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THE HONDA CLASSIC


March 2, 2015


Padraig Harrington


PALM BEACH GARDENS, FLORIDA

Q.ツ Somewhat ironic that it finishes here after hitting in the water during regulation.ツ What kind of emotion did you have on the tee out there?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ You know, I never have trouble hitting a big shot at a big time.ツ Sometimes I struggle with, like I have the lead and I'm trying not to bail out on 17 when I was playing it.ツ I just was making sure not to hit it left and I did make a bad swing.
I'm a better player when I have a lot of clarity.ツ So when I came back to it in real time, I had to hit the shot.ツ There's no choice.ツ I'm good at that:ツ When my back's to the wall I tend to hit the shot.ツ You know, you could see that today, the last nine holes, whereas when I got to 9‑under par, I should have been able to go away from the field at that stage.ツ But I do struggle in that situation.ツ But hopefully going forward now, as I said, I picked up something in my game.
Last Saturday, had a tough day on the golf course at Riviera.ツ It was an early start, we had been early, everybody was tired and I heard a couple of players say, "I'm finished for the day and I'm not going to practice."
I said, I'll go down and practice and hit my balls and I found something, which is nice.

Q. ツYou've been diligent in this comeback, haven't had a win on the PGA TOUR since 2008.ツ You've been an upstanding guy; you've talked about it all the way.ツ What kind of emotions are going through you right now in this is an incredible comeback?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ I'm clearly trying to manage my emotions.ツ You know, the good thing is I won a couple of times in Asia.ツ I won just five tournaments ago in Indonesia.ツ I won the Grand Slam event.ツ When I got myself in contention, I was converting.
There was a time I used to finish second a lot.ツ Now I just don't get myself in that position enough.ツ But it was all about getting into the last nine holes, even when I came to the last nine today, my caddie said to me: Going into the back nine, you're four behind, would you have taken this at the start of the week?ツ I said, absolutely.ツ Any chance coming down the stretch, it's just where you want to be.

Q.ツ You had a hundred feet of putts today.ツ You were putting out of your mind this week.
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ That was my weakness this week.ツ I had a terrible time on short putts this week.ツ I went through the West Coast and I don't think I missed a putt.ツ Didn't feel like I missed a putt under four feet on poa annua greens.ツ Come over here to the East Coast on perfect greens and I think I missed half a dozen this week inside that range.
As I said today, it was all duck or no dinner.ツ Standing over putts today, I knew, I've got to hole it.ツ I had no choice.ツ
Especially like on 14 when Patrick holed before me, it gives you a certain clarity when you see that and you know, well, I've got to do it.ツ I've been good in that type of situation in the past.ツ Because I have good memories of those sort of things, I don't mind the sort of nerves and things like that.ツ I handled the bad shot on 17 and got up there and I played 18.
I'm good at recovering and hitting the shots when the pressure is on, but I just need to manage it when it's not on.

Q.ツ At one point during the final round, you were five shots out of the lead, put your head on the pillow, got some good rest.ツ When you came out this morning, how optimistic were you that you could still win this tournament?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ You know, it was a big break for me.ツ When I won in Indonesia five weeks ago, again we had a rain delay in the last round when things were not going well for me and momentum changed when I came back out.ツ That's all I was thinking about overnight.ツ I says, look, has not gone well for me and now I'm the one chasing.ツ The other guys are going to feel a little bit of pressure because they are leading.ツ The shoe is on a different foot so basically I knew I could come out and challenge today.
I like to be‑‑ I'm a better player when I'm attacking from behind.ツ I tend to have better focus and be a bit more aggressive.ツ I knew coming out today, my caddie said to me, with nine holes to go, he says, you're four shots behind‑‑ I think we were four behind at that stage or even five.ツ He said, would you have taken that the start of the week?ツ Of course I would, especially on a difficult golf course.ツ
ツツツツツツ No leader‑‑ with the Bear Trap, so much trouble out here if you're trying to protect something.ツ It's okay if you're chasing and you can go after a few pins but if you're trying to protect something and you're leading the tournament, there's an awful lot of trouble.
Punters at home would have been watching this and seeing a lot of shots that they had be thinking, wow, I could do better than that.ツ But this is the nature of the golf course.ツ It really is a big, tough challenging.ツ It's a great test here.ツ Jack has done a tremendous job with it.ツ You know, I know players who don't like coming here because it's so tough.ツ It's one of those golf courses, when you get yourself in contention, it is a little bit uncomfortable, but that's the way it is.

Q.ツ I've seen you do it, viewers have seen you do it, work tirelessly on the range using gadgets, trying to get back to that form that you had in 2008.ツ How much of a big step was this victory to get back to that form for you?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ You know, what was positive for me was I found something in my game last week.ツ I felt a lot better on the golf course.ツ I came out here this week, 50 percent of the time, it was‑‑ I was at peace with myself.ツ Not all the time.ツ You know, clearly if I play like that going forward, I will have better performances, and selfishly or whatever, my mind‑set is, maybe I could do it better in the future.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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