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PORTUGAL MASTERS


October 23, 2016


Padraig Harrington


Vilamoura, Portugal

Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: And that was my goal at the start of the week to be very aggressive to all the pin positions, working on the principle that if I missed the green, I would get up-and-down. My short game was sharp this week and I just saw over the last couple of holes, I was able to get up-and-down when I missed greens.

Q. You're talking about your short game being sharp, and you had six fewer putts than anyone else in the field. Is there anything you've been working on or any real secret this week you take away from that?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: My putting has turned the corner recently. Actually I putted very well from medium-range to outer ranges this week. I putted good, short putts, even though I did miss a few earlier on in the week but my chipping was outstanding this week. I don't think I failed to get up-and-down at all this week, and had a couple of chip-ins and a holed bunker shot.

When I go back and look at my stats for scrambling this week, I would say I was better than 100 percent. Well, 100 percent is up-and-down every time. I actually think with my three chip-ins, I probably didn't fail to get up-and-down twice. So that would leave me in positive territory.

Q. We haven't seen you play in Portugal for a long time. I remember I saw you in 2001 and you were third here in the Masters. Was it about time to get a win here in our country?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: I've been coming here since 1990 with the Irish Golf Union. We used to come down for our training week. So many golf courses down here I've played; Penina. So it's been a very good place for me to come, a very welcoming place. I've always enjoyed playing the Portugal Masters. Love the venue down here.

Oceanico was owned by -- well, it was owned by the Irish government I suppose the last number of years but before that it was owned by an Irish connection, staying down at Quinta do Lago. A lot of Irish connections and Irish fans here, so it's a place I've always felt comfortable and enjoyed coming to.

Q. Because Shane, when he won here, he said he was feeling like playing at home. Is it the same thing?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: Absolutely. Thursday morning for me, obviously started very well, but the support I had Thursday morning, you know, the atmosphere, the cheering, the bit of buzz I was getting from it, you know, when you only get -- I haven't been getting that because I'm not on the top of the leaderboard. It was nice to get it this week and have that support and people out there.

I was watching it today, like grown men and women running around to get in the right place so that they could cheer you on. You could see them skipping through the ropes and around the back of the tee so they could get the right position to support you, which is, yeah, it's nice.

Q. We know you won last year, but it's been a while on The European Tour. I was just wondering when you approach a week like this, is your goal at the start of the week to win or do you have specific goals you're working on?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: For me winning is what it's all about. I did say at the press conference, you have the guys that are trying to keep their card, and that's an awful position to be in. It's terrible pressure and stress.

In my situation, I'm just trying to add wins to my C.V. every tournament I play, and sometimes that doesn't work in my favor, either. But other times, you know, I'm down here to win. It's all about trying to get a win and yeah, it's nice to do it. As I said, 2016 now is a winning year.

Q. Can you talk more about what you said about the book?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: Dave Alred, Pressure Principle. I work with Dave and he released a book and I've been reading it. I just realised how poor my own language is about myself and my game. Very focused on my self-talk this week and what I was saying to myself and very focused on my posture walking around on the golf course and it was a tremendous help.

Q. Can I ask you a question about the Portuguese No. 1 player, Ricardo?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: I've only heard of him. I really don't know too much about him. All I know is over the years I've followed Portuguese golf because my golf coach, Howard Bennett, his son, Tony Bennett was the national golf coach here.

Portuguese golf is improving. Your players are getting bigger and stronger in the world game, and it won't be long before you will have somebody up there right at the top of the game and I suppose somebody, you know, competing in the biggest tournaments.

Q. Just one last question from me. You were once I think an Oceanico player, you had a deal with them for one year. Does it make it more special to win here now?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: As I said, there's always been a connection with here, Oceanico, Irish guys obviously owned it and ran it, and the Irish government ran it for a few years.

It feels like a home away from home when you come down here, absolutely. There's so many Irish people down here, so many familiar faces, lots of support.

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