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June 16, 2013

Padraig Harrington


Q.  Sum up your U.S. Open challenge for us.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  I left shots out there.  I wish every week was a U.S. Open.

Q.  Why?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  I feel I hit it as bad as I could this week to be 11 over par.  I feel I left a lot of shots out there, so, yeah, it's a lot easier format this week than a regular week, that's for sure.

Q.  At one point you were ticking along very nicely during the Tournament.  Did you feel like you were the Padraig Harrington of old and slowly finding its way back?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:¬† Yeah, I think I made 53 pars this week.¬† I think I only made six birdies.¬† Three doubles and a triple.¬† So I was going to get up‑and‑down, I didn't hole my birdie putts all week.¬† Especially today I missed a lot of chances and you need to hole those birdie putts to really give yourself a little bit of room.
And I was always on the edge all week where I never played the easy holes that well, I was 2 under par, making a couple of birdies and I never made enough birdies to counteract the bogeys and obviously throwing in two doubles and a triple didn't help.¬† But it would have been a long stretch to get back to level par, but certainly I left a lot of shots out there.¬† It wasn't as tough as ‑‑ I liked the challenge out there.¬† I didn't find it that difficult at all.

Q.  How much are you looking forward to getting home now and going to the Irish Open?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  That's just around the corner.  I'm playing next week in Travelers, and so some parts of my game are good and strong and I look forward to another week of getting ready for the Irish Open.  I certainly am glad it's not next week though.

Q.  It took 32 years to bring the U.S. Open back here to Merion, what did you think of the overall week, the setup, and everything about this course?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:¬† The course is great.¬† It was a surprising golf course to come to from what maybe had been portrayed in the media.¬† It was a big test.¬† Massive greens.¬† Real difficult.¬† Glad they weren't firm and fast.¬† I think the golf course played super as it was this week.¬† Firmer greens would have meant you would have ‑‑ I wonder what it would be like with firm greens out there, it would really be interesting.¬† But they are starting to get a little firmer with this wind, so tough for those guys coming down the stretch.¬† But you can still virtually get up‑and‑down from everywhere out there, which is a big help.
I think it was a great track, obviously the logistics of it was very awkward for us, there's no doubt about that.  The range over where it is and all that stuff, it was difficult, but you know what, I would say it was worth it.  I, for one, would comeback.

Q.  Would you like to see the USGA bring it back?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  Yeah, definitely.  I think the golf course is a great course.  It's a great test.  I'll put up with a little inconvenience to play such a good course.

Q.  Five years to the day since Tiger last won a Major.  How do you think his chances are now compared to the past in terms of passing the record of Jack?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  I think he'll do it.  No question about it.

Q.  Why?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  He only needs to win four more.  He's got plenty of years.  The weeks he plays well, he wins.  Not too many guys can say, well, if I play well, I'm winning.  All he has to do is pick the right week.  Clearly he's not as good as he was in the past, but he's going to hit the right week enough times to win four more Majors.

Q.  It's just unusual since he won so often early and now he's not performing in the Majors?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  That's irrelevant.  He's going to hit the right week eventually.

Q.  Like the lottery?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  No, not like that.  He has better odds than that.  He could easily do it.  I really do feel like he can, no problem.

Q.  You're probably the only guy that came in here and said you enjoyed the challenge out there?

Q.¬† Yeah, everyone else has been‑‑
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  I wish I played the U.S. Open every week.

Q.¬† I think you're the only person that would say that.¬† But let's assume that Phil wins.¬† What do you think that means for‑‑
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  That's a big assumption.

Q.  Right.  But let's assume.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:¬† Well, I think it means a lot for Phil.¬† It really, really caps off an incredible career for him.¬† If he wins this, he needs to just win an Open championship for a Grand Slam.¬† So it's his national title, it gives him the U.S. Open and it gives him the third leg of the Grand Slam.¬† It's massive for him.¬† For the Tournament, I'm sure the TV ratings are certainly glad for that.¬† And it certainly puts him up ‑‑ Phil has won 41 TOUR events, which is a really elite status.¬† Four Majors is fairly elite, but getting five and starting to put them into those category, because he really started winning Majors late.¬† He was under a lot of pressure for a lot of years.¬† He gets to five now, you know, it's starting to‑‑ he's starting to fill his Major cabinet.

Q.  He's come close so many times, what do you think that says about his resiliency?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:¬† He likes U.S. Opens.¬† Similar courses to myself he likes.¬† A little bit of give around the greens means he can get up‑and‑down from everywhere.¬† So it's not every U.S. Open suits him, but certain ones will suit him and this is one of those.

Q.  What's the most amazing shot you've ever seen Phil hit?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON:¬† He hit a pitch off the back of the Ryder Cup in the Ryder Cup, over the back of Valhalla against me in foursomes and it was a par‑3 down the hill about 13 or something like that, and it landed on a six‑inch spot.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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