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DUBAI DUTY FREE IRISH OPEN HOSTED BY THE RORY FOUNDATION


July 6, 2017


Padraig Harrington


Portstewart, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Q. Tell us about your opening round, pretty happy with that?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, it's okay. It's an opening round. I played nice and average. Had a few chances. If things had of gone my way, I certainly could have made a few more under par but I think 4-under is kind of an okay reflection of the day.

Q. There's been a lot of low scoring so far, surprise you?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: No, it's perfect. You've got four par 5s out there. I was expecting low scoring for sure. I knew I had to be patient myself with my own round, because it wasn't like I was holing too many putts out there to sort of get under par quickly. Made a couple of late birdies which gave me a respectable score but certainly there's a little bit of pressure out when you start out there because 6-, 7-under par is certainly very on out there.

Q. I know in your early year years, you found the Irish Open, a lot of pressure, but do you enjoy this week a lot more?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I would have born a lot of stress early on in the early years. Now there's still a bit of stress, but it's nice to be here. It's nice to have the support of the home fans and I certainly, having won one and maybe being a bit more experienced and certainly at this stage of my career, I've mellowed a little bit and I do enjoy it, yes.

Q. I suppose that was a good at the office.
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: I played okay. Played nice and average. I could have scored a little bit better for sure and returned a really nice score. But 4-under is not a bad score and it keeps me in the tournament, but there is a certain amount of pressure on you out there going out there because you know the scoring is going to be very good.

The wind is down like this, so there's a lot of opportunities for par fives, and you know, the greens are putting well; there's birdies to be made.

Q. I think it's your 26th competitive round this year, which is a tiny amount by this time of year in normal circumstance. Posting a first round like that in an Irish Open, is it important to get that feeling of being in the mix?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: Well, I don't know if I'm quite in the mix with 4-under par. It's a nice, decent score. As I said, it was average. You know, I could see today, I messed up, I hit three appalling misjudged chips. Not that I mis-hit them. I just misjudged them and a 3-putt, as well. There's four easy shots kind of thrown away. I wouldn't want to do that for the rest of the week. Or at least I'm going to have to have a couple of days that I don't do it, anyway. The likelihood is, you've got to be focussing on 20-under par or more this week, and 4-under is okay, but I need some better scores later on in the week.

Q. No pains from elbows or necks or anything like that?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: My elbow was a bit sore. I drove it very poorly in the Pro-Am yesterday and I ended up having to hit a substantial amount of drivers yesterday in the range. So my elbow was sore last night, stiff from that, but no repercussions from that.

Q. You're just getting old.
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: I am. I could hardly walk the last couple holes, my feet were so sore (laughing).

Q. The 16th hole, No. 7, where you hit your ball to the left?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: I was sure I was going to make a birdie. I hit a super third shot and a super putt. I couldn't believe I hung it to the left of the hole. They always turn your way.

I actually had a bunch of chances coming home like that and the last six, seven holes, I know I made two birdies but I felt like I could have birdied them all. Hit a beautiful shot straight down into the pin on the third and I ended up making bogey. Best shot of the day.

There's a lot of opportunities coming home for sure, but quite lucky to get away with the tee shot on 7. I haven't driven it well all day. I just -- there's a carry on the right and I didn't make the carry on the other par 5, and I second-guessed it and I pulled it up onto the sand dune. It was a good break, no doubt about it.

Q. Do you think we're looking at a score of 20-plus-under this weekend?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: All depends on the weather. The conditions are great out there. You know, the golf course is presented in great condition and when you present the golf course in good condition, guys will hole putts. There's no defending a golf course when you have it in good condition and the weather is good.

Clearly if it does blow, and I've heard every weather forecast so far this week -- I literally, honestly, I have heard everything. So yeah, if we get some wind, that will obviously defend the course. But at the moment, beautiful conditions like this, these guys are good. They are going to shoot low scores. Somebody's going to do it and it will continue to happen.

If it was nice for the rest of the week, you will see that sort of thing. But that's a compliment to the golf course. We won't like it and we won't shoot good golf scores -- but if you present a good course like this, everybody will enjoy it and shoot good scores.

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