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July 17, 2009

Padraig Harrington


Q. Talk about your day today.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I suppose it was a tough day. It was always going to be tough going out there, and I hit the ball very nicely all day, you know. It was tough around the turn. I seemed to play the holes okay, and bogeying 8, 9 and 10 was difficult in any round to drop three in a row.
It's hard to see yourself out there getting any shots back. There isn't a lot of opportunities for making birdie. I think really coming home the only -- I think 14 was a soft pin into that wind. Besides that you're looking at 17. There's not too many opportunities. So it was tough when I dropped those shots. And on all three of them I had good enough chances to par them.

Q. You're assured of making the cut. What sort of a task is that in your mind when you think about what you have to do on the weekend?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, I certainly wasn't thinking that the course -- I was thinking I'm eight shots behind. That's not insurmountable on the weekend on a links golf course, especially like this. I wasn't thinking about making the cut. In the end of the day, my round, if I look back at it, I think the longest putt I holed was two feet out there, mostly tap-ins on every hole. I certainly can't remember holing anything today. I'm putting well; the ball is running at the holes, so sooner or later it will drop.
I know I'm running out of holes, 36 holes to go, but if they start dropping I'll shoot some good scores.

Q. On the confidence/trepidation scale today, where were you today?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, I hit the ball well enough today. I certainly stroked it well, I just have to trust it a little bit more on the weekend.
I really was very happy with my ball-striking, as I said, just need to be a little bit more trusting. As I say, the ball was hitting out of the middle of the bat all day.

Q. Where does that feeling come from?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: That comes from holing a few putts. I've run an awful lot of putts at the hole for two days now, and if a few of them could have dropped, it would be a different story. And that's all it would take. I hit a lot of nice putts, grazing the hole, and I've got to keep doing that, keep being confident and aggressive and keep running it at the hole. As I said, I know I'm running out of holes, but it could turn any moment.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No. No, I would be -- as I said, my preparation wasn't great. I wish it was better now because, as I said, I've been striking the ball well the last two days. A little bit more bit of preparation and I would be doing better. But no, it doesn't feel like achievement at all. Eight shots behind isn't great. Hopefully we can improve that on the weekend and make a run.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, you know, somebody is holing putts out there. The pin positions are difficult to hit the ball close. They're easy to hit the ball 20 feet away from. So I didn't see the golf yesterday, but I'm assuming the guys that were shooting those low scores were holing a lot of those 15-, 20-footers. And again today there was a lot of -- I tell you what, it was a tough test today considering you knew that you were under pressure on a number of holes; if you missed the fairway, bogeys were going to be there. And you really didn't feel like there was opportunities for birdies. Well, certainly I didn't, because as I said, I'm just not holing those 20-footers.
And if you -- you certainly couldn't go after all the pins out there. As I said, really 14 was the first pin I thought was very accessible, let's say. Everything else was pretty tough.
But the golf course gave it up a little bit yesterday. Today, no, it's taking it back. And that's the right way to have it. It's certainly intimidating on a tough day. And it's not that windy out there. So it is -- it would be -- you know, they knew the wind wasn't going to be up so they probably put in a tough set of pins after seeing good scoring yesterday.
There is still some good scoring out there. I think it was tough but maybe wouldn't want it like that every day, but it was certainly a test today.

Q. Talk about the 17th hole.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You know, I hit 5-wood off the tee. I hit a nice 5-wood, actually thought it would be a little further down. I had 268 to the pin, and I hit a little 5-wood straight down the pin. I could see people clapping, but they didn't quite jump out of their seats. So I knew it wasn't -- I thought it could have been very close, but a 25-footer in two putts. I was trying to hole it.
As it was, I had a good attitude all day. I didn't get at all involved in the cut, whatsoever, I'd say until I hit that 18-inch putt in the last. I'm glad it was only 18 inches. Up to that I was very focused on the tournament and hitting my shots. And I wasn't -- the last thing you want to do is be trying to play that back nine holding onto the cut. You have to be trying to hold on to winning the tournament.

Q. You had a joke with your caddie over that putt at the last, did you?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I said it might be two feet up the hill, and I walked into it, and somebody was being cheered on to the first tee and I was trying to figure out -- I thought it was Lee Westwood, actually, because somebody called out Lee. And I was thinking about that and I was thinking about this. By the time I got over it, yeah, I was happy it was only two feet. I snuck it in the left half. It wasn't my most glorious putting stroke there.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The only thing good about playing the weekend is that I can win the tournament. And the more rounds of golf I play, the better. As I said, I was, you know, ball-striking-wise I was very happy. Trust it a little bit more and it will be right in there.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Wouldn't be that bad at all. This is the nature of the game. You can't go along -- you know, the last thing I was doing here this week was trying to make the cut. Thankfully, as my career goes on, nobody will be counting how many cuts I made or missed. At the top of the CV list will be three majors at the moment and hopefully more coming up.

Q. What are you hoping for tomorrow?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I am hoping for just to sneak in on the cut line, to get out nice and early tomorrow morning, in beautiful sunshine, shoot a good score and then the weather to come in. We can always dream, can't we?

Q. (Inaudible.)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: All the time, you know, we're talking to each other. Ronan said to me today, we've got plenty of holes left. And the key focus is that I'm walking on to the 12th tee, and I look up, and I see, right there's seven holes today, another 43 holes to make this up. I can't go along the lines of seven holes to make it up to the cut line. That's only going to put you under more pressure and make you more cautious. You've got to play the right shots all the way through and you've got to -- even though things haven't gone well for you -- and I hit some lovely putts in those three holes.
I did make a bad mistake on 13. You know, I got a little bit frustrated with my approach shot there maybe. But besides that, you know, I was good all day. I was in a mindset to hit the best shot I could at each moment, hit the right shot, and I didn't do anything silly bar 13.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's right up there, yeah. I'm actually -- yeah. I'm hoping I've turned a big corner.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The problem is, you know, there's so many compartments of the game and I judge them differently. And the physical stuff is what I've been changing. As I said, and I would definitely have been giving that a 7 or an 8, that side; mentally, poor enough; short game, I would be definitely back up there, as well. In fact it's been very strong this week. So, yes, I think I've turned the corner now, and I'm definitely focused on competing and playing more so than maybe the last couple of months. I'm just getting a few things right.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It was definitely, you know -- I was figuring it out the other day. I've changed three things in my backswing and three things on my downswing, and I started off trying to change one. Yeah, I think that could be -- the problem is you change one thing and something else needs to go with it and, yeah, I think some of the stuff I worked on here at the start of the week definitely could be the last piece of the jigsaw in what I've been trying to do.
Don't worry, in three months' time I'll have something else, and be trying to figure that out. But at the moment that was definitely -- you know, maybe because I haven't been striking it great, but I felt like the ball was coming right out of the middle of the club all day, you know, the last two days. So it has been good, yes. Good fix.

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