home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


June 14, 2002

Padraig Harrington


RAND JERRIS: Padraig, congratulations on a very fine round of 2-under par 68 in some difficult conditions today. Perhaps you can start us off with some general comments about your play today and particularly in these conditions.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think it was a good day to play well. What I mean by that is I think there was a vast difference from playing well and playing average on any particular hole. Obviously, it wasn't too windy; if you hit the fairways and good iron shots the greens were soft enough that you could leave yourself a chance of a birdie. If you were slightly askew, you could end up double-bogeying a hole. Lot of players played well and shot in the high 70s. I played well and had quite a difference in shots.

RAND JERRIS: Could you run us through the birdies and bogeys.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I bogeyed the first, which is the 10th, I played. I probably hit the best driver of the day. I wasn't expecting it to move quite as much right-to-left in the wind, and I finished about six inches into the heavy rough, chipped out, missed about 12 feet for par.

I followed up on the next hole. I hit it in the bunker after tee, and ended up chipping and putting that hole, and that got me going. Two bogeys to start would be difficult knowing I had 16 hard holes to come around.

From there, I started playing really well after that. I hit 12 feet on the 12th, driver, 3-iron. Anytime you have a birdie chance there, you're feeling good.

I think my first birdie was on 14. I hit 8-iron to about 4 feet and holed it, which was -- it came at a nice time to get back under par, knowing I had 15, 16, 17, 18 to come, four hard holes.

I think I birdied the par-5 4th then. I had a nice drive. Tried to layup a 5-iron; it's a blind second shot. And I probably aimed too far left and didn't hit a particular I good shot and pulled it a bit and hit in the heavy rough. I hit sand wedge out of the heavy rough as hard as I could, from 85 yards to about eight feet and holed the putt. Obviously, it was a bonus to make birdie from there.

I birdied 67 where I hit 3-iron, 5-iron to four feet and holed the putt.

I made a nice save on 7 and 8; from the right trap on 7, I hit a good drive and was left with a 4-wood, it was obviously playing long.

And on 8 I hit 3-iron left of the green, which was a long way left. I played a good pitch to about four or five feet; surprised it came up short and holed the putt. It was nice to recover well on those two holes after playing well, as I say, for probably the 14 holes in the middle.

Q. Just some thoughts on the weekend. Tiger is three strokes ahead and there's not going to be a lot of room for scoring with the conditions. Do you feel he needs to come back to the pack a little bit?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm actually not too -- he's got to look after himself. Whatever I feel he's going to do, I certainly can't control. I'm not going to intimidate him on the tee box tomorrow, that's for sure. I really am not interested in what he's going to do. I'm just more interested in what I'm going to do.

Q. We just had Sergio in, who was not happy with the conditions. You seem pretty laid back about them. He suggested maybe play should have be suspended. What were your feelings about that and the conditions in general?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Obviously, things were going well for me. And to be honest, before like I'm half wondering is it going to be suspended when I was on the golf course. I was never -- I was going well, so I was never looking for it to be suspended. I had my head down and was working away, and basically I wasn't getting distracted by the weather. I was doing as best I could. That's usually a sign that you're having a good day focus-wise; that you're not distracted by anything outside your game.

And so I wasn't looking for it to be suspended. I was quite happy with how things were going.

Q. Are you somewhat used to these conditions, maybe a little advantage for you, because you've played a lot in these type of conditions?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: My playing partners were sort of suggesting that obviously being from Ireland, being from the European Tour, that maybe I'm used to playing in these conditions. I think I played -- I remember saying this, I think I played for the first three years in Europe and I never wore a rain jacket once.

Generally if rain comes in, as you see, our tournaments end up being suspended for the day, because they're generally thunderstorms and we don't actually play in these conditions. It's normally too warm, and you have thunderstorms.

Obviously, in Ireland and England you do tend to get a little bit of rain at times. But it's been rare for me over the years. Generally when the bad weather comes in, it's off the golf course, flooding or something like that, or thunderstorms, so we don't get it. I'm not used to it, basically.

Q. Another thing Sergio said was he thought the conditions were probably three or four shots harder. I remember you saying after The Masters that your chip-in wasn't up to major championship standards. What's made the difference?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: As regards my game, I'm certainly not as happy with how I'm hitting the ball as I would have been at the Masters. But since The Masters, I've worked a little bit on the short game a bit, and that's made the difference; that, obviously, I was doing nicely in The Masters.

So the short game is better, and the long game is not quite as comfortable with it. So it all tends to even out.

Q. What did you do on 8 to get way over there?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I was just trying to hit it pretty straight shot and a right-to-left wind held it up slightly, and got a high draw and it just kept going on the wind. It was a bad shot, but it was easily enough done. When you're trying to get all the way back to the flag, on another day, I might have been playing short of the flag. But things were going well, so I was trying to hit it all the way back there.

When you're being aggressive like that and you don't hit a good shot, you can miss pretty wide. Plus I missed it on the right the day before; so that may have suggested why I was a long way left.

Q. When you're playing so well, can these conditions actually allow you to be more aggressive to shoot for pins?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Like one of the things with soft greens, you definitely -- if you get the ball in play off the tee, and you feel comfortable that you selected the right club, you can go with the pin.

Obviously, yesterday with the greens being very firm, I tended to play a lot more for the middle of the green. Even today I played for the middle of the green, but you definitely have an option today to take on the pins if you're in good position. But you have to be in good position, otherwise you're going into the middle of the green or chipping it out.

Q. You talked recently about your concentration letting you down in Europe. But your 5th place in The Masters and your performance here, are you raising your games for the Majors now? How important is a major on your list of ambitions these days?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I never really talk about my goals or ambitions. So I don't like to let anybody know what I really want out of this game; so I don't get dodged on it.

But regards majors, yes, I do prepare more now for majors, then I would have five or six years ago, even two years ago. Now, obviously, they're the biggest events we play and the toughest events we play. So you've got to be on top of your game in order to make any showing. So, yeah, I do have an eye on the Majors as regards my preparation.

Q. Congratulations on a great score this afternoon in terrible conditions. Tomorrow you're going out to play with Tiger Woods in front of 20,000 people or so. Do you think that's going to be an advantage or disadvantage for you? Is it going to be intimidating for you?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, I think over the years, looking at guys who have been paired up with Tiger on Saturdays and Sundays of major tournaments, it tends to have a negative effect on the players that he's been paired with. I've seen many of my friends in the game who have shot 77, 78 when they're paired with Tiger. So it's obviously very difficult.

I was paired with him in the U.S. Open last year at Southern Hills. I'm not sure if it was Saturday or Sunday. Obviously neither of us were in contention. But at least it gives me some idea of what the goings-on around him are. I think the first thing I noticed was there was like 30 photographers on the second fairway trying to get pictures of him. Obviously, they were trying to get pictures of Tiger, and we were being controlled by the marshals, but obviously they weren't interested in me.

So obviously there's sort of -- there can be a distraction factor to that. But I've seen it before. It's going to be there tomorrow. I should expect it. There shouldn't be too much I won't expect tomorrow, but, obviously, that doesn't mean -- it should mean it's easier to handle, but it doesn't mean it's easy to handle. It's not going to be easy playing with Tiger, and obviously, if I play well with him, I'll play with him for two days. I've got to think of 36 holes, if I play well, which it's tough enough going out there, it's tiring enough. But 36 holes under that pressure is going to be hard, as well.

Q. You touched upon majors. You're second in a major at the moment. In years gone by you, get golfers say, "I wasn't ready to win a major." Other golfers say, "Yes, I think I'm ready now to win a major." Do you look at it in that sort of way? Are you trying to approach your position like this, in a tournament like this, that it's just another tournament, is that the best way to do it?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No. It's not just another tournament. I'm not going to fool myself to say I'm going out to play another tournament tomorrow. What I will try to do is go out and play my game as if it's another tournament. I'm not going to go out and try to change anything. But it's going to be difficult to do. Obviously, there's more pressure there because it is a major, and that's something I'm going to experience tomorrow.

I'm not too sure -- I've never experienced it before, as I say. And I should have some ability or make some establish at trying to -- I've not got the experience of it before, but I've got -- I have the knowledge of how to deal with it. Whether I do or not, that's going to be the difficult thing.

Q. Have you spoken to those friends you mentioned who shot 77, 78 playing with Tiger about what they felt they didn't do right?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, no. But I've certainly watched on TV. Yeah, I've never spoken directly about it. But it's not something you run up and talk to somebody about, is it? (Laughter.) As I'm sure you guys have found out, that they wouldn't be too forthcoming with what's to be said.

It's not the guys that I know, but I'm saying a lot of guys have been paired with him and he's obviously a very intimidating force to be paired up with in a major. He's a phenomenal player, and it can certainly distract anybody who's playing with him. I realized this, and the difficulty would be managing my own game so I'm not distracted.

End of FastScripts....

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297