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 11, 2004

Padraig Harrington


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Padraig, thanks for joining us, two rounds of 68, a lot of players left on the golf course, but you're in good position after two days, two days of solid golf.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I'm very happy. I'm well in position, but to be honest, it's very early for the two days and really struggled with my swing to be honest, but I worked the ball around the golf course well, certainly hit enough good shots to make birdies, and off my bad shots I got away with some of them and recovered from the others.

Q. Do you have any examples as to where you're struggling with your swing, any shots that you hit that were particularly alarming?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, well, there's plenty of alarming ones. You could look at any shot I hit out there, like 18 I hit 3-wood off the tee because I can't hit driver straight. I've had 3-wood for my second shot and I've hit a lovely shot, but I've hit it with a draw and that's why it's run off the left edge of the green.

17, I hit 3-wood off the tee, it's pitched in the left edge of the fairway, kicked back in the fairway, hooked a wedge into about eight feet and holed the putt. So everybody looking on, it looks great, I hit a wedge in close, but the guy that's hitting it knows it wasn't pretty (laughter). There was plenty of those like that.

16, I'm stabbing there, 5-iron, aiming at the flag and obviously you don't want to miss it right so the second I get that thought in my head I hit it way left into the bunker. There was a lot of that out there, a lot of how far right can I aim, how much room do I have on the right-hand side to recover on it, and as I said, there's enough short irons that you can get away with that.

As I say, I played conservatively enough off the tee. I think I only hit three drivers today.

Q. How do you deal with that? Will you try to work on that, or now that you're in contention just try to go with what you have and try to get through this weekend?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Actually that's probably a good question. Obviously if the U.S. Open wasn't next week I would just work with what I've got, just put up with it and see what happens and hope it would go away or whatever. But with the U.S. Open next week, obviously I'm going to try and figure it out, talk to my coach and sort it out somewhat.

So there is a problem but there is a little bit of a conflict there. You know, I've got to be conscious that I am doing well in the tournament and not to overdo the practice because I'm not playing well and shot 6-under par for two rounds. Sometimes it's not too bad to swing badly at times.

Q. Have you been to Shinnecock yet, done any practice there?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I have not been to Shinnecock yet. I've seen a photograph, seen it on TV before but I have not been there. I'm looking forward to it. I like the idea of no rough around the greens. Looks like it's going to be a very good test of golf, really putting up to us rather than having the heavy rough around the greens it can be a bit of a lottery, but when it's tight around the greens it asks for a lot of skill in the short game.

Q. The way it looks to you on TV and visually, people are saying that there are going to be two British Opens in a row. Is that an exaggeration?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's very green to be -- from the picture I've seen, the center of the fairway, okay, if you start hitting it straight you do see some links-type grass. The grass looks like a links golf course. But I think up the middle of the fairways looks reasonably lush, doesn't look like a burnt links golf course that you would probably get for an Open championship. It would play differently around the greens and I think the wind is going to make it play like an Open championship. Whistling Straits is going to be the winds, as well, so you've got three potential majors with a lot of wind.

Q. The word gets used a lot; if you had to define links golf and links course, how would you define it?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I would define links golf with a little story (laughter). At the Lytham Trophy -- the British Open at Lytham that Tom Lehman won, '97 is it -- '96, I think you're right -- no, it was the second one. Was there another one back there recently?

Q. Duval won that.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Duval, right. So on the 16th hole I'm well down the list and I'm not doing so well, so I stand up, I take driver out, it's a blind tee shot and I ripped this drive over the hill, everything goes great, over the marker. There's not a sound from the spectators that are there, so over the hill I go. I start looking for my golf ball 120 yards short of the green in the right-hand trap of the fairway. I also looked in the left-hand trap. So I covered 120 yards to the pin and 60 yards wide. So whatever square footage or square yardage. Could be an acre of ground I've covered and my ball is 15 feet from the hole in a bunker. That's links golf (laughter). That is exactly what links golf is. You hit it and it's still a mystery until you actually find your golf ball.

Q. You've been so successful result-wise here but you haven't won here. How important is it to break through over on this side?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, it depends how you judge the wind. I could always say winning the World Cup here was a win and I could always say winning the Target World Challenge was a win here.

Q. I guess I meant PGA TOUR.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, but how you judge it, obviously I'm going to take it -- I count those as wins until I win a PGA tournament and then I'll say, oh, I've won a PGA tournament.

Basically what I'm saying is you have a different way of looking at things and you always put it in your -- you always put your own slant onto the view of everything, so I'm not sitting here saying I haven't won a PGA tournament. Regular PGA events, I probably haven't played a dozen of them, maybe 15 in total. I've played majors over here and things like that, but actual regular PGA tournaments, I don't know how many I've played, but probably 15. So it's not that many.

Q. Because I look at Monty who was in a similar way previous to you, very successful, won orders of merit and never won here and I'm sure that probably bothers him.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm well, obviously there's a huge difference between me and Monty, huge in the sense that I have only been an around a couple of years. I've only been competing at this level two, three years at most, so it's not like I turned pro eight years ago but nobody was sort of knocking at my door saying, hey, you're going to win the next major, you're going to be contending, winning tournaments. I've had to build up where I am at the moment, so I don't feel like there's a burden at the moment to go and win tournaments or to go and win a major or anything like that because I've only just got here. Realistically I've only contended in one or two majors in my time. I haven't been in that many U.S. Tour events. I don't feel like I have a whole lot of U.S. Tour events that I should have won. So there's plenty of time yet. I need to play more events, get more familiar with it, which I am doing.

Q. Given that, you have a 2nd this year, a 4th, a tie for 5th at Match Play. Do you feel like you're playing well now even though you're not swinging well? Do you feel like you're on that verge of maybe starting to get there?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think my game is developing. As I said, I'm not judging it based on my performances. I'm not judging it on whether I win or don't win over here. I'd like to win obviously, but I'm not saying that I have to win on Sunday to feel good about my game. It's developing, going in the right direction.

This is the first time that my swing has broken down radically in probably a good year whereas it used to break down once a week so there's a lot of positives to take from that. Usually I play quite well with a hook. I really struggled for the last two days with it, so it's interesting that it's been that long since I've really broke down a lot. So I'm quite happy with how my game is developing.

I'm not going to throw it out there that I need to win this, that or the other to feel good about my game.

Q. What's the fine line between practicing for next week and trying to win or be in as high contention as you can be this week? Do you practice just on the range or is there any practice on the course or how do you balance that?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, there's a number of different things. Obviously you can go out there and hit 1,000 golf balls this afternoon and by the end of it you'd probably be swinging the golf club great but your mind would be a mess by the time you turned up tomorrow.

So it's somewhere in between 1,000 golf balls and no golf balls. That's the difference between -- to be honest, that's where experience comes into at what stage do you judge -- leave it alone, put up with what you've got and stick with it even if you're going to hit a few bad shots or break it all down and improve your swing.

As I said, improve your swing, it's never going to -- even if you get the swing going right, it's never going to be great if you've done a lot of practice.

Q. When did it start going away from you, Memorial or here?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Just here. Tuesday I started hitting a big draw. I tried to leave it alone hoping it would go away. It just got gradually worse and worse. I'll bring my coach and have a chat with him and try and figure out what's -- where it's going right around. It can't be that much wrong, but then again, it's a question of putting my finger on it.

Q. What about the two courses, this course and Shinnecock? Is there any --

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I can't see any similarity at all to be honest. Obviously this is an ideal preparation for a normal U.S. Open, but the rough around the greens are really -- the distinguishing feature here which makes it quite difficult. There's no rough around Shinnecock. I assume Shinnecock's greens are probably going to be a little firmer, a little less grass on them. The wind is going to have more of an effect. So not really the same sort of golf course. But then it's all about getting your mind competitive, so that's why it's good to play the week before at times. You need competition.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: If we could go through your round quickly. Birdie on No. 5, par 5.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I hit a 3-wood, 3-wood to 18 feet, two putts.

Bogey on 7, I hit 3-iron and hooked it left into the rough, chipped it out, hit sand wedge on the green, just back edge of the green actually, two putts.

Came back with a birdie on 8, I hit 5-wood, hooked it around the corner, 7-iron to 20 feet, holed the putt.

Then birdie on 10, I hit 3-iron off the tee, sand wedge to about three feet.

Then 17, birdie, I hit 3-wood off the tee, wedge to about ten feet.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Thank you. Good luck the rest of the week.

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