2013 PGA Grand Slam of Golf Interview: Padraig Harrington

JULIUS MASON:  Padraig Harrington, ladies and gentlemen, the defending champion of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, visiting us once again back in Bermuda.  Pádraig is the only one of our four competitors who has visited island before.  We have three other rookies with us. 

So, Pádraig, how about some thoughts on returning and memories from last year and what the golf course looks like today.

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  Yeah, clearly obviously it's really nice to be back.  Surprisingly how good in condition the golf course is.  I arrived on Saturday, and the rain that was coming down.  I thought this was going to be soft.  The golf course is in great shape.  The problem about that is now I've been here two years    and even when we were across the way in mid ocean, the golf course is in fantastic condition there.  So I'm actually now beginning to expect it.  It's high standards.

But yeah, the course is super.  Played tough today with that wind, but really looking forward to it now.  We've got, you know, three guys who have obviously had career defining years, and it would be interesting to go into battle with them tomorrow. 

Q.  Wondering as defending champion, back for the fourth time, does it change the way that you approach the week? 

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  Yeah, you know, definitely I should have won my first two ones here and I think I had a point to prove last year.  So there was a certain amount of urgency in it last year.  This year, I'm pretty relaxed about it.  I've enjoyed my first couple of days here, and then I'm certainly not as stressed about it as I would have been in previous years. 

So I'm enjoying it.  That mightn't be to the    sometimes you need a little bit of intensity to play your best golf, but it is the way it is.  So I'm looking forward to playing tomorrow and enjoying it more than anything else. 

And you know, I've been playing pretty well, not quite getting the most out of it.  So I'm not sure why that is, but I'm hoping that it changes around tomorrow. 

Q.  Is there anything in particular that strikes you about the course that's going to be different? 

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  Not really.  You know, I've played yesterday and today and we had two different winds, which a significant factor here is the wind.  Obviously how strong it gets, but also what direction it blows from.  You know, I'm surprised today some of the holes played really tough that I had not seen the last time I was here. 

But yeah, it is interesting.  The golf course can change around.  I suppose any golf course that's beside the water, the wind has a significant effect and can change from day to day.  That could actually suit me over the two days.  You know, with a bit of luck, we might get a bit of wind one of the two days that maybe some of the guys haven't played in.  That could be to my advantage. 

But as I said, it certainly made for tough playing today, that strength of wind and coming from a slightly unusual direction. 

Q.  Could you refresh    when did you get in last year? 

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  I did get in last year on the Sunday night, ready for the Monday Pro Am.  This year I got in on the Saturday night. 

Q.  So the Pro Am last year was your first look at the golf course?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  First time looking at the golf course.  So there was, again, as I said, that all led to probably a reduction in expectation and a sense of urgency in trying to cover things. 

This year, I'm a bit more relaxed about it, and having played the tournament before, I know what to expect.  Having played the course before, I have a fair idea of what to expect.  So, yeah, it really is a different feeling this year.

Q.  You mentioned sometimes needing that intensity to play good golf.  Looking back on your year, did you have it the whole year   

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  I've had a few things.  I broke my driver at one stage during the year which took out a couple of months and I struggled early on in the year with another    hitting my wedges fat.  It was just a couple of issues, and then I just didn't    had no momentum into the rest of the year. 

But the overriding factor would be, yeah, I think that I've matured as a player now that I've seen most of it before, and there's not as much innocence in me. 

So as much as I love playing golf, certainly I'm not    I don't get up every morning and expect to see something that I haven't seen before, which is    so there is a little bit of that, for sure. 

I'm pretty confident because I have a good understanding of what I do and what I've done to get where I am, but sometimes that confidence leads to a little bit of over expectations, and you know, a little bit of fear never did anybody any harm. 

Q.  Can you and do you see yourself winning another major championship? 

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  I do, but I have to figure out a different way with playing with who Pádraig Harrington is now, than necessarily who I was over the years.  I'm a different person and I have a different attitude to the game at this stage; so I have to work with that.  There's no point in trying to go back and be the guy I was five years ago before I won majors.  I've won majors, and that brings a certain level of confidence and a certain    it changes you, and that's who I am now. 

So I have to figure out what's the best way of getting the best game out of me now.  And you know, as I said, I tend to, you know, for years, I would have been searching for it and trying to find it.  Now I pretty much understand everything I need to know about my game.  But it's hard to get the most out of it on any given day.  My short game is not as good as it used to be, and most of that is because of intensity. 

JULIUS MASON:  Thanks for popping in and we'll see you tomorrow morning.

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