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April 7, 2011

Padraig Harrington


Q. Your reaction to the day.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I started terribly. You're right. I nearly pulled out before I started.

Q. Is that the neck? I see that you're leaning to one side here.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I haven't even come close to swinging the club, but you know, I'm wanted to pull out, but I wouldn't. That's just my nature. I would always have a go. But it wasn't much fun.

Q. What happened? When did it happen? Has there been any tracking of the old neck problem going back to this week?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well I always have to be wary. I was swinging the left-handed shot, just warming up and it just kind of clicked and I'm not able to move to my right. So it was a bit of, yeah. Such is life.

Q. Obviously disappointing.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Disappointing, yes.

Q. It's very disappointing.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, obviously I prepared very well, I was obviously very happy with that. And I can't do much more than that. But, yeah, it's disappointing when you don't get the opportunity.

Q. 2002, Hazeltine, U.S. PGA that was the first real bad instance of your neck, I think. And is there any prospect of it ever getting under control?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's very much under control now. I do a lot of work on it. And it doesn't give me too much trouble during the year. But it's always going to happen. You know, sometimes. And I would love to tell you that there's more I could do, let's say, aside from cutting my head off.

Q. Are you going to play in the second round?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You know, I could tell you no now, but knowing me, I would never fail to finish a round of golf. I take some pride in that. I never failed to finish a tournament. So I would like to finish the Tournament.

Q. Realizing that the cut is almost impossible to make in circumstances that are going to be difficult tomorrow.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Absolutely. You know, it's tough when you can't hit the shots, yeah. It would be just hard enough to make up the numbers, but as it is, you know, we'll see how it goes.

Q. It's why you came here though.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: As I said, it's very disappointing. I prepared very well, I was in good form, but it was not to be. Such is life.

Q. Were you swinging it gently or?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I swing left-handed when I'm warming up before I hit shots. And I probably, I'll keep swinging left-handed, but I won't swing as hard next time.

Q. (No microphone.)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I went back in, I didn't get a warm-up really at all. I spent about two minutes on the putting green and I really couldn't do my warm-up at all because I had to get back out and get treatment and all that.

Q. Take any pain killers?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I didn't take any pain killers, no. I was hoping it would go away, it actually got worse on the course. Maybe I should have taken the pain killers. There you go. It didn't cross my mind.
But I couldn't keep my head in position at impact. I had to come up on all my shots. And when you're doing that you can hit it right and left.

Q. Sort of affects your overall focus, doesn't it?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It certainly doesn't help things. But the strange thing is I putted awful today, I couldn't read the greens very well and that could be my head was off to one side.

Q. Probably not the right time to ask you, but the R & A and USGA have now sort of changed this rule, it's now the new Harrington rule.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's great to see that they have got together and acted so quickly. And it's fantastic that the two organizations can -- and they're not even over professional golfers -- say that they can work the way they did to change it. And going forward it seems like a pretty sensible thing in its wording and that, it's a small change, but a good change.

Q. You have to be sort of maybe doubly proud of the way you handled yourself after that.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well it doesn't make much difference to the ruling, if you know what I mean.

Q. Well the whole situation. The ruling bodies have sort of reacted in a way now.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Well there's not much you can do in those situations. That's part of playing golf. If it went your way all the time it would be easy. But it doesn't.

Q. I'm sure someone will be sort of pleased with that decision if they get in a situation like you did?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, but it's only in the case where a player could not have been aware, so it's, you know, it's hard to see. You know what? I would say we could wait a lifetime before we see another instance exactly like that one.

Q. (No microphone.)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, if I wasn't shooting 65 I probably wouldn't be on cameras and it would have been no issue. But such is life.
But it's great to see that the R & A has reacted so quickly and essentially the USGA and R & A look after the game of golf and it's great that they can be concerned for professional golf and bring in a rule, which is really for professional golfers, not too many amateur events that they worry about that. But who knows.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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