that a couple of weeks ago. Today I made a nice chip. I stayed in my -- I was committed to it, I hit the shot and got it up to four feet and holed the putt.
You make your own luck at this game at times, and definitely that was a good case of me really salvaging a very strong par. I'm sure of all the guys -- I'm sure plenty of guys missed down there left today and not many of them would have got up-and-down.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Oh, yes. I definitely feel better about how I'm swinging the club and hitting the ball. I do need to trust it a little bit more, and if I do, that will be great. I can see it's in me.
But I know the scoring was good there, but a lot of those pins did seem to well and truly hidden. And it looked like a day you did need to hole the 20-footers. Obviously I didn't do that. But it's a long week, 72 holes and I'll be patient. And if I keep rolling them at the hole, they'll drop.

Q. The Open Championship may not be what it is today had Arnold Palmer not come over to play. Do you feel we owe him a debt of gratitude?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: We have a debt of gratitude to all the golfers that have gone before. Arnold obviously really set the game alight and was the first one, really, to bring it mainstream and that. Yeah, we owe him a huge debt of gratitude.

Q. Has he touched your life as a person?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: White Oak Plantation, he designed it. Yeah, I've met Arnold many times, and he definitely has.

End of FastScripts

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