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April 1, 2010

Padraig Harrington


Q. Padraig, 69, 32, making the -- making the turn and a nice run there, talk about that birdie run there you had at 14, 15, 16.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah. You know, the round was really going nowhere until I hit 14. I had some chances early on and 10, 12 and 13, I actually played them 1-over par. I'm not feeling too good about the game. I hit the flag on 15 with my pitch and made birdie there, and then I hit it close on 16.
I really went from nowhere to a good round, and obviously 17, 18, especially 18 is a hard hole. I wasn't feeling on top of my game today. It was kind of hard there.

Q. How tough was 18 with the wind? You got the lake on the left and you ended up in the bunker on right.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It wasn't too bad today. I wasn't very confident in myself. Tough tee shot when you're not feeling too good. Wasn't -- there's always going to be on the right and hope to get away with it. I did well with the bunker shot, 25 yards into the wind with the water behind it. I thought the difficulty was getting it to the hole, to run it out, 10 feet past. Hopefully, lot more golf to be played.

Q. Talk about the conditions, especially the greens. Then talk about how they can get you ready for Augusta next week. Is the course very much like Augusta?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I would say the greens are the best I've seen anywhere. They're fast and putting beautifully. I think that gives you the best chance out there. The course is actually quite difficult. Guys are holing putts. It gives you an opportunity to score.
Chipping on to these greens will be similar to chipping next week, and you get some very tricky putts, breaking putts. There are some similarities, and there's some testing tee shots as well where you have some water hazards. You don't want to miss it on one side. It's a little bit like Augusta.

Q. How was the round overall?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm pleased enough with the score. I didn't hit it very well on the range before I went out and, yeah, a little bit conservative all the way around. I was never quite sure of myself. I was happy to play the golf I played.
I made the most of my opportunities when they came around. I got a nice birdie run on the back-9, three in a row got me into the tournament. Not quite confident enough how I was hitting to it play the tough hole like the last. I managed to drop a shot by being very conservative off the tee.

Q. How about the wind?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's tough. The greens are very firm out there. It wasn't that the wind was too tough. The greens are firm and fast, and you've got to hit some good strikes. There's a few shots there, a couple of reasonable shots, a couple of holes that released through the green because I didn't strike them well enough. You got to play well out there.

Q. Is this good practice for next week?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I believe so. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't. Now that the tournament is starting, it's all about trying to win the Shell Houston Open. We've got three more days. I hit a lot of nice shots. I just wasn't very confident.

Q. How about the 69?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I was very happy with that. I hit the ball better than I expected. I played quite well, that wasn't it. I didn't feel great. I certainly played better than I expected.

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