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March 12, 2010

Padraig Harrington


Q. Tell us about it.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's strange. What's leading, what position am I in?

Q. 9-ish.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Certainly a few mental errors out there. Missed a few putts. So kind of pleased to have shot 4-under par. I made some mistakes, but obviously I hit enough good shots and I seemed to have a lot of reasonable chances for birdies all day.
But I would have -- a little bit unlucky on the last two greens, almost went in, a few mental errors and need to tidy them up on the weekend but happy to be shooting 68.

Q. 18 was a mental error?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, I wouldn't have put that -- it was, but would not have been the worst one of the day. I'm talking I hit a few wedge shots where I just got a little anxious on it instead of sticking to the shot I was trying to play, I hit it to 20 feet. There's been a few mental errors and things like that out there.
18, I'll accept I was forced into a mental error on 18 as much as it was. But there was a few, a couple of shots that I could have trusted a bit more. But as I said, the scoring seemed fine. 4-under par, I'm quite happy with that.

Q. Do you feel like it's been rounding into shape gradually; is gradually good enough for you?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Days like today are positive. That's kind of a little bit like the way I played at the end of last year where finishing up the round going, surprised at the score I shot, let's say, rather than having shot 73 or 74 and thinking I should have shot 70. I kind of feel like I so have shot 70 today and I shot 68. That's kind of the way. So, yeah, things are on the up.

Q. You talked about traditionally you are a slow starter to the season; are you trying to address that, or the way you want it to be almost?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: My father always told me as a kid, because it would be the same as a kid, I would be studying during the winter as an amateur. He said, if you can't win, play well five months of the year; make sure you play well midseason; if you're going to pick a time to play well, play well through the fourth majors. I don't know if that holds true in terms of make you can't play well all year, but if you're going to peak, make sure you hit it in the middle of the year.
If you do look back, guys who are winning December and January don't normally have good summers.

Q. And you're way ahead of where you were this time last year?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, but nowhere near -- I wouldn't say I'm way ahead of where I was in previous years, but definitely last year, I definitely got very much drawn into changing things and working on things. While I'm always working on things, I'm not as -- my mind-set isn't quite stuck that way. I'm a bit better that way.

Q. How are the logistics of next week going to Washington? Will you go to Tampa, practice, and leave Tuesday night? Do you know how that's going to go down?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm going to go to Tampa. Depending how I do here, obviously either Sunday night or Monday. I've got to do something for the tournament on Monday afternoon instead of playing the Pro-Am on Wednesday. So I'll play a full practice round on Tuesday, leave there lunchtime Wednesday and come back sometime -- I don't know what time I'll get back in the morning. Well, you know, as in Wednesday night.
Hopefully 50/50 chance of getting a late tee time.

Q. Can you request one?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No. My previous record, if you do try requests, you normally get the wrong one. So I'm taking a 50/50 chance at that.
Now that you guys have mentioned it, everybody is going to look, so -- yeah, it's random.

Q. Is it a black tie thing or a little less formal; do you know?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's a green tie. Brought my green tie with me. I believe it's a suit and green tie, anyway. That's what I'm wearing.

Q. What's the earliest you've won in a season?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Honda. And Europe, probably May, the Spanish Open, something like that.
I do -- when you spend your winter working on things, it does take a while to get everything back together again. So, yeah, that's my nature. As I said, I'll be happy, if I hit peak form from now through till -- from the Masters through to The Ryder Cup, you're going to have a successful year.

Q. How much did the wind change?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It dropped ten, 15 degrees in temperature, didn't it? It was unbelievable when we were putting on the green. Yeah, it was significant. It wasn't quite 90 degrees, but -- let me work this out. It would have been at least 90; it could have been maybe another quarter on top of that, 135 degrees. It didn't go fully around 180 degrees, but it went 135 degrees change, and cold.
So if you are unfortunate enough to get one of those holes into the wind, it was a significant change. Thankfully it was actually a good change for us. We got change nicely for me. I got lucky.

Q. What did you hit on 18 after the drop?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: 5-wood, 237 I had. You know, it's not playing easy now, either, because a left-to-right wind, it wasn't too bad when we played it in off the right. But, yeah, there was -- like 8 was a big change for us. Like I hit driver, 5-wood to 20 feet there, which if it was earlier in the day, it would definitely have been a lay up.
That was a big change. And I think that was probably the most significant one for us; that, you know, 8 was downwind and you could reach in two.

Q. Given what you said about early in the season, does being in contention this weekend suffice for this week now?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I need to be in contention as often as I can. I have a tradition of usually, unfortunately for me, and anybody who is trying to follow me backing me, I normally warm up by getting into contention a few times. I don't normally win out of the blue, no. It's very rare.

Q. So it's not-wise money spent early on the year? You generally warm up as the season warms up?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: If you're following me, and the odds are good, I'm probably out of form. I slowly go back into form. So unfortunately I tend to show form before I win like a good horse.

Q. Have you played with Ernie at all recently?

Q. Is there anything you've noticed about him that's held him back --
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You know what, I really wouldn't be that familiar at all.

Q. You guys played a bunch of Thursdays and Fridays before, and I know the weather plays a part, but did the atmosphere seem a little bit down today, galleries and everything else from what you are accustomed to?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, I know when it was -- I played here once when it was the Ford, and it was certainly buzzing then. I think Ford made it a bit more razzmatazz. It's now a World Golf event and I suppose, serious, let's say, and maybe that's reflected in the approach around the tournament. And obviously being early in the morning today, as well, with a bad forecast, it's not going to attract massive galleries.

Q. Sorry to throw this question at you, I'm as tired of asking as you are of answering -- you know what I'm going to ask?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I don't, actually.

Q. When Tiger comes back, which seems imminent at some point, either in a couple of weeks or three or four weeks, how do you think he'll be received by A, the fans, and B, the players, and if you get paired with him, what would you say to him on the first tee? That's three questions in one.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: If I got paired with him, I would say good luck. I would make an effort to meet him before I was on the first tee. I wouldn't want to get on the first tee and -- I would definitely make my business to see him in the locker room beforehand or whatever so that I could say hello.
As regards the fans --

Q. (Inaudible.)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, I think that would be a strong word, in fairness. I think you're going to have all sorts. Like there's no doubt there's a lot of people, a lot of the solid fans who are disappointed, and I don't know how they are going to react. There's no doubt there's going to be -- you know, I wouldn't have said that the FBR Open or the Waste Management Open should be his first tournament back a couple of weeks ago, it wouldn't be one of those events.
But I think in general, people will be curious. It will be a bigger deal. Like you know, as I said, golf has held him in such high esteem and obviously with this whole thing, from a golfing standpoint, it has been disappointing. But you know, when you look at it, like I know people at home who have no interest in golf, and they are interested. They watch Tiger Woods interviews. There is going to be a bit more attention on it. It does make it a bit more -- it makes it a bit more E! Entertainment, doesn't it, rather than CBS.

End of FastScripts

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