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July 7, 2016

Padraig Harrington

Inverness, Scotland

Q. Pleased with the way you played Castle Stuart?
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: I played nicely. I wish I played every tournament round of golf in these sort of conditions. It was tough. It required your attention out there. But it seemed very playable in the sense of the golf course is designed to play in -- there's openings in the front of every green. There wasn't any hidden pin positions.

So yeah, it was all there in front of you, and certainly I would enjoy that challenge every day of my tournament life.

Q. Seems like hard work to some and seems like relaxation and enjoyment to you.
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, it certainly wasn't relaxing. It was tough stress. You had to pay attention all day. It was an awful long day out there. But there wasn't much out there -- there was nothing that was -- I suppose I enjoyed the conditions and certainly it was nothing I was unfamiliar with.

Supposed to be tough to have it four days in a row but it's the sort of test you want going into the Open. There were some shots you had to pay attention to out there. Some of the tee shots certainly felt like good, strong tee shots, opening up at the first and second, you see a lot of trouble out there straight into the wind.

It was a good day to play well on and to get ahead of the game. Most of the day I was doing nicely. I think a lot of times, on a tough day like this, if you get a poor start, you can't see how you're going to get it back.

Q. When you say it's the test you want into the Open, where is the balance between a prestigious tournament like The Scottish Open and the preparations for next week?
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: I think this gave us a big test there today. I would suggest, I expected some tee boxes moved up 17, 18 maybe, and 13, but I was delighted that they didn't.

They won't move them up next week, that's for sure. And the fairways here are wide enough. It wasn't like there was nowhere you couldn't make a carry. And to be honest, like even 14, I went down the -- or is it 13, I went down the long line off the tee. Still it was only 170 yards to the front of the green.

So there was nothing out there that wasn't a tough hole but wasn't unplayable. There was nothing -- 17 was probably the toughest-length hole with a pin position that was quite tough. Outside of that, it was quite generous. And they gave us quite decent pin positions downwind. There wasn't much tricked up out there, even though it was a big test.

Q. Are you standing here sort of looking forward?
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: I am exhausted. That's a long, long day. It was a long time out on the golf course with the different delays here and there. You had to pay attention all the time. I am exhausted. I'm very happy that I am the late end of the morning draw tomorrow. Give me an extra hour in bed.

Q. When do you think is the last time you faced a test this tough?
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: Like if it rained, if it was cold, it would have been appalling. I would find it tougher in the rain. It blew strong, but it was all there in front of you, though. You weren't standing on any hole. If you sit on the first hole or the second hole and it was wet and you were worried about a squirrely one coming off the face, that would have been exceptionally intimidating.

But in dry conditions, it was all there in front of you. You hit nice, low shots. You could take the spin off it, and the course is very playable because it stayed dry, and it wasn't cold. I put sunscreen on.

Q. Do you want it this tough the next three days?
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: Four days of this would be tough but yeah, I'd love to play golf like this every day of my life.

Q. How were the greens today?
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: Super. They were quicker than they were yesterday, which is a little bit of -- they were preparing them, maybe psychologically they were quicker. Maybe they weren't quicker. I certainly prepared myself well and had the pace of the greens.

I didn't leave myself a lot of work to be done most of the day. I literally had a putt on 17 for par, and the other hole, the bogey on the front nine, I think the putt on the fourth for par, that hole. And then outside of that, everything was either a birdie putt or basically tap-ins all day. It was quite good for me. I missed the one on the second for par, that was it.

Q. When do you remember playing this well, controlling the golf ball in these kind of conditions?
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: You know what, I'm actually playing very well. In my physical game, I've certainly turned a corner. My putting, I've turned the corner. Mentally, I still have some demons up there, but even if I was badly, I would go out there and do okay in those sort of conditions. Those are my conditions. If I had to play golf in that every day, it would be -- against the field, it would be a lot easier for me.

But who knows, I'm hitting the ball, yeah, I'm really playing as good of golf physically as I've ever played. But mentally, I'm certainly not as good as I would have been but we're working on it.

Q. What were the delays out there?
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: There was a ruling, I think the ball was moving on 11, so we had to stand on 11 for like probably 20 minutes, 25 minutes, which, I'm getting old. Paul Lawrie was starting to talk about his back in front of me and I started feeling my back as I stood there.

I was happy to get away with a decent tee shot. It's an intimidating tee shot because you can't see the fairway with the course. There was a delay there. We had rulings.

Look, it was just a tough day. Anything outside of a foot had you had to pay attention. And these are big greens. You end up a lot of times with 50-footers and 40-footers, so a lot of time consuming.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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