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May 26, 2015

Padraig Harrington


MICHAEL GIBBONS:テつ Pテδ。draig, welcome.テつ Thanks for joining us.テつ Start us off with a shoulder update if you wouldn't mind.
Pテδ.RAIG HARRINGTON:テつ It's certainly improved enough that I don't feel like there's any doubt about me playing on Thursday.テつ It's not quite a hundred percent at the moment.テつ Going to get a bit of an assessment after this and then I'm going to have more physio.
But I was pleased yesterday that as much as a hindrance it was early on, maybe as I got into it more and more it kind of was less of a problem.テつ It still gave me difficulty hitting out of rough or Heather or something like that.テつ But it's a good sign that‑‑ while the injury is still there, I have to go looking for it now where earlier on in the week, I couldn't lift my arm without pain.テつ
MICHAEL GIBBONS:テつ Thoughts on the week ahead, obviously a big week and an exciting week at County Down.
Pテδ.RAIG HARRINGTON:テつ Oh, it is.テつ Great to be back here at The Irish Open.テつ Great to come and play Royal County Down.テつ It will be interesting, like to play a links golf course for The Irish Open.テつ Going to be testing conditions during the week.テつ Everything about the event:テつ Rory has made a huge effort, he's put so much in.テつ Hard to tell everybody how much of an effort he's put in on the ground to push the tournament to the next level.テつ Fair play to him.テつ Very impressive to put that commitment in and we'll hopefully all reap the benefits of this in the following years.

Q.テつ Do you have any stories of playing here as a kid or maybe a bit older that would be interesting?
Pテδ.RAIG HARRINGTON:テつ No.テつ (Laughter).

Q.テつ Okay then.
Pテδ.RAIG HARRINGTON:テつ Honestly I played the golf course twice in my life up until three or four weeks ago.テつ Yeah, I just played two outings here.テつ Used to play a winter alliance.テつ We came up from Dublin to play and I played twice.テつ It was not a golf course that I was familiar with.テつ I really‑‑ it didn't hold many championships at my age and then they held a few after I finished.
So strangely it's not a golf course that I really knew much about.テつ That's why I came here three weeks ago or four weeks ago and I really enjoyed it.テつ To be honest, I think it's more enjoyable a golf course now than what I remember as a kid.テつ It was always known as a golf course, big, tough, with a lot of blind shots.テつ The blind shots didn't seem to affect us when we played here a few weeks ago.
While I have some big holes on it, it certainly was not as intimidating as what I remember as a kid.テつ It's a tough course but I warmed a lot more to it four weeks ago, put it like that.テつ But then again, I only played it in January.テつ Maybe playing it in May is a bit better.

Q.テつ Maybe not, because the temperatures are supposed to be polar, is what I was told.テつ How is this big golf course going to play in conditions like that?
Pテδ.RAIG HARRINGTON:テつ Well, I suppose one man's polar is another man's warm.テつ It's pretty nice out there at the moment.テつ I'm sure what you would think is going to be miserable weather I'm actually looking forward to.テつ I'm hoping for a few tough days out there for sure.
I don't like playing in the rain.テつ I don't think it's a difficult prospect playing any golf now in rain.テつ Modern equipment is built for that sort of stuff‑‑ but we're trying to reduce the spin on all our stuff.テつ I would suggest rain would be a bit tough but if it's windy and a bit cold, I would be happy with that.

Q.テつ What do you think of the chances of an Irish win?
Pテδ.RAIG HARRINGTON:テつ I think it's very strong.テつ Yeah, I wouldn't bet against the Irish.テつ I think that‑‑ I'm sure if you took the whole of the contingent against the Irish field, I'm sure we're odds on.テつ I would expect that there's more chance of having an Irish winner than not.テつ I know it can be tough at times playing in your own national event.テつ It can be very you can ward, the pressure, the stress of that.
But just because we're on a links golf course, I think that really takes a few people out and I think the fact that we are on possibly in tough conditions, that's going to take a few more people out.テつ I really do believe that with the conditions that are forecast on the golf course, you want to have that natural aptitude for playing links golf.テつ Basically you want to have grown up playing it.テつ It will basically play into the hands of the Irish guys who have competed in links golf in their junior days.

Q.テつ Obviously disappointing to miss out on Monday but it isn't your last chance to qualify.テつ Can you clarify your scheduling trying to get into the U.S. Open?
Pテδ.RAIG HARRINGTON:テつ I believe that the Top 60 after the St. Jude Classic still get into the U.S. Open.テつ So I have this week and St. Jude Classic.テつ I won't play the one in between.テつ I'm already on a run of four events.テつ Yeah, I have to win 25 World Ranking points in that time, something like that.テつ I certainly think a win and maybe a second place here or a win at FedEx St. Jude, something like that, will push me across the line or some sort of combination.
But yeah, having missed out yesterday, it was very disappointing but it will be a lot more disappointing in three weeks' time when I'm sitting on the couch watching it on TV and realising how close it was and really having done all the hard work.

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