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ALFRED DUNHILL LINKS CHAMPIONSHIP


October 6, 2012


Padraig Harrington


CARNOUSTIE & KINGSBARNS, SCOTLAND

Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツツ In the rotation we were on, I don't think it was such a bad score.ツ If we were on our own little tournament, we would be doing great but Branden Grace is running away with it.ツ Happy with the score.ツ Making the cut, which is never a bad thing but obviously it's been a long way away from the leaders.

Q.ツ 6‑under par, surely a very good result but scores seem not to be as easy as they were a few days ago; how are playing conditions?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ Well, it was easier for us today on this rotation.ツ We have had a couple of tough days, and today was a lot better for us.ツ Hopefully the other guys are getting it tough on the other golf courses but they certainly had it easy for the first couple of days.ツ I think the best player of the week is Branden Grace so far, so he would be ahead no matter what the conditions are.ツ

Q.ツ How is it playing these links courses?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ They are great.ツ It's amazing how different they can play every day in what looks like perfect conditions, just a little subtle, could be 15 degrees of wind change, and it could make a whole lot of difference to the golf course.
Tomorrow, wait and see, try to shoot a low one but it really is more of a question of working on the game and shooting a good score to build up for next week now.

Q.ツ Birdies?ツ 17?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ Oh, that was a nice birdie.ツ Well, you won't like it when I tell you.ツ I hit 3‑wood, wedge, to 15 feet and holed it.

Q.ツ Favourite hole?ツ Where would that rate in holes that you look forward to playing most?ツ Is it up there?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ I think 14.ツ Because now with the new back tee on 17, it's a substantial hole now.ツ With 3‑wood, you can hit it down the right and you're not hitting it out‑of‑bounds.ツ You know, I played it off the back tee the other day and it was slightly into the wind and it was a hell of a hit to clear, like what you would consider the middle was a good hit to get out on, you had to really go left.
So that's links golf.ツ Certainly there's a couple of tough drives out there, 14 can be a tough drive into the wind with the bunkers left, out‑of‑bounds right, on 17‑‑ obviously is a very tough drive, just trouble left, like at an Open Championship.ツ There's a lot of good tee shots on the way out‑‑ into the wind, I drove the ball well today and that made all the difference.ツ I think I hit every single drive exactly where I wanted to today, which makes St. Andrews a lot easier.

Q.ツ Can I ask about Rory and the Olympic dilemma and your take on what has become a thorny issue?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ Is that coming back up again?

Q.ツ It is now.
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ I've said it many times but obviously saying it again only brings it back up.ツ How will I put it?ツツ I'm well on record exactly what I've said and essentially, who would want to be asked to make a decision like that.ツ But I would point out that if he decided today to declare for Great Britain, it would mean I would get to play.ツ And if he obviously played for Ireland, I wouldn't get to play.
It would be Graeme and myself if he plays for Great Britain.ツ Any top four can play‑‑ once you're in the Top 15.
So it's not taking a place away from Great Britain, it's only adding to Great Britain whereas if you're outside the Top 15.

Q.ツ But G‑Mac could play for Great Britain, as well.
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ He's not got the option, he's outside the Top 15, so he only got the option for declaring for Ireland‑‑ he's not in that position.ツ It's only in you're in the Top 15 that you get to choose, and it can only benefit Ireland.ツ Unless we had four Irish guys in the Top 15.

Q.ツ Are you up for it?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ But my goal is to be in the Top 15 by the time it comes around so I don't have to think about it.

Q.ツ What do you think of the Olympics?ツ Are you up for it?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ Obviously you haven't done too much homework.ツ I went to the conference.ツ I went to speak at the conference, so obviously I'm into it.ツ And that was pretty intimidating.ツ I put my work into it, let's say.

Q.ツ Would it be fair to say a year ago that you didn't know who Branden Grace was?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ Absolutely.ツ Before he had won his three tournaments, outside of South Africa, his family, who‑‑ well, that's the nature of the game.ツ I'd actually like to, I don't know him whatsoever, so I would like to see what he's like.ツ I'm trying to figure out, this is a guy that gets in the lead that just keeps going.
It's just a tremendous trait to have.ツ We all wish we had that ability that when things are going for us that we keep going forward and not stall.ツ I would have said,ツ 99‑‑

Q.ツ He's just double‑bogeyed‑‑
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ Well, 99.9 percent of the golfers when they get in the lead, they stall up and the field catches‑‑ he ain't one of those.ツ So actually we were discussing him out on the golf course, and there's probably nobody else in golf at the moment that I would like to play with more than Branden Grace just to see what he's like.ツ I want to see what he's like.

Q.ツ Did you know he won last week as well?ツ This would be two back‑to‑backs in a year.
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ Five in total.ツ He's not in the Top‑50 in the world‑‑

Q.ツ He is, just.
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ ‑‑ after last week.ツ There you go.ツ As I said he's the guy I would most like to play golf with at this very moment in professional golf because I'm curious to see what is making him tick and can I learn something.ツ That's it.
I am curious to see what his game is like and whether he's‑‑ who knows, he could be a great putter, could be great mentally, could be a great ball‑striker, I have no idea.

Q.ツ Have you heard much?
Pテ.RAIG HARRINGTON:ツ Not really.ツ I've asked a bit but I would like to see for myself what he's like.ツ He's quite impressive how he's winning and doing it a number of times.ツ As I said, I would like to see him in person, see how he plays so I can make a better assessment of his game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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