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THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP


July 21, 2012


Padraig Harrington


LYTHAM ST. ANNES, ENGLAND

Q.  70 today, they've tucked some pins away.  How are you feeling about shooting 70?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:¬† It was blowing enough out there at one stage when we came around the turn.¬† But the 70 for me today, 70 was a steal, and 69 would have been a miracle.¬† I was really sixes and sevens with my game.¬† I kind of‑‑ I got on the range yesterday and got something in my head and just really, really struggled with it today.¬† I could play some great range golf, but it wasn't taking it to the golf course.
It was a big struggle today.  I didn't show much trust, faith or confidence in anything out there.  So it was nice that my short game saved me.

Q.  Is it kind of the case that you've had three different versions of your own golfer self this week in the three rounds you've played?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:¬† You know, the first two rounds I thought I played well enough tee‑to‑green, I just didn't hit my wedges very well in the first two rounds.¬† I was sorting that problem out yesterday and just kind of‑‑ it certainly got in my head, let's say.¬† So I really, really struggled today.¬† Struggled badly a lot today.¬† I wasn't settling on any good thoughts at all.¬† So it was nice to get around with the score I did.

Q.  Considering the optimism you would have had at the start of the week, is that particularly disappointing?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  No, not at all.  I did everything right up until yesterday afternoon, and it was the last throw of the dice yesterday afternoon.  The preparation was very good this week.  My head was in the right place this week.  All things good.  I just didn't hit my wedges good enough the first two days.  And in an effort to get that back on track, there really wasn't enough time.  I kind of messed with my head a bit.

Q.  Have you and Rory played together much before?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  No, the first time we played together was Memphis the week before the U.S. Open, in a tournament.

Q.  First time together was Memphis?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  Yeah.

Q.¬† Did you think at the start that this is going‑‑
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:¬† Yeah, it was, but well, it went quickly away from me.¬† Probably from‑‑ yeah, I hit a beautiful tee shot on the first.¬† I hit a beautiful second shot on the second.¬† That was the end of my day (laughter).

Q.  Did you end up working on your game on the range yesterday?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:¬† No, I was 12 shots behind.¬† I hit my wedges poorly.¬† I had to do something.¬† So it wasn't like it was‑‑ you know, that's the nature of it.¬† You have to take a chance that it will all work out.¬† It's not the ideal scenario, you know, and as I said, I hit the ball well off the tee the first couple of days but not so well today.

Q.  Where are you in regards to (inaudible)?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:¬† Great.¬† I came in, as I said, I played well my last number of tournaments.¬† I felt I was playing well pretty much all year.¬† I've been in good form, just trying to tie it all together.¬† I've been working hard on my short game, which, you know, kind of sets you back in the short‑term, but that seems to be coming around.¬† I like what I see.¬† Chipping and putting is coming around nicely.
As I said, the long game has been good.¬† I think it has potential to be better, always potential to be better.¬† But, yeah, all things‑‑ just trying to keep those‑‑ it's a constant juggling act to try to keep them all in the air, all those balls in the air.¬† And definitely one of them had fallen yesterday.¬† In an effort to get it back up there, the rest of it is‑‑ yeah, my head‑‑ my mind was far too active today.¬† I was thinking too much.¬† I wasn't settled.¬† I didn't know what I was thinking at times out there.
That's the position you don't want to be in, but as I said, I did a good job going into the tournament.  I have no problems with it.  If I played well enough the first few days I wouldn't have gone and tried to fix the wedges.

Q.  What were the pin positions like today?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  They got tougher pin position.  They're really hard.  Certainly every one of those pins is cut on a slope, whether it's on a crown or in a hollow, they actually put it just on the sides of it.  So the cup itself, you know, there's plenty of slope out there, plenty of break.  So, yeah, yes, there might be a score because, as I said yesterday, I would have said the pins were hard and the conditions were hard yesterday morning, and one player went out there and shot 64 and made a fool out of the rest of us (laughter).

Q.  (Inaudible.)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:¬† Look, at the end of the day Rory was looking for a fast start and he didn't get it.¬† I think we were both looking for a fast start.¬† I got a better start, got more breaks early on.¬† Okay, when my game went away from me I was still hanging in there.¬† He didn't get the fast start.¬† Things went against him.¬† Yeah, it's not much fun when you're 2‑ or 3‑over par and you're looking to be 4‑, 5‑, 6‑under par.¬† And to be honest, the golf course didn't settle very well for it then later on.¬† He hit a lovely tee shot in the front of the 13th green.¬† You saw that pin position, it's virtually impossible where he was to get‑‑ it wouldn't be impossible, but it was a real difficult up‑and‑down rather than a simple birdie.
Yeah, there was a lot of things that‑‑ there's a lot of things about the course today that would suit a guy that's in the lead.¬† He doesn't have to go chase it.

Q.  When you play with Rory do you find yourself watching him?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:¬† You watch every shot he hits, no doubt about it.¬† Everything about his game is of interest.¬† You guys continually analyse it, so as players we're looking, too, to see what we think and get our opinions in there.¬† Not that we give you our opinions, but‑‑

Q.  Yeah, what do you think?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  I wouldn't give you my opinion.

Q.  Did you change strategy coming home?  You took on 16?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:¬† I didn't change strategy at all, no.¬† I had to keep telling myself to try and make a couple of birdies.¬† Because there was a possibility, like even if I birdied the last, I'd get home in 68.¬† There was a chance of me shooting 2‑ or 3‑under par, even though it didn't feel like it.

Q.¬† Is there a sense that you've got to think about‑‑ is there a sense that Kiawah Island is on your mind?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  Very much so.  That's completely on my mind now.  I'll go out and play tomorrow, try and shoot a good score.  As I said, if I didn't win this week, I think I needed to finish top five, anyway, to get enough points to get into Bridgestone.  So that's a tough call now.  So my mind is very much focused on getting my game in good shape for Kiawah Island.

Q.  With the PGA Championship there, 15 years ago your World Cup win, is that a very strong, positive vibe?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  I hope it is.  I hope it is.  Yeah, hopefully so.  I like the idea of going back there, that's for sure.  Who knows with things like that.  I'll try and pretend that it is.

Q.  Have you spoken to Olazabal?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  About Kiawah?

Q.  I'm thinking about Ryder Cup.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:¬† Have I spoken to him about‑‑

Q.  (Inaudible.)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  Well, not anymore.  It doesn't finish until the week after.  Paying attention these days.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: ¬†Yeah, it does, doesn't it?¬† I'm not telling you anything new.¬† It does.¬† I remember they changed it, maybe the Money List finish, butthe rest of ‑‑ yeah.¬† So you've been voted down here five or six to one.
I'll definitely play the week before Kiawah.¬† I always play the week before a major.¬† It's the biggest little city in America, here I come, Reno‑Tahoe.

Q.  Have you ever been to Reno?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  I haven't, no.

Q.  Do you feel that you have to qualify on merit or are you comfortable waiting on a wild card?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  Nobody waits on a wild card.

Q.  Is he telling you get in there and take the pressure off me?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:¬† I played with Ollie in South Africa, the Volvo Champions.¬† I spoke to him there.¬† All I know is I'm trying to win between now and‑‑ you don't want to put any of this stuff‑‑ I know I'm playing nicely and the form is good, but the‑‑ as I said to him at Volvo, play my way in so he doesn't have to consider it.¬† That's the simplest thing.¬† I've showed good form but good form in four or five weeks' time.¬† I don't want to talk myself out of it, either, guys.

Q.  At the same time do you have the feeling (inaudible)?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  You know, who knows?  I didn't hit my wedges well.  So shortening the golf course ain't going to help me.  Who knows?  Maybe if theygo back five years to Carnoustie in2007 it would be all happy days.  We can't tell what could have been.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  No, no, I have been doing massive amounts of short game practice.  Just dialling it in, to be honest, is the key.  There's a period of where you go from doing some work and it takes a while for it to settle in so it's not so conscious, let's say.
I saw a lot of good things today.¬† I hit a lot of simple shots well today.¬† As I said, I was struggling a bit.¬† I struggled with the longer game today, but that hasn't been any issue for me.¬† So I'm not like‑‑ I'm not concerned about that.

Q.  Were you working on putting?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:¬† Oh, I was working on‑‑ what was I working on?¬† I was working on my wedge play to get my shoulder square at impact‑‑ squarer at impact, so that they weren't as open.¬† So I wasn't dragging the club as much and using the bounce better and getting a squarer divot that wasn't so deep so my balls would start more on line than a little left.

Q.  How long did you spend doing that?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:¬† I spent‑‑ I'd say I spent an hour and a half with Bob Rotella working on my mental game.¬† When that didn't fix it, I spent about an hour and a half working with Pete Cowan trying to fix it.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:¬† Look, the two of us are 2‑over par on a Friday afternoon.¬† What else are we going to do?¬† We've got to take a chance that we're going to find the magic potion.¬† Like experience would say if you want to keep it the way it is, don't go near the range, but we didn't want to keep it the way it was.¬† We both were hoping to find the magic that we'd go out there and shoot two 64's out there on the weekend.

Q.  What was it like, was it sort of strange out there, was it hard work?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:¬† By the time we got to the 16th tee we'd made one birdie between us.¬† We really, really‑‑ you know, we were bouncing off‑‑ there was no rising tide.¬† You know what, as I said, I was struggling all day.¬† I was keeping my head down and going about my business.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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