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July 24, 2019

Padraig Harrington

Reno, Nevada

THE MODERATOR: We welcome Padraig Harrington, joined here with you -- three-time major champion -- at the Barracuda Championship. This is your sixth start in this event, Padraig. What do you like about this tournament and coming back here to the Montreux golf club so much?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I have a relationship with Barracuda over the years. And my family love coming here. I think personally we come up, it's a beautiful place, beautiful golf course and really enjoy it.

It's a fun week. The course is presented great. They've obviously redone the clubhouse. The facilities are fantastic now. I think we've got a great welcome; the members go out to make sure it's a big week, which is nice.

It's nice when everybody's behind it. The community seems to be behind it here, the membership, and they seem to like having us, and it leads to a nice atmosphere, nice (indiscernible) around the tournament.

And it's one of these weeks, during the year, when you're playing, it's one of the more enjoyable weeks on tour. The format obviously lends itself to that. It's just quite a nice, relaxed week.

THE MODERATOR: Speaking of the format, obviously playing Stableford, modified Stableford and also at altitude. What sort of things do you do to adapt to those two different things?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: There's a bit of calculations when it comes to working out of the yardages because obviously you have altitude. It goes maybe 10 percent further in the afternoon, 5 percent further in the morning.

You have up-and-down quite a significant up-and-down shots. So you're adding on 15 yards, 20 yards, at times taking it off as well for the height of the shots.

Then you have to obviously throw it to the back of the pin, behind the pin. You've got wind, a lot of wind at times. There's a serious amount of calculations to be done out there.

It's interesting when you look at it, the winners tend to be those players who are steady, maybe a little shorter, who don't have that variation in their shots in the wind and things like that. So it lends itself to a steady player rather than a big, wild hitter.

But the format then, obviously being Stableford, does lend itself to somebody who can make a few eagles. Made an eagle today, would have been worth five points in the tournament. It's quite a lot when you're standing over that putt.

The only other time -- when you're trying to hold an eagle putt, it's worth something extra, and then a bogey push. A putt for par you tend to be more conservative than normal because if you miss the putt for par you lose a point. If you hole it you gain none.

So, it's only one. You don't want to leave any birdie putts short because if you hole a birdie putt you get two points. If you miss it and three-putt, well, you lose only one point. There's this -- the significance of the format is you've got to be a bit more conservative with your par putts because if you three-putt for par, you end up losing three points. And have to be a little bit more aggressive with your birdie putts.

THE MODERATOR: I want to ask you a question about Shane Lowry winning last week The Open Championship and being from Ireland, obviously where you're from. We saw you on television congratulating him. Just your thoughts on that whole week and playing at home and having Shane win.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm personally delighted for Shane to win. He's a friend of mine. And I was thrilled for that. But I think we take things very personally in Ireland. We take our sports personally.

And Shane's win was a win for the Ireland. It was a win for the whole country. Everybody in the country was behind him and backing him. We saw the success of the Open at Royal Portrush and Shane winning as a success for everybody on our small, little island.

And we like to punch above our weight in Ireland. And winning big things like that and doing incredible stuff like that, we take it to heart. And the whole country gets behind it.

And we're very good in Ireland at supporting our sportsmen and people who are doing well. We certainly get behind them. And that was a perfect example to see the outpouring. And, like, it's still probably front-page headlines at home. The celebrations for the last three days are front-page headlines. That just shows how big a deal it is in Ireland.

THE MODERATOR: Do you wish you were still there celebrating with him?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I do. I was committed to coming here. We do some things -- it would have been really nice if it was last year's schedule, where we had the week off after the Open.

But I'm also happy that I'm here. As I said, Barracuda being good to me over the years. I'm delighted we're here at Montreux. And the golf course, the membership here that everybody really look after us.

So we have a nice week here. One of the more enjoyable weeks.

Q. So recently there's been a lot of headlines about the course (inaudible), playing really well, opening up too long ago. As a tour veteran, what are your thoughts on (inaudible)?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, you know, those three in particular -- Hovland, Morikawa and Wolff -- seem to have come through very nicely. They do seem to be a little bit special.

Every year, though, we're presented with a number of new faces coming on. And these guys definitely have stepped up a bit quicker. And a lot of times when you're a veteran pro you've seen a lot come and go. So we can be very skeptical when we hear that this player is really good coming out of college. Tour pros have seen it before.

If a player doesn't get a quick start, he can get very quickly lost in the pack and blend in. But these three guys are incredible to see, phenomenal to see, too -- the week before the Open that Hovland was the favorite to win the event. That's like startling.

And Wolff was second favorite. Obviously Wolff (inaudible) and Morikawa is playing exceptional golf. So, yeah, it's unusual to see the guys come through so quickly. And as I said it's a story we hear every year.

And usually it ends badly for the guys. There's a lot of pressure and stress on them and it's hard to live up to all that. But these guys have certainly lived up to their billing and look like they'll be big stars going forward. It's a young man's game now.

Q. You get to go into a tunnel or --
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I've been there in the past, but as I said, my family goes with me. So we have done the tourist stuff. Now we just chill out at the pool, take it easy, maybe spend a little bit of time at the tables -- not the kids. But it's more of a chill-out. Years ago we did the tourist stuff. We're a little past that now.

Q. Are you a little bit more aggressive, would you say, this week because of the format?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yes, I would think so. As I said, as I try to -- as I said out there, I would be more aggressive off the tee, more aggressive trying to make more birdies.

When it comes to -- say if you short side yourself, this is the one interesting thing that I find, if you short side yourself in a regular tournament, you might really go all out to get up-and-down. And if you make a mess of it you're taking double bogey.

In this event, you're better off being conservative because a bogey is not going to kill your card if you're making birdies, but a double bogey is very painful. So you work to take the chance, if you were chipping over a bunker, you more than likely hit it 10 feet past the hole than try to hit it stone dead just to be on the conservative side. That's the one area that you do get conservative. Everywhere else, you're a bit more aggressive.


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