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September 25, 2009

Padraig Harrington


LAURA HILL: Padraig, a nice 69 today. Looks like you played your way into the final group. Talk about your position heading into round 3.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I mean, obviously I'm in good position as regards the tournament. Probably not the best position as regards the FedExCup. It's a little bit out of my control. But I'm looking forward to the weekend. I enjoyed today, was happy with how things went. I left a few shots out there towards the end, but overall I knew there was another 36 holes to play, and I've got to make things happen at some stage. So hopefully it's some stage in the next 36 holes.

Q. Tiger missed a couple of little ones there that could have been -- instead of having a two-shot lead could have been maybe four --
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I hope he's only got a one-shot lead; is that right?

Q. Yes, a one-shot lead.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Thought I missed something here.

Q. The difference being when he gets ahead, he tends to do pretty well --
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, you know, I can't control what he did. It was difficult on that par-5. There was a lot of shadows there. It was very difficult to read the green. Obviously I didn't expect him to miss two in a row. I looked up at the stats on the board just before he hit it, and he's No. 1 from that range. So I don't think he misses two in a row all year. That's probably for sure he hasn't missed two in a row on the year. So it was a surprise.
But as I said, I made my own mistakes on 13 and 14 and 17. I can only really control what I'm doing and look back and say that I left a few out there myself.

Q. How saturated is the golf course, if at all, and if we get more rain tomorrow, what's it going to do?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's not wet at all, no. The greens are as firm as can be. They were watering the greens yesterday. There's a little bit of dampness in areas, but not in the playing areas out there. The course is A-1, as we knew it would be. I believe there is some forecast of rain tomorrow, but I don't know how heavy or what to expect.

Q. I'm just wondering, you've played with Tiger and you are playing with him now tomorrow. This will be the, I think, eighth time in about a two-month span, three-month span --

Q. Do you relish those opportunities?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think it is better, yeah.

Q. Do you learn anything from him that you didn't know before during all this?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think it's always best to be playing and watching the No. 1 guy. You know, it's always nice to be trying to push him. The key for me is to make sure I push Tiger to be a better player, let's say. That's got to be the key when you're out there. Yeah, the more times you play with him, the more comfortable you get.
I certainly enjoyed today. I've enjoyed most of the rounds, I think, we've played over the last couple of weeks. You know, keep it going, really. As I said, the way to do it is play your own game, but I've been quite comfortable out there.

Q. Has there been any negative to it, whether it be just the crowds or the distraction or --
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, not at all. I like a busier golf course. I like a busy -- I like more people around. I like a bit of motion and noise. There's an ambient noise when you're out there. So no, there's no distraction, not at all. It's harder when there's one person standing there on his own sort of thing, than when there's 10,000 people. You can't really see or hear or really pick up anything definable.
I think it's easier, and Tiger is easy to play with. He does his thing out there. He says "good shot" when a good shot is hit, and it's comfortable.

Q. Could you just elaborate a little bit on why you like motion and noise?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You know, if there was a brass band playing behind the tee box, it wouldn't put you off. But if there was a guy standing there on his own, nobody else out on a really quiet day, you could hear him from 100 yards away if he was on his own talking to himself, obviously.
You'd be amazed, when there's a lot going on you see nothing. When there's very little going on, you see a lot. So it's a lot better when there's a big crowd there. You get into it. There's a bit of adrenaline with it, and definitely I've always found it easier to play in a noisy environment than a quiet one.
I could never understand. I'm going to have my little rant here. I could never understand at the basketball games why everybody makes noise when they're throwing free throws. If everybody kept quiet, it would put the guy under a lot of pressure, and if you got one guy down to make noise, it would really put him off.
Some college has got to start that. Everybody goes quiet, and then -- you don't even need anybody to make noise. There's a lot more pressure than when everybody is waving those and cheering.

Q. On the subject of the pairing, is it just because it's been you and Tiger that more attention has been drawn to it recently, or do you recall playing with one person as much as you have recently with Tiger?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, I think the difference is when you play with Tiger at the top of the leaderboard, it's like -- sometimes we get drawn with the same guy four days in a row and we're down at the bottom of the field and nobody really cares. But the fact when you're playing with Tiger, he's very rarely not near the leaderboard, so that's why it's a good thing to be playing there. You know you're going to be in contention and you know you're going to have a chance of winning the tournament the more you play with Tiger.

Q. And familiarity to it --
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Familiarity, certainly the first time I played with him in a big event was Bethpage in 2002. That was difficult. You know, I just wasn't used to having -- waiting for 40 photographers to settle before I could hit my shot and things like that.
But now it's all managed better. It's all managed super, and there's never really an issue. It's all very comfortable.

Q. Do you maybe take a little bit more liberties with him now, a little less reverence?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: He's just one of the other -- when you're out there on the golf course, he's just another guy, you can't put him up on a pedestal like that. It wouldn't help in that sense. Yeah, there's no way -- you've got to just treat him like another -- to be honest, when you're out there on the golf course and you're in that environment, that's all he is, just another guy.
You know, it's different obviously when it's in the media and you guys. But when he's out there playing, he's just another player, you know, talking and enjoying your round of golf is going to help both of you play a good round of golf.

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