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ABERDEEN ASSET MANAGEMENT SCOTTISH OPEN


July 8, 2016


Padraig Harrington


Inverness, Scotland

Q. You said yesterday, if it was up to you, the wind would blow every time you play a tournament round. That might be counterintuitive to some people; why do you feel that way?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: It's not that -- it gives me an advantage. It's not that it's easier for me. It's not that I like it. I love playing in 90 degrees of sunshine and dead calm, but definitely a links golf course, especially this links golf course, because it's not like the fairways are narrow, and the entrances to the greens are very generous, as well. So you can hit shots on this golf course. I think it really does suit the good, strong wind.

Q. How do you keep the fire burning at age 44?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I struggle on a Monday, Tuesday, to be motivated. I still enjoy my Pro-Ams and certainly I like playing tournaments. I'm fascinated by what's happening mentally in my own game and physically. That keeps me interested. I'm not the same person I was ten years ago.

As much as I like practising, when I'm at home, I've got a lot more injuries to take care of, a lot more niggles, and certainly Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday is a long part of the week. I'm not quite as excited as I was when I was a young kid.

Q. Day two is a little different, so what's your assessment?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: They softened the golf course up a lot today, pushed the tee boxes forward. It was a slightly different challenge. Still the wind, kind of up and down when we were out there. But I certainly preferred yesterday. It was a big, tough challenge yesterday where it was all about making pars and getting the odd birdie to kind of get one in the bank.

Today was much more every hole was nearly trying to make a birdie flat out all the way home. Completely different mind-set today compared to yesterday on most of the holes.

Q. Still a sense of satisfaction with a round of 69?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: I'm very happy, any time you're breaking 70 is good. Didn't play quite as well as yesterday. A little bit more tentative today. But I'm happy with my game and where it's at. I'm seeing good things in my game and now I'm seeing a few good scores with it, which it's a good time of the year for playing well.

Q. Is it the right decision to have pushed some of those tee boxes forward and to make it a little softer, or I imagine that you wouldn't have done that yourself?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: Clearly, because some of the guys are not used to playing links golf, and they don't like the idea that you may have to hit a reasonable iron shot for your third shot into a par 5. To be honest, that's what I would have grown up with. I grew up with par 5s, 430 yards, that are a drive and a long iron, not a drive and a wedge. Guys obviously found that tough yesterday.

But the scoring was quite good yesterday. It wasn't like it was Carnoustie in '99. The scoring was solid enough, as seen by the cut line is moving into 1-over. I think the golf course is well capable of taking a windy day, because the fairways are wide, the greens are wide. The entrances are plenty wide to be hitting long irons, low shots in. There's nowhere that you can't -- hardly a hole you can't run it in from 30, 40 yards short of the green. It was playable yesterday if you knew how to hit links golf shots.

Q. What are your chances, do you reckon?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: I'm in a decent position depending what the weather is like this afternoon. There is a lot of birdies to be had out there now with those tee boxes up. All the par 5s are now in range.

Yeah, so scoring could be very good. But no matter what, I'll have 36 holes to have a go at it. It might be a situation that I need to have a big weekend. It might be a situation that if the lead stayed at 7 or 8, just play a solid weekend and you could be right there at the end of it.

Certainly 5-under is what I'm on and puts me in a good position going into the weekend. Obviously wait to see the scoring this afternoon, but if nobody gets away from me, it means that I kind of play the same way for the next two days, I'll certainly have a chance coming down that back nine on Sunday.

Q. You played very well in difficult conditions; do you get a real sense that your game is starting to come together at the real business part of the season?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: My game has been coming together. Not necessarily because of what I did yesterday in the tougher conditions. I'd probably be able to manage myself around a links golf course on a bad way without being necessarily on form. I think I have seen good things over the last couple of months, and I'm starting to putt a little better. I've been driving the ball much better. Yeah, a bit of confidence and I could be right up there.

Q. You played in the eye of the storm yesterday afternoon. How different was it today? Was it like playing a different course?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: It was a different wind direction. Yeah, it was. Yesterday you stood on every tee box, bar two or three holes, and you were just think to go yourself, par is a really good score. Today, most holes you're out there thinking you have a good birdie chance, the par 4s and par 5s are reachable. You could see the good scoring because of that. The course gave up a lot today.

Q. You mentioned the tee boxes. Branden Grace a few minutes ago said he was left scratching his head with a couple of the tee positions today compared to yesterday. Do you share that sentiment?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: I think Branden is a bit like myself; he's well capable of hitting the right shots in links conditions, so I think he would prefer it a bigger, tougher challenge. He really can drive that ball low and a long way. So yeah, I think he would have preferred yesterday's challenge, for sure, and I can see that's what he's saying and I would be right there with him. I think the guys that can manage the wind would rather the tougher challenge.

Q. We always speak about experience in links golf. Did we just see that there today?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: Absolutely. No matter what, if you're brought up playing links golf, you have it in you. A lot of the players, we're used to playing in sunny weather, no wind, and you fly it in high. Even though if they played a few times, the links, it doesn't come naturally to them. Even though they are trying to play the right shots and they might be well capable of playing the right shots, they are never maybe comfortable with their choices. Whereas somebody like myself, who has played links all my life, I'm making the same decisions they are, but I'm trusting them a little more.

Q. I hope you're picking up around the galleries that are following you just how well you're liked in Scotland given your links history, and that's why it's great to see you up on the leaderboard again?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: I had a couple of very nice weeks. Last week in France, I got great support and this week. Obviously I was playing with Monty, so I was playing second fiddle today to Monty.

Q. Really?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: Yes, for sure. We both enjoyed our rounds. We both had good support. It is actually quite important when you have that support. There's nothing wrong with a little massaging for your ego, I can tell.

Q. Does it make a difference?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: It does. There's no doubt about it. If you've got support and people are out there cheering for you, there's a bit of a swagger in your step, if that's the case, and you always play better, the more confident you are walking around there.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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