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July 8, 2017

Padraig Harrington

Portstewart, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: To be level par through nine was a magnificent level par. I was all over the place on the front nine, but the back nine I had chances all the way home, good chances. I'm a little bit disappointed with 1-under at the end of the day. Definitely completely two separate nines today.

Q. Portstewart's debut as an Irish Open venue, how have you found it so far?
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: It's lovely to get a sunny, windy day, which is the way links golf should be played. It's interesting out there. You know, there's a number of doglegs and with the ball travelling a bit further today, it's hard and fast, and it's hard to get the ball on the fairway, that's for sure.

Q. The Irish Open has really grown the last few years and has continued to do so. Is there one thing would you like to see if that growth continued?
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: I would be happy to see it stay the same. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes in a $7 million event. Wow, I don't see how you would make it any better.

Q. The date helps, the July date.
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: Everything about it is as good as can be. I struggle, thinking of getting better, that would be nice but it's pretty good as it is.

Q. After a shaky start, you pulled your round together very nicely.
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: I struggled early on. It was tough, the crosswinds and firmer, faster fairways, the ball moving, the greens were a bit quicker, as you would expect on a sunny, windy day.

You know, getting out of position the first couple of holes, on a day like today, you want to get a few under par, and think, okay, this is okay. This is easy, and momentum is a big thing and that's why you've got guys shooting 64.

On the back nine, when I turned after nine holes, I was thrilled to be level par after nine. I holed a number of putts. I had done everything possible to keep my score together and on the back nine, I created a lot of chances all the way home. You know, could have done better.

Q. The first hole has not been kind to you but after your tee shot it was kind of a good bogey in the end?
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: It was a great bogey. I holed a 40-footer for bogey. Yeah, you know, it's a tough enough tee shot to the extent, I think in the first two rounds, I would have been more -- I was more defensive in the first two rounds, and laid back off this course on the right. Today, you know, you want to try and get a bit more going and you're going for birdie, so I was trying to be a bit more aggressive off the tee.

You know, that's just the way it is. I probably wouldn't have done it on Thursday and Friday.

Q. With a couple of big weeks ahead, are you happy where your form is at?
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm doing all I can. It's not a question of being happy or not happy. I'm happy with my preparation and what I'm doing. I can't ask any more of myself.

Q. You had terrific support and obviously in the absence of Rory and Graeme, the local favourites. You had terrific support and you had big galleries. You must have fed off that.
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: The crowds are great, as I said earlier, it's nice to have a traditional links day, sunny day, the wind blowing, and it's exactly how we want it on a links golf course. It was fantastic out there.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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