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July 29, 2011

Padraig Harrington


Q. Pretty disappointing, how do you feel you played today?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: Tough when you miss a cut but fine lines out here. I played well. Obviously didn't score as well as I needed to at times. Disappointing to miss the cut but only a game.

Q. You seemed to give yourself quite a few good chances for birdies. Putts just weren't going in for you.
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: No, I didn't hole anything. I didn't hole the putts. Putted quite well. Happy that I kept rolling the ball at the hole. Just wasn't my day. Wasn't my two days. Certainly played well enough to be a good few shots better. But as I said, I think certainly the double bogey in my round, and then following with bogey knocked the stuffing out of me, and suddenly I won't be too far away at the end of the day, but I just needed to hole a few putts.

Q. That par 3 we spoke about --
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, tough hole. Our group played it 5-over par between the three of us, and 200, it's been a long way, 220 yards or something like that with the hazard.
It's a big hole and you can't afford to be left of the green. And obviously you go right with the green, it's a water hazard, so it's a substantial golf hole.

Q. You mentioned before just about your putting and the need to trust your reads more. Were you doing that today?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: I putted fine. I hit plenty of good putts today. Actually, certainly I didn't hit a bad putt anywhere. Yeah, I putted nicely. I hit mostly all good putts, everything had a chance of going in. It was a good day on the greens but they didn't drop. They will drop some day.

Q. Will you stay around on the weekend? What's the plan now?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: I don't know. It's finished.

Q. When you're going through a bad run, is there a temptation to change up things, here and there? Is there that temptation?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: Look, there's no doubt that -- yeah, changes are required, absolutely. Unfortunately a change is required for the sake of it, rather than anything else. I'm doing everything that I would have done that won me three Majors. Just obviously something, a spark, something fresh is needed and doing the same old things every day, as I said, it worked before, but it does need a bit of something new.

Q. What happened with the double?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: Hit it left of the green, didn't have a great lie and had to try to get it up-and-down. Hit it flat, came up short and then chipped it past the hole and two putts. I'm sure if you stand out there, you'll see plenty of doubles today. I don't know if I would have been happier hitting it in the water and chipping for bogey.
Who knows these things. But yeah, a pity, the two holes -- and then as I said, I hit it very nicely all day. You know, get it in the fairways, hitting it solid. Hitting on the greens, and hitting good putts. You know, as I said, it would happen another day. I would be happy if I played my golf like I played today for the rest of the year, I would be very happy.

Q. Can I get your thoughts on Tiger announcing his come back for next week?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: Everybody's got this HSBC diary. I know I have one of those. (Laughter).

Q. Tiger Woods, coming back.
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: Is he coming back? Obviously it's great to see him back. Hopefully he's fit and healthy, and looking forward to going down the stretch with him next week, there you go.

Q. When you did go down the stretch with him, where do you rate it?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: It was a disappointment. That's where I rate it.

Q. But it was a great contest?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: It was good. It's exciting. I'd like to be in that position again regardless of who is on the opposite side of it. But that's what you play this game for is to get yourself into those positions where you're under pressure and you're nervous and excited and adrenaline is flowing and some days you win and you're on top of the world; and those days you don't, it's a bit miserable. Yeah, I look forward to that feeling again.

Q. You had two disappointments two weeks in a row didn't you then, that week and then the following week?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: I finished sixth in the FedExCup after that, didn't I, had a chance coming down the stretch, directly after those two tournaments. So, there.

Q. So needing something to kick-start thing, is it personnel changes or --
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: As I said, you do the same thing all the time, and a lot of good things, and you stay patient and you wait for something to happen. Yeah, you just don't know what that spark will be. But yeah, something has to change. Would be within me or could be something different.
I have absolutely nothing in mind, nothing whatsoever in mind. I'm just saying doing the same stuff over and over, yeah, you need a bit of spark somewhere.

Q. Are you saying you're stale?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: I don't know if it's stale, but as I said, probably for the last 18 months, I've prepared very well for all my tournaments. I would say I hardly missed a tournament where I wouldn't have said I did the right thing.
So you'd like to see, some better performances. I played better the last couple of days, but you know, you'd be surprised the difference between shooting a good score and not a good score. It's a very fine line, and one or two shots -- and I'm not talking about hitting shots better. Maybe making a better decision here or there. I would think more it's to do with that. Probably going at the wrong pins and not playing -- not choosing my shots wisely at times. I certainly, over the last couple of days, I wonder whether I would have got more joy from just playing into the middle of the green all the time. I don't know.

Q. What goes through your mind when you see Damien holing 40-footers --
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: I tell you what went through my mind: "I did that one day." That's exactly what I said. I was delighted, if he continues that -- Damien is a fine player. He hits it very nicely and he can make -- tee-to-green he's good and solid and he can also make it happen when he does get in trouble and that's what it takes to win tournaments. He's got to believe that himself, because he hits it very nicely tee-to-green, swings it really well, and you know, as I said, he has that bit of fight, and he knows how to get the golf ball in the hole.

Q. Will you use this weekend to decide what you need to change?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: I don't know. You know, as I said, to be honest, I couldn't be happier with how I played, how I approached, what I did all that stuff is good. So I can keep staying patient, which I probably will.
As I said, if I hit the golf ball like I hit it today or yesterday all the way through and putt it like the way I did, I would be fine.

Q. So panic measures because you're not panicking?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: If you're looking all the way through, even on my worst days I'm not too bad. Like I shot 73, 72 and got nothing over two days. It's not like I'm shooting 77, 78 sort of thing. The game is fine, it's solid. You know, I hit the ball nicely today, but as I said, you've got to get the ball in the hole and the odd time you hole a putt, when you do something nice, do something well, it does help. Momentum is an important thing and I don't have it at the moment. That would probably be the best way of describing it.

Q. The third shot to the second was pretty good?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, but I hit an innocuous tee shot thinking I'm okay. Surprised to find it where it was. My tee shot could have been where my second shot where it was and made birdie.
You know, the old story, as well. You're out there, and you see some lies and you think you're getting bad breaks and you don't -- I'm not making the most of my good breaks and I'm certainly making the most of my bad breaks. That would be a good way of characterising it. You do get different breaks out there, and certainly I'd be very good for seeing the positive side, and certainly when I do get a good break I'm not taking advantage of it, and when I get a bad break, I'm definitely taking advantage of it.

Q. Missing the cut is not nice, but is there a bigger embarrassment factor for guys like you and Darren, it's the home open, former champion, the big build-up.
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: I'm not even the slightest bit embarrassed. I tried on every shot I hit. I was embarrassed once on a golf course, and that was the 72nd hole at The Open at Carnoustie, and I don't think I'll ever be embarrassed again.
I felt I let everybody down. But not now. Not at all.

Q. Does it hurt more to miss a cut here at the Irish Open than other events?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: Of course it hurts more. You never want to miss a cut. How do I put it -- and this is why -- this is a problem in many ways. You can go miss a cut, a lot of players can miss a cut, and nobody would know. It makes it easier. I don't think I ever tee it up in a tournament that nobody knows when I miss a cut, so people are aware of it.
So I'm always trying to make cuts. Always the focus is there. Does Darren not have a chance of making?

Q. It's something that might happen in the afternoon?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: It's a lot tougher today.

Q. Why were you embarrassed in Carnoustie?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: I felt like I messed up on the 18th twice in a row. I felt like I choked. I was embarrassed, yeah. It's not a nice feeling at all and certainly shouldn't be a feeling into any sportsman should have, but I'm certainly not embarrassed.

Q. But do you have any regrets, because of the importance of being here for the weekend at this tournament?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: No, no regret, because there's nothing I can do about it. Like why would I regret something I have no control over? I don't regret putts I missed out there because there's no control of them it, if I hit a good putt. Just like it's completely outside of my control, and unless the tournament decide to let all the Irish guys make the cut. (Laughter).

Q. From the perspective of the tournament, it would be great to have the four of you here.
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: It would be great. Of course it would. But that's never going to happen. That's fairy tale stuff. They are making it up. The end of the day, I prepared well for the tournament. I did the right things. I have absolutely no regrets at all, none whatsoever.

Q. Your ability to score was always your greatest strength going right back to your amateur days but now that you're hitting the ball so much better tee-to-green.
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: There's no doubt the better are you hit it tee-to-green, the harder it is to have a good short game. I'm in a very nice position that I do feel good about my long game, and what that means is basically you have more time to work on your short game. So you know, that's where all my focus going forward -- my short game, like I said, it just didn't happen for me this week. If I played golf like I played this week every week, I'd do very nicely.
This was, you know, just not a good scoring or performance week, but you know, in terms of how I played and what I did, you know, there really wasn't too much wrong.

Q. When do you head home?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: I don't know. As I said, I've only just finished. I have no idea what I'm doing.

Q. You've always said that you'd have Bob Torrance on the range as necessary -- does that still apply?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: Well, I think I'm hitting the club well. So I don't -- you know, when I said change, and all you guys think change, you think -- I'm not thinking of changing personnel. I'm thinking I've got to change something up in myself, attitude or something along the lines of that. I'm certainly not thinking of --

Q. Sacking your coach and your caddie and Bob Rotella? (Laughter).
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: It's just one of those things. Something has to freshen up, sharpen up, make me sharp out there or buzzing or whatever. But I'm doing a lot of good things. So I've stayed patient.

Q. Time off?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: No, I'm not taking time off. I like playing golf. (Laughing).

Q. He's up there at the moment, and he got there watching you and listening to you and having been taught how you did it, what about reversing the process?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: I could tell anybody how I did it and I know exactly how I did it. But doing it all the time, doing the same thing all the time just isn't fresh. So I need to make it fresh somehow.

Q. He managed to Mike it fresh for himself at Royal St. George's?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: You do realise, Bob Rotella was working with me, and so was Darren, the same things that he was telling me, just worked for Darren. And he told Darren a hundred times over.
So it's not about -- there's no new story out here. It's about believing the story. Darren believed it last week. So, yes, it's not a question of -- it's just finding a way to make that enthralling for yourself. I would say I'm in a very good place. I just didn't have a good week.
Like I said, I don't know how to read about this week because of the fact that I hit the ball well, I putted well. I don't feel like I chipped poorly. I don't feel like I hit my wedges poorly. There's nothing about this week that I turn around and say, God, I need to get out on the range and practise something. I wouldn't say I was bad mentally. There's nothing about this week that I would pick up and say, that was a weakness I need to go and work on.

Q. Must be a frightening thing for you then?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: Not at all. You've got to understand, golf is like that. Golf is very, very, very, very -- there's a very, very fine line between having those great weeks and not. Reading too much into it, trying to explain it to you guys, can't even explain it to myself. (Chuckling).

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