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PGA CHAMPIONSHIP


August 12, 2011


Padraig Harrington


JOHNS CREEK, GEORGIA

Q. Your own feeling about it?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, you know, I'm happy that I finished well. The last couple of holes I hit the ball well and performed nicely on the last couple of holes, and obviously that takes some confidence into tomorrow and the weekend.
Obviously I was a bit ropey in the middle of the round at times but I got the job done, and obviously from 2-over par I do need to be at peace with my golf swing the next two days if I'm going to win this, but at least I'm in there.

Q. When you spoke with Pete Cowen earlier in the week, he said that you can win with what you have, and I'm not talking necessarily about winning, but did that have an effect on the confidence level that you feel?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: No, because I did the same things that I do wrong. I did the same things -- I hit my same bad shots or the same reasons when I was out there. But as I said I put it together for the last four holes, so hopefully that will -- maybe I can take it through the next 36 holes.
I think one of my big issues over the last couple of years is when things go awry, I haven't been able to fix it on the golf course. And at least the last four holes, I did seem to fix it.

Q. What would your aspiration be at the moment, still have a chance at winning?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: I think anybody, as I said if I'm at peace with my game over the next two days, you know, and I would need to be, I'll want to be right there mentally for the next two days but guys are shooting 6- or 7-under par in a given round.
So you've got to think, it's a big weekend but I'm sure if I shot the two 66s that I shot in Oakland Hills, I wouldn't be too far away.

Q. And are there similarities in a way?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: No, I was playing great that week. I just got dehydrated and had some erratic periods.
No, I haven't felt good about my game at all. But as I said the last couple of holes, they were definitely better, so hopefully might take that in for the next 36 holes.

Q. In the context of recent developments with your game or otherwise, when you used to come into a tournament like this, you said only a win would do you ever since you won your three majors. What do you feel now would do you at the end of this week?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: Well, I wouldn't accept anything you were offering to me bar first place, I would take my chance. Saying that obviously different performances will have merit at the end of the week.
But the fact is, nobody is going to give me anything, anyway. I have to go out there and play it. But I take my chances. Even if you gave me a Top-10, I'd take my chances.

Q. In the scenario of things changing in your golf game with the change of coach, was there a little switch that flicked over those last four holes that make you feel that, yeah, I can get in with this good round in the 60s?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: No. As I said, to be honest, out there on the golf course, I wouldn't expect any difference. I did the same things wrong that I've done, you know, for the last five, six years, whenever I hit a bad shot, I dropped the club -- I'm trying to figure out I didn't do that and try and manage it. I did manage it for the last couple of holes so maybe that is something that I can do for the weekend.

Q. Finally, you used the words being at "peace" with your game; what does that mean?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: Anybody who is going to win a major title especially if you're a good way behind, you've got to have -- there cannot be any clutter up there. You have to be very can comfortable with your putting, with your wedge play, with your short game and obviously with your long game.
So I think to come from -- how many shots am I behind, seven or so shots behind, I would want to have a big weekend and to have a big weekend, you really would want to be on top of your game.
You know, Davis looks like he's on top of his game. He looked very comfortable out there. I didn't feel so come for table. I'm just hoping that I wake up tomorrow and it all falls into place.

Q. What do you take from the golf course in terms of how you feel --
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: The golf course is great. It's a tough course.

Q. For you.
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: It sets up well for me, yes. It does set up well for me. I like the challenge around the greens. They are very intimidating and you really have to be -- you have to have a great short game around these greens.
You know, the length of it is no problem, but it never is a problem -- for the pros nowadays, I think they have a great setup this week. Be interesting to see, you know, I think the course could be set is up the exact same way for the next two days.
I wouldn't want to see it get any tougher. I wouldn't want to see the greens get any firmer. To play well over the first two days, seeing guys make birdies because there's plenty of birdies to be made out there if you hit the good golf shots. Just if you hit some bad shots, there's a lot of difficulty.
First two days have been good. Obviously the first two days at the PGA, traditionally they go a little easier than the weekend. This is a tough golf course. They don't need to -- they don't need to toughen this one up.

Q. What stands out, 15?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: I hit a lovely shot into 15, 4-iron -- I hit 5-iron down the middle of the green. I wasn't exactly that confident about aiming, you know, a club that I couldn't carry the water, so I took a club that I could carry the water.

Q. Rescue?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, but the danger was I could hit it long left, as well. So I hit a really nice cut shot in there. It was perfectly struck. Gave my caddie a bit of a fright but I knew I had hit it well enough.

Q. Would you remember that shot in terms of --
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: No, it's not that significant.

Q. What I mean is, in terms of --
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: For the weekend? Yeah, I think it helps. It was a nice shot hit under pressure, because I had not played the previous five or six holes. I had not hit a really good shot at all.
So it was -- in my head, you know, my intention was to get a few more under coming into that tough stretch so that I wouldn't be forced into going for anything. But obviously when I didn't -- I think I had four wedge shots, 9, 10, 12 and 13 and I didn't make birdie. So obviously my back was to the wall at that stage. So it was nice to make a birdie there and then obviously play the last three well, as well.

Q. Will you be whispering sweet nothings to any particular club in the bag so it gives you a bit of love back over the weekend?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: To be honest, I don't think anything's left -- (laughter).
I'm actually not thinking too much about my club, more about I've got to get my head in the right place. I doubted my alignment a few times today and snapped some shots and just have to trust it a bit more. Obviously that's what I as alluding to. If you wake up tomorrow and it all falls into place and you have lovely trust and you're comfortable, yeah, you can shoot the scores, as guys are showing.
If you're in the right place mentally out there, you definitely can shot a good score which is a great sign for a major. You want a golf course that if you hit good golf shots, you can make birdies. You don't want a golf course that everybody has to play away from the pins.
Just so far, this has been great. If you're prepared to go at the pins -- I think every pin today, probably 15 would be the toughest one but every other pin, you now, could you genuinely hit a shot and take it on if you felt you had the right number and you felt comfortable with the shot.

Q. Is this the weekend that could turn your season around?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: You know, I honestly wouldn't put myself on the line like that.
Yes, it could turn my year around. Of course it could. Of course it could my year around. But I'm not saying it will. (Laughter).

Q. How are these bunkers, compared to a links course --
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON: Depends on your lie. If you roll into the bunkers, they are actually okay because you stay on the upslope, you have a nice lie. If you pitch in the bunkers you tend to go down into them, and you're further down below. The sand is very soft and the ball is not sitting up, it's sinking down and if you pitch it onto a slope, you can get at the club, as well.
They are penal, but they actually get penal progressively. So it's -- as I said, any shot, I've hit a few that just trickled in, and they have actually finished up quite nicely and been on up slopes, hitting nice bunker shots. But obviously other guys pitch it in there or you go in hard and fast, and Tiger hit probably as good a bunker shot as he could have on 11.
Would have been interesting to see -- that would be an interesting shot now for somebody who was, you know, level par or 2-over par at that stage, trying to make the cut or trying to come out sideways, but he played it very well and it comfortably went in.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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