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September 11, 2009

Padraig Harrington


MARK STEVENS: We'd like to welcome Padraig Harrington. Padraig has shot back-to-back 68s. If you'd start off and talk a little bit about your round today and then we'll take some questions.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The round today was pretty similar to yesterday. I would like to tell you that the two 68s were totally orthodox, and it was fairways and greens, and it seems like that with ten birdies and one bogey. But obviously at times I struggled a little bit. At times I played really well. There was a lot of contrasts out there. I'm hoping for the contrast to move in favor of more good shots, even though I'll settle for another two 68s on the weekend.

Q. You've managed to maintain your sense of humor and equilibrium pretty well through the whole year and even through ups and downs and in the Playoffs. How do you do that? Do you have a secret for that?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: How could you not? Every day you wake up to a lifestyle like I have playing professional golf. As I always say, I'd play this game for free, just don't tell anybody. (Laughter.)
You know, it's fantastic. Even on the bad days, you wouldn't swap it for anything else. I know that some of the bad days, they can feel bad at the time. But if you had to sit there and think about it, you'd still rather be out on the golf course. No matter how bad it's going, you'd still rather be out there trying and working it out. Every day is a good day on the golf course.

Q. You've been having some adventures with the driver the last couple, three rounds, hitting a lot of provisionals, getting a lot of extra work out there, extra swings, I suppose.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, you know what, I hit one -- it didn't feel good on the range last week. I struggled all the time at the range last week. Where I was driving the ball great at Liberty Island, I really lost my confidence on the range, whatever way the angle of the range was, and was on the golf course and was kind of a little bit iffy.
To be honest, I'm back there again this week. When I hit it, I'm hitting it great. When I don't get in the way, I'm hitting it out of the middle of the club face, lovely flight, everything is good. But I'm just not trusting it whatsoever. And these things creep in.
As I said, definitely there was something about the angle of the range last week that I didn't like, and I hit a number of poor shots on the range, and every day I went to the golf course, I wasn't feeling good about my driving. You know, I tried to fight through it, as I did today. I tried. But yeah, I hit a number of really poor shots, and for no particular reason.
It's not like -- I'm either bombing it down the middle or hitting it wide. I just have to -- it's all there. It's just a question of trusting it a little bit more.

Q. As a quick follow to that, just because I never quite understood it, but in the search for what you were looking for this year, and you reached your conclusion, you mentioned something about the range at the French Open. I didn't understand if that was a good thing or a bad thing.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm very peculiar when it comes to driving ranges. The first thing I do when I get to a golf course is decide where I'm going to practice for the week. The angle of the range can determine how I swing the golf club. I went to the French Open swinging the club well at home on the Monday, flew in, and on the Tuesday I hit the golf ball the worst I've ever hit it in my life on the range.
Now, I had remembered that I also struggled on that range before, for whatever reason. It's a very big, wide range, and it's slightly uphill, which isn't a nice way to have a driving range.
So why it was good for me there was because it showed up. It highlighted -- the problem I had at the range highlighted what I was doing wrong and brought home to me what I was doing wrong in my golf swing that I had been told many times in the past but I just didn't learn that lesson. I learnt it there.
I'm always going to have issues with ranges and alignments and things like that. This was a separate deal, just the poor golf highlighted what I needed to work on in my swing.

Q. So in the long-term that actually helped you?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Oh, yeah, it definitely helped me. It helped me listen to something that I had heard a number of times but for some reason just didn't hear it. As with all these sort of moments, it's not that you don't know the solution, you haven't been told it before or haven't heard it before; it's actually believing it, and the French Open helped with that. I do have issues with different ranges at different times. There's no doubt about it, I'm very fussy.

Q. Favorite range on TOUR, U.S. or Europe?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I really -- I don't know. Augusta, by a long way. And they're changing it. It's a great range. I like Muirfield, obviously. Sawgrass. For whatever reason some ranges just -- I don't have that problem this week, but I'm just carrying a little bit of baggage from last week into this week.

Q. You mentioned that today was a little like yesterday. Yesterday might have been the most astounding 68 I think I've ever seen somebody hit with some of those up-and-downs you were having from over in the acorns. Was today another -- it wasn't quite like yesterday. Yesterday you really took the road less traveled.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The recoveries were a bit earlier today. I hit it in trouble off the tee but I actually got it pretty close, had a number of birdie chances. I chipped and putted a few times, too. But yesterday the recoveries probably came a little bit later. Today the recoveries were just maybe off my second shots.
Like I hit it to a foot out of bounds on 11. Yeah, that probably best describes my driving. I've hit it miles on 18, like so far right it's untrue, and yet I've hit driver, sand wedge in with my provisional ball. Same thing on 11; I've hit it miles off the tee, but my provisional ball is -- I knocked it down the middle, way down, would have been in range. It's not that it's not there, I just don't trust it.

Q. Two years ago you skipped this tournament because you just needed a week off, and also, would you be in favor of them changing the off week to have two --
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Somebody suggested a two-and-two format. I don't see -- it probably wouldn't do it any harm, no. Yeah, I think having been in contention the last couple weeks, this week I'm glad I'm in contention again, because I do need the adrenaline to keep going. There's no doubt about it. If I was slightly off the lead this week, I could go downhill very quickly.
Yeah, two and two could be very good. I'm not sure if there's a reason why we don't do it. But it seems probably -- seems like a better way to go.

Q. So just make that a yes?
MARK STEVENS: Padraig, thank you. Good luck this weekend.

End of FastScripts

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