Interview with Padraig Harrington

JULIUS MASON:  Pádraig Harrington, if at first or second time you don't succeed in winning the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in a playoff, both times, try, try again?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  Yeah, it's funny, I can't remember the playoff which I obviously lost to Jim Furyk, but I really remember the one I lost to Cabrera.  He got the last to get into the playoff.  I thought I had it won.  I remember that one all right, and hopefully this is third time a charm.

Q.  This is obviously a late invite, would you talk us through the process of where you found out, whether your clubs had been put away   

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  No, I was due to travel to China Sunday night.  So on Friday, I was practicing and my manager rang me and said there's a possibility that Ernie may pull out and would I be interested, and I said yeah, I'd be interested.

On Friday evening, we provisionally started looking at flights, and the word came flew Saturday afternoon, late Saturday afternoon, that Ernie had pulled out.  As unfortunate as it is for Ernie and let's hope he gets better, it was good news for me.

You know, I think it was easy to get here.  You know, Bermuda is simple to get to.  If it was Hawai'i or something like that, it wouldn't have been so much fun trying to get there.  I think it was easy for me to get here and I didn't feel like I was, you know, for a short trip, I didn't feel like I was coming here and going to have a lot of jet lag or have a problem with jet lag or anything like that.

Obviously playing the Grand Slam was a great choice but it was made that much easier by the convenience of coming to Bermuda.  I left Dublin 10:45 on Sunday whereas I had intended to leave on 7:30 that evening, so it was only a slight change of plans.

Q.  Unfinished business in the back of your head?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  Absolutely.  I've come close twice in Grand Slams and hopefully it will be that close coming down the stretch this week and it would fall in my favor.  That would be nice.  You never can tell, but that would be the plan; to keep it the tournament as long as possible and hopefully down the stretch, do a few nice things, things turn in my favor and come out winning.

Q.  Can you talk about such late notice coming here, obviously this isn't a major, but having shorter time to prepare mentally for playing in an event like this   

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  As I said, I was going to play an event this week, so I'd been at home practicing.  I had planned three full warm up days to get myself for switching over from hitting technical shots on the range to playing and I obviously had just the one of those days today.

You know, I could see it, the first couple of holes today, I was definitely a little bit    I was struggling with my mental focus.  As I got into the round though, I got a little bit sharper and sharper.  Unfortunately this is a quick event, two days.  You've got to be ready to go from the first tee.  I can't afford to be playing well with nine holes to go and that's it.  I've got to play well from the start.

So it is an interesting one.  You do need to be as sharp as you can be from the word go.  There's not enough time in this event if you don't start fast.

Q.  So you would have been playing?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  Lake Malaren, China, BMW Masters.

Q.  So does this change your schedule    what else do you have?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  I'm going to play Singapore, Hong Kong and The Race to Dubai are my last three events.  Then I have a good sizable chunk of time off during the winter.

Q.  Do you know when you start up?  2013?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  No, I'm not sure at all.  I will 100 percent play AT&T in the States, so I will play one tournament, at least, before AT&T.  AT&T, definitely I'll be there for that.  I'm obviously defending with my Pro Am partner (JP McManus), the Pro Am version of it.  So I'm 100 percent pencilled in for that one, and everything else is not quite there yet.  

Q.  What are your impressions of the course and Bermuda?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  Obviously I've been here before.  It's a beautiful island.  You get a great welcome.  Everything seems to be half an hour away, 30 minutes.  Surprised how quick we got to the golf course today.

Yeah, it's a beautiful place.  The golf course, it's a good test, some substantial holes out there.  You have to think that 16th hole has got to be one of the toughest golf holes we'll ever play.

I would say if you have that    I'd say if you had that in a regular event, there would be a slight amount of moaning.  It is incredibly tough holes.  It's a good golf course for this format.  There's certainly some opportunities to make some birdies out there and there are certainly some big, tough holes that you have to play well on top of that.

So you have kind of a mixture out there.  It's in no way    it's in no way a tricky course.  I think at times, this is a full championship golf course, there's no doubt about it, with some small targets in the crosswinds.  If it got windy out there, it could get very difficult.  If the greens got very firm, it could get very difficult but thankfully neither of those are forecast so I would predict that the players are going to have a good two days here.  I don't think necessarily the golf course is going to win out this week.  If the greens stay as they are, we'll really enjoy this course.

Q.  You mentioned the welcome you got here   

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  I was really impressed    the water out there is really green for me.

Q.  The fact that the PGA worked so hard and got the signage changed, the flags up, everything here; could you talk about what that meant?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  I would expect nothing else from the PGA, and that's to be honest.  They are a professional run organization and they are on of these type of things.  They have encountered issues like this in the past.  They know what they are doing.  So, yes.

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