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May 20, 2015

Padraig Harrington


NEIL AHERN:ツ Pテ。draig, thank you for joining us today.ツ First tournament back on European soil; is it nice to feel the gentle European rain on your skin out there?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ Yeah, it is interesting, actually.ツ You would think the weather would be better in late May, but I think the forecast is good this week, isn't it.ツ I wouldn't mind a little‑‑ I wouldn't mind playing in these conditions.ツ It looks I'd be competitive.ツ But it looks like we are going to have a nice week.
Wentworth always looks well in the sunshine.ツ It looks well on TV.ツ The crowds turn out.ツ I think that's the image we have in our heads from watching it on TV over the years is the big crowds turning out on sunny days.ツ I think we are going to get that this week by the looks of it.
NEIL AHERN:ツ You've pulled out of the Pro‑Am with a bit of an injury.ツ Can you shed some light on that and what are your chances of playing are?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ Working on the principle I've never pulled out of an event injured; so on that, I believe they'll make it tomorrow.ツ I'm an optimist.
But I hurt my shoulder‑‑ I was doing a gym exercise and it was a little bit unstable, there was a little bit of a niggle but I kept on doing it.ツ I hit shots after the gym yesterday, and after I went to bed last night it stiffened during the night and I struggled to sleep with it.
Got up this morning and it's what most people would call like a frozen shoulder.ツ So there's a weakness in it and a pain when I go to lift my arm.ツ I hope with the right treatment with physios and doctors; everybody is here:ツ If you're ever going to be injured, this is a good week to be injured.
Thankfully I have a late tee time tomorrow, so it will be an extra five hours of movement in the morning and a bit of blood flow into it, and hopefully it will be okay by tomorrow, and be aware of the injured golfer.

Q.ツ Just going back to the Honda Classic, that was a great way to start the year, if you like.ツ Where do you feel your game is at currently?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ I'm quite excited about my game.ツ Honda Classic was good.ツ It was nice.ツ What I took most out of that was I got a chance to win and I took it.
But I had been putting quite well up to The Honda Classic, and that was actually the first week of the year I started putting badly.ツ I struggled the first couple of days, missed a lot of short putts.
Like at TPC two weeks ago, I was second in greens in regulation, which is pretty much unheard of for me, but I was last, out of 75 guys who made the cut, I finished dead last in putting.ツ That's not a good sign.
So I kind of haven't been putting it together where I putt well and hit the ball well at the same time.ツ But I have been doing both of those sporadically, so it's just a question of matching them up.ツ I'm quite excited that when the two come together, I will be back in contention and I know if I'm in contention, I can win.

Q.ツ Martin Kaymer was in here yesterday talking about the greens out there.ツ They have obviously got a lot of rain this morning.ツ How do you feel the course is looking?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ Haven't seen it.ツ Haven't touched it.ツ Haven't walked on a green yet, nothing.ツ No idea whatsoever.
Thankfully my shoulder is not that bad that I will be able to hit a few putts and get a feel for the greens.ツ Where I'm at with my putting, doesn't make any difference to me whether the greens are‑‑ it's much more about me than what I'm putting on.
So, you know, they are very undulating, so they tend to be a little slower because of that.ツ I'm not too concerned.ツ I think I can‑‑ where I'm at with my putting, I can putt well and whatever I get, and much more focussed on me than anything else.ツ Certainly doesn't stress me at all.

Q.ツ The U.S. Open a couple of weeks away.ツ What is your mind‑set once you've got past the injury?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ I've got to try and qualify is my mind‑set.ツ I need the top three this week or next week at The Irish Open or 36‑hole qualifier Monday or maybe top three at Memphis.ツ Either of those events or some sort of combination; I need 20‑‑ probably 25 World Ranking points.ツ So I have to figure out how to get those out of three events, or else it's the 36‑hole qualifying on Monday.
If I get into it, clearly I want to be there.ツ Sounds like a golf course that would suit me.ツ From what I hear about it, it does sound to be an interesting course, and I tends to do my best on those sort of golf courses.ツ Really don't want to miss out on it, that's for sure.ツ Certainly with where my game is at and where it's going, I will be disappointed if I'm not there.

Q.ツ Going back to the injury, when did you first realise you had a problem with the shoulder?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ Probably during the night when I couldn't sleep.ツ I knew I was going to a little bit of a niggle in it, but it wasn't until the middle of the night when I couldn't find any position for my arm to rest where it wasn't in some sort of discomfort.
But yeah, up to that, I was fine.ツ I hit shots after I worked out yesterday.ツ I actually did a second session of work out, as well, which was different sort of stuff.ツ So there wasn't really any issue at all yesterday until I had time to rest and stiffen up, basically.

Q.ツ What is it, right or left shoulder?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ Left shoulder.

Q.ツ And percentage‑wise, where would you put your chances in terms of being fit for tomorrow?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ I've never not played.ツ So you know, I've never pulled out before, and I've had some pretty bad injuries at times.ツ If there's a physical way of me teeing up tomorrow, I will tee it up.
The chances of me being 100 per cent tomorrow, very slim.ツ The chances of me playing, very high.ツ That would be the way I would look at it.

Q.ツ Just sort of following on from that, obviously in the knowledge that The Irish Open is the week after‑‑
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ It would be absolutely no issue whatsoever for The Irish Open.ツ This would be an injury that would‑‑ a couple of physio sessions will be gone in a week.ツ Just the problem is I've only got 24 hours to get it done.ツ This will not cause one bit of issue for, as I said, even the U.S. Open qualifier Monday wouldn't be a problem.ツ It will go away pretty quickly.

Q.ツ But if you were told to rest this week, obviously with that agenda the following week, would it make it a tougher decision to play here?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ Never really thought about doing that.ツ I've thought about this week at the moment.ツ No, I'm very much a person who would do everything for the moment and next week can look after itself.ツ I'll try to make it tomorrow; and if I don't make it tomorrow, I'm trying to make it Monday for the qualifying; and I don't make that, I'll be trying to make it for Thursday.ツ I've had injuries a lot worse than that and cleared up a lot quicker.

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