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July 13, 2017

Padraig Harrington

Ayrshire, Scotland

Q. Fantastic 67 to open up, and you made a good, solid start today.
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I played okay through the kind of first 12 holes, or certainly early on, but made the most of it. You know, whatever opportunity came my way, I kind of took it early on and I holed a good putt on the first, which you know, in these conditions, you're always happy if you can get under par early on. I moved forward from that.

Struggled a lot over the last couple of holes in this rain. Yeah, kind of panicked coming home. But managed to -- my short game saved me the last couple holes.

Q. Bogey on 15, that par on 16 must have felt like a birdie with that long putt.
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, looked like I was going to take triple-bogey. We were really struggling to find the ball, and my provisional was stuck in the bunker. So I would have been hitting my fifth shot from a long way out, and seven would have been a good return.

All of a sudden, I turned it into a four, which, these things happen. When things are going your way, they go your way. Thankfully I was doing well enough that it counted. Making a seven instead of a four instead of a seven, kind of makes my day.

Q. Go into Friday just a couple of shots off the lead, so that's a really strong position to be in after Thursday?
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, it's always going to be a long enough week, if you're 3- , 4-under par -- 2-, 3-, 4-under par after the first round, you'd be nicely in this tournament. It's not like -- it doesn't seem to be like last week where you're thinking you've got to be 20-under par to win or more.

There's plenty of people who are, you know, 5-under is a nice, solid score. Keeps you well in it but 54 holes to go, there's plenty of work to go in those 54 holes for sure.

Q. It's a solid start, isn't it.
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, it's a good start. Anything under par, you wanted to get a few under par, this course early on, it doesn't look like a week that it's going to get away from us in terms of scoring. I think it's a golf course that the better you're doing on it, the more intimidating it gets.

If you've got nothing to lose, you can hit driver on every hole and go for it, and there are plenty of birdies to be made in that sense. I think it's one of those weeks, I think maybe 14, 16-under par could be a winning total.

Q. I have to ask you about the 16th, which had a little bit of everything in there, and you walk off and as I say, there are no pictures on score cards and there's a four next to your name.
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: It was difficult. We got on the tee and it started raining. Modern equipment is built for nice, sunny weather, and we're all -- certainly I'm on the limit when it comes to my equipment. So when you get a wet day, you've got a railway down the right, you start to worry a bit.

I pulled it down the left and to be honest, the marshal didn't even know I hit. He came down, he thought the three balls were in -- we were lucky to find it. We were very lucky. Nobody knew where it was. It really was one of those, we were looking in a 40-square yard area probably. It was kind of desperation state, so thankfully somebody found it.

It was sitting so badly, I had to take a penalty drop, but I managed to take a reasonable drop and I advanced it up short of the green. Obviously I hit a very nice putt, no doubt about it, and I would have taken my five and run to the next tee, but to make a four was a minor miracle.

Q. Obviously links golf is a good tune-up for what's coming next week. Is this the right sort of golf course for that?
PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: I think, yeah, weather-wise, yes. They are not really linksy greens or around the greens. There's a little bit more give but then some of the shots, there's a fair amount of bounce. It's better than no links golf, that's for sure. It's like 90 per cent of the way. I'm sure if we were playing on a traditional links golf course, maybe it would be closer, but it's 90 per cent of what you want. You know, that's good enough.

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