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September 25, 2010

Padraig Harrington


Q. Would you say that was a much better match-play round than stroke-play?
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: Certainly eight birdies would be nice to have in any round of golf, you could say that. I 4-putted the fourth hole, 3-putt from two feet so that didn't help me.
But it was nice to come back with plenty of birdies after that and created plenty of chances. Played nicely from that onwards, so it was, again, a little bit like yesterday, I seemed to play a little bit better when I had to.

Q. So what did you have to do to turn a 69 into a 64 then?
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, as I said, there was a few mishaps early on on the greens but I putted nicely after that.
The golf course is easy, there's no doubt about it. It's obviously tougher conditions today, but anybody who wants to shoot 62, 64, you've still got to hole those 10-, 12-footers. You've got to do it that consistently. It's not easy to do it on demand. You just have to be patient and let it happen.

Q. Saying the course is easy; would you rather be in Wales practising and preparing for The Ryder Cup or here?
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: Oh, no, I'd rather be playing one shot at a time. It's an easy course playing tough enough today with the swirling wind. But no, for me, it's all about trying to get my mind-set and going through my routines at this stage; so it's much better off doing that in a competitive environment. I wouldn't get anywhere in a practise round at this stage.

Q. You've played in the utmost pressure in major championships and Ryder Cups, what sort of pressure do you feel now?
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, it's interesting all right. There's so much outside focus, and you know, in many ways, labels and things like that and trying to put me in a box. I am who I am. I can't really do anything about what other people's expectations are and I have to get away from that.
At times, I could see myself missing a fairway and going -- well, that doesn't look good. Who cares? I miss fairways. That's my style of golf. I can't try and fit into what anybody else wants. As I said, I am who I am and I play my game a certain way, and I've got to trust that and play that way. That's the nature of my golf.
I can't be worried about what everybody else thinks. I just have to add the score up at the end of the day and whatever thoughts is usually good and concentrate on that.

Q. What will you focus on?
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: I was happy with my putting today. The 4-putt came, the hole caught a slope and I just didn't believe it. I actually hit all good putts. But just strange, because I was delighted, actually, I ran the ball at the hole well, so, yeah, I've got to do a little bit more of what I did yesterday. But I hit the ball solid out there and it's just the pace; you'd be happy making eight birdies anyway.

Q. G-Mac and Ian Poulter have come out in the press, particularly yesterday, saying there was a real severe lack of leadership in the last Ryder Cup. What's your assessment of that?
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, I think I was the one that first brought it to the attention that probably myself, Lee and Sergio were the three elder guys on the team; and none of us are really elder and none of us wanted to take that responsibility. We were missing a Monty or a Darren Clarke in the team room.
Your captain is separate. He has to lead in a certain way but you do need somebody in the team room leading. I think it will be interesting to see, Monty has obviously done that so much in the past. He's captain this time; can he carry the two roles? I don't know if that's that has been done before, or should be done.
Certainly there needs to be somebody in the players section who can lead. We have some good vice captains this time. You know, Darren Clarke has done that role as a player in the past and certainly will, as a vice captain, should be excellent in that sort of situation. But he does need one of the elder players to step up.

Q. Is there enough backroom staff behind Monty?
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: I think he's got the backroom staff but it is a question of, you know, you want somebody to -- as I said, Monty against Scott Hoch in the singles, not only want to go out number one but to go out number one and do the job. There was tremendous buzz on the range from the European players as Monty, I think he stiffed it on the first hole to take the lead against Scott Hoch and carried on there from there. It really gave the whole team a boost. There's no doubt Monty won more than one point that day.

Q. Would you be happy to be that man?
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: I would love to be that man. It has not necessarily been in my character. You know, I tend, as the other guys in the last Ryder Cup, we tend to go about our own business and do our own thing. We are not the sort of guy who goes around maybe putting our arm around the shoulder of other guys and doing that sort of stuff.
But yeah, it definitely needs -- I'm certainly more willing to go out of my way to give at this Ryder Cup. I think in past Ryder Cups, if somebody wants to ask me somebody, I'd be very willing to help, but I think I'd be more likely to jump in this time and actually say things.
The only difference is the rookies on our team are strong rookies -- well, some of them are young, actually, but they don't play like that.
So they don't necessarily need any advice as regards, certainly, how to play golf. But The Ryder Cup is different. If you haven't been there before, it is a different experience. I've won three major championships and I will still tell you, I never felt the pressure, the excitement, as I felt as a rookie in '99 in The Ryder Cup.
So, it is something new to be experienced, and these guys, while they are very comparable, hopefully I'll be able to lend a hand during the week.

End of FastScripts

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