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January 7, 2016

Padraig Harrington

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

Q. Decent start to the new season.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, it was exactly how you would like to start the year. It was nice play. And unusual for me. I suppose I was nearly meticulous on the last. I thought I hit every green in regulation until I chipped it over the green on 18. Didn't expect that.

But I created a lot of chances today. As all of these guys, we're trying out a few new things at the start of the season. You're not sure what to expect, so I was happy with what I saw and kind of, all goes well for the rest of the season.

Q. Did you play a lot in the off season as short as it is?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Nine weeks off. It's the first time I've walked a golf course in nine weeks.

Like on Saturday, I played in the cart and even in the cart when I finished up I was in pain all over. My left arm couldn't handle the driver swing because I hadn't hit any drivers during the winter. It really was a tough ask coming out here. But five days, so, still, a little bit raw in places, but overall I was happy with what I saw.

I had a knee operation five weeks ago, so that held up well. I've got to say my legs are tired now. But the only thing probably not hurting me is that knee that had operated on, so that's a good sign.

Q. What did they do?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: The meniscus. A big tear in the meniscus during the season. So it seems like it was very successful. I was able to hit shots three or four days after the operation. And then I'm sure I wouldn't be walking around 72 holes, but if I had to, I could have played a tournament literally a week afterwards.

So, five weeks later I still have to manage it and work at it and a bit of a pain in the gym, but as I said, I got through today, that's a good sign.

Q. When was the last time were you in that cryo tub in that garage?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I did about 20 sessions in the next the 12 days after my operation. So I haven't been there probably until the 18th, I think I finished up.

Q. And how long do you stay in there and what is that like?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I do six minutes at minus 140 because I'm used to it. So, that's pretty long time. Most guys are at three minutes. But it, basically, when you're working out, it boosts your testosterone. That's what it does. And it helps your recovery from injuries.

Q. Naturally?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Obviously, naturally. Yeah, it's like taking a cold bath. You know what? You go into a ice bath, it will do the job just as nice. But I don't like an ice bath. I find that quite -- I find the cold air quite easy on me. It goes from the inside out, whereas an ice bath is on your skin. And I can go in there for six minutes and you wouldn't see me take a cold shower. Put it like that.

Q. You hadn't played here before. What was the decision that went into that?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I had nine weeks off. I finished early because of the injury. So no matter what I would take, six plus weeks off, that's the minimum anybody should take in order not to carry stress from one year to the next.

So, you look at my career, the minimum I've ever taken is seven. But usually I play until the first week of December. I would be playing Tiger's event if I had a good enough year or playing Sun City, but I didn't have a great year, I wasn't in those events, I was injured. So I stopped earlier and it was actually my caddie.

I was due to play a couple more events. I was going to come over to the fall series over here. My caddie looked at me and he said, you're playing stale golf, you need your operation, go do it, and start earlier. I hate to say it, it made sense.

And I was -- last year was a tough year on the golf course. It really was. Every day was a -- I seemed to be playing okay and just grinding, grinding, grinding, couldn't get anything out of it. Each week it's hard work, so having the break was probably a good thing. I certainly come out here with the idea of as much as we try making the effort to really enjoy it and relax a little bit, I have done more than I had ever have wanted in this game of golf, so I don't need to beat myself up too much.

Q. You said it wasn't a great year. You won the Honda Classic, right?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It goes down as a winning year, but it was hard work every week. Hard, hard work. As I see it, when you see a player in form, he's walking off the golf course thinking, gee, I played like I should, I shot 70 and he's signing for 68. When you see a player out of form, he's walking over the golf course saying, yeah, I should have shot 70 today and he's signing for 72. When you're shooting 72 out here, it's just a grind, because every day you're on 72, you're looking over your shoulder at the cut line. It's hard, hard. And that was my year. A lot of 71s, 72s. Even the last two years I can hardly remember Friday where I'm not playing the 18th on a Friday, and it in itself decides whether I make the cut. So if I birdie, I make the cut. If I par, maybe I make the cut. I bogey it -- every week. That's a lot of work.

Q. What was your greatest year ever?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Statistically, 2012. Form, 2009. But obviously results, 2008. If you looked at my performances stroke average everything, 2009, I struggled in 2008 but I won the Open Championship. I wasn't in the Ryder Cup. So 2009 was the year I played, had the most form tournament-wise, I think stroke average, that sort of stuff. 2012, statistically tee to green I had the yips that year and so, depends what you want to look at in terms of that.

Q. When did you know you had the yips and did you admit it?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Oh, yeah, I don't mind talking about it.

Q. Do you ever talk about shanks?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Doesn't bother me. No. If you have it, you have it. That's the way it is. And you know what? It will never be the same. You'll never be the same once you had it.


Q. How much do you like this course?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I really like it. I've got to say, I think Ben Crenshaw does a great job and, to be honest, if I was designing golf courses, this is how I would design it. Getting tougher as you get to the green. Big fairways, go down the right side it shortens the hole, go down the wrong side, it makes the hole difficult. Reward for taking on a tee shot, hitting it down close to a hazard or something. But then difficulty around the greens. This is -- yeah I would love to play golf on this golf course every week of the year.

Q. Any wishes that you might have come here earlier in your career?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No. No. It's just not possible at the time. As I said, the key factor for any sportsman is to get that break and I always feel for the South African and Australian golfers who give back to their own tours and end up playing during the winter. It's a tough, tough ask to try and play without having that substantial break.

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