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May 21, 2010

Padraig Harrington


Q. Any particular aspect of your game that was responsible for the score this afternoon?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Not really stood out. I obviously got off -- I holed a nice sort of 20-footer on the second hole for birdie and that sort of kept me going forward. Once I birdied 4, I'm always looking to go forward.
I think it was a tougher day, a little bit of wind out there. Pins seemed to be tougher and greens firming up. I think if you're on level par, you'll be worried about the cut line, but a couple under par, looking at catching the leader. It was a good start.

Q. You haven't been here for a couple of years, is it nice to be back at the flagship event?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's nice to be back and it's nice to be doing well. Obviously I've come in the past and I have struggled. I feel like I'm in contention and that's a good thing.
The changes to the greens have definitely suited me, that's for sure. They worked out well, the greens. They very predictable and you know what you are going to get. There are some tough pins out there and some easy pins, but with the greens firming up this afternoon, the pin positions certainly were tough, but if you hit them into the greens, you always had a chance.

Q. How strategic as this golf course now?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: There's a lot of options off the tee and I think Ernie has done a good job in that sense. The fairways are wide, but with bunkering and certain amount of trouble, you know if you miss them you are likely to drop a shot. At times, you reach for the 3-wood for safety, but then it leaves a 200-yard shot into a tough pin position on a few of the holes.
It's interesting, if you are driving it well, I think you do have an advantage out there. The ball releases nicely and you get a shorter club to the par 4s.

Q. The changes to the golf course have been generally well received but the 18th is getting some flak. Richard Caring the owner has acknowledged he got it wrong and overruled Ernie's design and will have it redone for next year. Are you pleased to hear that?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I thought it was great. (Laughter) Just goes to show what I know.
If I was going to change anything, you know, I felt they pushed the tee up; so the water is now in play off the tee. I would prefer if there wasn't 20, 30 yards downslope into the water hazard, so it could be a bit more aggressive. But I thought the second shot was great.
I laid up poorly today, left myself in the semi-rough, nice lie in the semi-rough and I'm genuinely worried about hitting it in the water and over the green. I've only got 80 yards but I was being punished for missing that fairway. Pretty simple shot if I hit the fairway with my lay up.
Yeah, I'm surprised. You know, as I said, it's a good, tough hole. Maybe there's too many people who think the easy option to lay up is probably an issue. Maybe toughen up the second shot, the lay-up, push people more into going. But I like the fact that you have a difficult -- I really dislike coming to an 18 hole in a championship where a guy can get away with coming down the last hole and not having to prove himself.

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