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June 8, 2013

Padraig Harrington


Q.テつ Got it rolling, huh?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:テつ No doubt about it.テつ I decided after yesterday I needed to be a bit more aggressive with my iron play, and when I did get it in play, I hit some irons pretty close.テつ Obviously the big difference was I holed putts all day.

Q.テつ Even on the couple of bogies that you had, you holed putts?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:テつ Those were the two biggest putts of the day.テつ I holed two 8-footers for bogey.テつ Those are things that kill your round if you miss those.テつ I'm still putting like -- I think I made two bogies out there.テつ I was -- it was on 15 and 17.テつ I walked to the next tee thinking in great mood.テつ They were as good as I was going to make.

Q.テつ We had four, five guys get out nicely, 4, 5-under through 13 holes and nobody really finished off a good one.テつ What is it about this golf course that's not allowing that super low round?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:テつ It's a harder golf course when you have something to defend. テつIf you're worried about dropping shots, this course gets a lot tougher.テつ We're going out there, 1-under par, trying to be -- if you're a few under par and worried about dropping shots, this course gets a lot tougher.
We're going out there 1-under par, we're trying to go forward.テつ You know, when you have no fear, it's easy to make birdies and you can certainly take them on, but later on in the round -- this would be the tough thing for anybody, it's been shown in past years for leaders here, when you're standing on holes like 14 and you miss a shot and you're in the water, teeing it up again, you bail out left.テつ Today you could easily clip it in the water if you hit it left.
There's a lot of trouble for a guy who's being defensive.テつ It's hard not to have a defensive attitude if you've got something to protect, and I didn't have that today.テつ I was free and easy going out there and created some momentum going on.
It will be interesting to see tomorrow when -- I don't know what 6-under par is going to finish at the end of the day.テつ I won't be quite as free and easy on the first tee tomorrow.

Q.テつ Well, no fear tomorrow and go low again.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:テつ That would be nice.

Q.テつ Goes back to a question about your philosophy on what constitutes a great golf course.テつ Often a great golf course is where No. 1 is very close to the clubhouse.テつ Do you remember saying that?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:テつ I did say that.

Q.テつ So if you could tell me where -- what evidence that you come -- have you found comes to this conclusion?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:テつ You know, I can't lay claim to be my idea that the great golf courses tend to have their first tee box so close to the clubhouse or the locker room.テつ It actually belongs to Arnie Cunningham, the longest rep on tour out here on the Tour.
When he said it to me, "When you think back, every great golf course you play, the first tee box tends to be like practically in the clubhouse" and Merion coming up next week you have to ask the people on the veranda, you'll have to ask them to move back it's that tight to the clubhouse.テつ You think probably the best course, regular course, we play this season, Riviera, the first tee box is practically in the pro shop.
So, obviously what's happened over time is years ago the golf courses were all walking courses and the great golf courses tend to have maturity in them and the first hole has been extended and the only place to extend it is back towards the clubhouse.テつ You do tend to find the first tee adjacent to the clubhouse on the older golf courses, which obviously is what we tend to think are the great courses are the ones.
It kind of is a little bit, you know -- it's not how -- how can I put this?テつ It doesn't have to be, but it seems that the great ones always have the first tee very close to the clubhouse.
I'm a bit freer and easier.テつ I only had one thing going forward.テつ Be a lot tougher if you're going out there leading and you open up a bit and go at a few more pins.テつ You're a bit more relaxed on the greens and hole a few putts.テつ It's pretty straightforward.
Saturday is like that.テつ That's why they call it moving day.テつ It's harder to do that if you were leading and harder to do on Sunday.

Q.テつ Wild finish there, but --
AYeah, two bogies.テつ This golf course -- as I said, if you're hitting the fairways, you can make birdies.テつ There's no doubt about it.テつ And fairways are firm enough when you hit them it doesn't play so long.
There wasn't a lot of wind.テつ If you hit it in the rough with these box grooves, I got some terrible flyers.テつ I completely lose control off the fairway.テつ I missed 15 and 17 and both times, you know, the ball shot off in all sorts of directions.テつ I struggled from there on in.

Q.テつ What do you like about your game right now that's keeping you in contention this week?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:テつ My game is definitely on the up.テつ There's no doubt about it.テつ I feel like I'm better in control of my -- of my game, of my swing, and short game is sharp and the putting, which has been my Achilles heel over last year.テつ Since I've gone to the belly putter has definitely improved.
I'd like to see a little bit of sustainability because I've had a few good weeks this year and never followed it up with two, three good weeks.テつ So hopefully I'll get it right and keep it.

Q.テつ Obviously you don't know what's going to happen later in the day, but can this course give up a 63 or so tomorrow if you had to have it?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:テつ It definitely can give up a score.テつ The toughest part about this golf course is when you're being defensive.テつ If you're going out there and you got a bit of freedom in your swing, you can certainly make birdies.
When you're a little worried about hitting the water -- and several of the holes, you tighten up and hit it -- cross yourself and hit it in the rough, the other side.テつ You're making bogey when you hit it in the rough a lot of times.テつ It has 63, but it's hard if you got any sort of, you know, defensive in your swing at all.テつ It gets hard to score out there.

Q.テつ You've become a bit of a regular here.テつ Is it just the timing?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:テつ You know, I really like the golf course and I would come here.テつ The reason I do come is because it's the week before the Open.テつ I like to play the week before the Open.テつ Like to be competitive going into that, into a Major, and that's why I'm here.
Having come here over the years, I will try to make this tournament fit my schedule no matter what time of the year.テつ The course suits me.テつ I like the golf course where I don't know what's going to win this year, but several times it's been less than 10-under par.テつ And I like tough golf courses where you got to really think about what you're doing and, you know, that kind of suits my style of play.

Q.テつ Did you accomplish what you wanted today?
AI would like to have been a couple more under par.テつ We always want more.テつ If could you give me 2, 3 more, I'd be happy.

Q.テつ If you're not in the lead going into the final day, is there a position, how many strokes off, ideally that's manageable?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:テつ If I'm not leading, I'd like to be tied in the lead.テつ If I'm not tied in the lead, I want to be one behind the leader or two behind it.テつ As close as possible.
There's no substitute for being as many ahead as you can be and the least amount of players.テつ It's not about position sometimes.テつ You can be a few shots behind if there's only one, two players.テつ But like if you're four, five shots behind and there's 15 players ahead of you, that's really tough to come through the field, because one of those 15 players is going to be shooting 5-under par or something.
I think, you know, it's not the end of the world if you're four, five behind if it's more than one player.テつ Easy for one player to go out there and shoot 72, wouldn't be a bad score out there if you were leading the tournament obviously.

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