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June 23, 2012

Padraig Harrington


Q.  Thanks very much.  Had about 20 players with 65 today.  You really had it going.  At one point, five birdies in a row and seven out of eight.  So you had to be thrilled with what was happening?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  Yeah.  As you said, seven out of eight, eight out of ten holes I made birdies, which is always nice.  You feel like there's birdie opportunities out there with the greens being so soft.
Actually, in fact, I have a little bit of ‑‑ I don't seem to always have had an issue which I can't get away from flags, but on 18 I couldn't get it into the middle of the green on 18.  I had to go with the pin.  It's that kind of course.  It draws you in.  You want to make birdie and if the pins are placed, you gotta hit some good shots.
It'll be interesting tomorrow if I can hit the right shot at the right time, but certainly all week I seem to have had a bit ‑‑ I said earlier in the week I had a bit of a /HRAOPBy Gene going on that I can only go at every pin out there.

Q.  So you short sided on 18 and that led to the bogey?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  You know, it was a bit in between clubs and I was aiming straight at it, and I knew I needed to take a bit off and I was trying to cut it.  But I didn't want to cut it in the middle of the green.  I would have been better off hitting an 8‑iron and trying to draw it on to the flag.  But hindsight is a great thing.  Can you let me go back there to the middle of 18.

Q.  I think the beauty of this is it just proves that in this game you're always learning; right?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  I don't want to make that mistake again.  (Laughs).  You know, yeah, you are always learning, but unfortunately, I'm like every other professional golfer, I keep falling into the same trap.

Q.  10‑under on the day.  65.  That seems to be the number to get up on top of the leaderboard.  Five consecutive birdies in your round.  What was clicking for you so well out there?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  I played nicely all the way through the first couple of rounds and I happened to hit a couple close and hole the right putts in between and I made eight birdies in ten holes, which it's nice when it's happening.  Kind of have to carry that through to tomorrow and kind of have to go low again.  At least it's happened one day.  You never know, it might happen two days.

Q.  It's been three solid rounds in the 60s.  You've gotten better every single day.  Do you think you are fighting any mental fatigue from your outstanding performance at the U. S. Open?  It doesn't seem like it.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  I guess there is fatigue.  You know, I played 31 holes today.  You know, I've struggled all week, after coming off a really, really tough testing course last week where every shot you par save and a lot of good shots into the middle of the green.  This week I'm struggling with I just can't seem to not look at a flag.  I can't aim at the middle of the green.  I can't aim away from it.  You'd think after last week aiming at so many middle of the greens I'd be saying this week I can't go at flags.  It's a strange week.  I'm struggling to not go at every single pin out there.

Q.  Robert Karlsson was saying this is his first appearance here at the Travelers and it seems to be a great relief from the U. S. Open.  Do you see this course as you're going to go aggressive because you know the birdies are out there and they weren't out there at Olympic?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  Well, I've made plenty of birdies at Olympic, so I'm comfortable with that.  So I just think the pin positions every year have gotten a little bit tighter than when we were coming here maybe even two, three years ago.  They're a yard or two yards closer.  So yes, you can go at them and you can make birdies, but if you short side yourself, you've got some difficult shots there.  I don't seem to have any ‑‑ I don't have any risk assessment there.  I've just been going at everything.
Yeah, I suppose that is a relief from last week.  It's not always the right shot just to go blindly at everything.

Q.  The way you're going right now, you're due for a 63 tomorrow.  Would you sign up for that right now?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  I would.  Yes.  Are you offering?  Do you have something special, because if you have some special powers, you probably should use them for something else.
Who knows what it's going to take to win the tournament tomorrow.  I'm certainly playing well enough to do it, but you gotta play well and hole the putts and things have gotta fall into place.  And you know, there's a lot of people on this leaderboard.  I don't know what the actual lead is at the moment.  You're certainly looking at maybe a 16 under par or something like that.  Never quite sure.  Who knows what day we're going to get, and obviously the pins are tough enough out there, the greens will firm up a little bit between now and tomorrow afternoon.  So you gotta hit the right shots at the right time.
Might take a 63 and a 63 might not be good enough.  So I've just gotta go out there and go with the cliche and play one shot at a time.

Q.  Because guys like yourself impose such great numbers here, do you find yourself more than other places really going for birdies and maybe not playing conserve actively sometimes with where you normally should and having to go for it?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  I'm struggling to play any conservative shots at all out there, which, you know, obviously certain shots you should.  I don't know why it is.  Maybe coming off last week.  Maybe slightly softer greens.  If you hit a good shot here, you can hit it close, and you just ‑‑ you're drawn into going at every single pin because of that.  And there's some tight pins out there.  You know, you can short side yourself easy enough.  But I think coming off such firm greens last week where there were certain pin positions you just couldn't get close to this week, you always feel like you have an opportunity.

Q.  The history of first‑time winners winning here.

Q.  It's been a couple of years for you.  What would you attribute that to in terms of this course specifically?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  No idea.  Certainly not going to be mulling over that one.  I don't know if there is a first‑time winner in contention tomorrow, but let's hope not.

Q.  The other day you were icing down your wrist after the round.  Is your wrist okay?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  No.  I'm still fine.  One thing I have is experience.  When you get a knock like that, if you ice it straightaway, it doesn't become anything.  You can be careless.  If you ice it within the first minutes, it makes a big difference.
I don't know if there was going to be an issue, but there's no issue now.

Q.  You've obviously had a nice progression this year in terms of how you're playing.  Anything you can pinpoint that to compared to maybe the last year or two?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  Certainly for a good while I haven't been putting well.  I'm just putting better.  I'm holing the 8‑footer for par, which keeps the round going.  And I think that's been the big difference.

Q.  Have you played a decent amount of golf with Brian Davis?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  You know what, I really haven't played much with Brian at all.  Brian played in Europe for a few years and then came over here pretty quickly.
You know what, you guys would know more.  What I know of him, I don't think ‑‑ I wouldn't say ‑‑ I can't remember if I've been paired with him.  Maybe once or twice only.  You'd probably know more about him than me.

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