June 30, 2021
Thomastown, County Kilkenny, Ireland
Mount Juliet Estate
Q. Your 26th consecutive Irish Open. Just try and sum up what this championship means to you.
PĂDRAIG HARRINGTON: You know, it's definitely the fifth major, even at this stage of my career, I'd love to win an Irish Open. You like winning all tournaments but there's something special about going to a major tournament or going to your home national event.
The Irish Open, I think it's even bigger for us than most countries. The fans come out. I used to think it was stress but there's a lot of support and just genuine well-wishing and enjoyment in it.
It's nice to be back, especially in these times, as well, and the sunny weather. It couldn't be better.
Q. You played here at Mount Juliet in two World Golf Championships in 2002 and 2004, and finished sixth to Ernie Els in 2004. What memories of those occasions and what do you think of this golf course as a challenge?
PĂDRAIG HARRINGTON: I probably was about 20 shots behind Ernie else in 2004. Look, this has always been one of our nicest golf courses in Ireland, when they set it up in the nine tees it was probably the best in the country and great resort, come to a great place. I think as you see this week, everybody enjoys it here. Just something about it. It has a really nice atmosphere.
Golf course is excellent. It has probably half a dozen real tough shots that if you can get through those, place plenty of opportunities elsewhere. Usually the scoring is good because the condition is so good. But as I said, you're kind of weary of those couple of big tee shots you want to get in the fairway just to make the second shots. So yeah, there's opportunities to make birdies as we've seen with those tournaments, but it's actually quite a good golf course and a good test in the sense of you have to hit some good shots at the right time.
Q. How do you feel about your game coming in?
PĂDRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I like it. I like what I'm seeing. I'm concentrating hard on my routines and things like that and that's a good sign, when you're getting into the nitty-gritty stuff of playing and getting the most out of your rounds, you're in a nice place. I feel pretty good about where I'm at. You know, I'm trying to take the pressure off myself and not worry if it doesn't happen this week but I certainly see some very good things about the corner.
Q. How nice we're going to be playing links golf pretty soon and you always consider you have an advantage when that comes around?
PĂDRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, you know, only that we're in such a nice place, Mount Juliet, I might be standing here saying, oh, we could be on a links course. But this is a great resort and great place to be.
I will be looking forward to going to Renaissance next week and getting back to the links. I do feel comfortable and I have an advantage. But I don't mind a bit of sunshine. I'm 26 years as a pro and I've gone a bit soft over the years. Nice sunny weather and enjoying, it's nice to be out. I'll take the good, but with the links golf and The Open around the corner, I'm strongly focused on getting my game ready for that, and it does take a few weeks. There's no doubt that The Open Championship is in the back of my mind.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports