2012 PGA Championship Interview Transcript -- Padraig Harrington

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  You know, I didn't score very well.  I didn't get up and down.  A couple of the par 5s, I gave myself chances with chips and putts and didn't make them and a couple bogeys, same sort of thing.  It's hard.  It's hard if you've got anything left out there, anything from over a foot is difficult in the wind.

I will say, I cannot believe how easy or how beneficial that rule change is that the ball moving on the green    you couldn't    like it would have been so stressful putting today, whereas, you know, it's okay now if you know what I mean.

So big plus, that rule change.  It made life a lot easier for us.

Q.  On that sort of subject  

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  First time it's come across that, really.

Q.  On the scoreboard they had you down for penalties on 12 and 13?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  I did have a penalty on 12 and 13.  I hit them in the water on both of them.  Second shots, one, I got to drop it on the green about 18 foot away and I holed it, and the other, I dropped it just short of the green and chipped it up to pretty much stone dead.

Q.  Moving on every hole?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  No, it wasn't moving, but just the fear of it moving can distract you so much when you're over a putt.  Now, you don't have that fear.  It was a big blessing that, I've got to say.  That used to drive me up the wall.

Q.  Stress free day?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  Well, it wasn't stress free, I can tell you that.  As I say, it was tough, as I said, like we caught that bit of a squall on the par 3.  Like I putted on the green before, like in a howling gale and missed a short putt.  Then I didn't have a club in the bag, you know, I had 185 yards and Ronan was asking me to go back to 5 wood and my pride wouldn't let me.  I think Davis hit his 3 iron 145 yards in front of me.

Q.  Average score is 78 at the moment anyway?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  Of my half of the draw, there's only 11 guys who are ahead of me or will finish ahead of me.  So I'm tied 12th my side, so while it's not    while I've left a lot of shots out there, I haven't done a massive amount.

Q.  If the wind stays up  

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  You know, I would say looking forward to a thunderstorm this afternoon, the guys come off, come back in the morning, nice, calm weather.

Q.  Where would you rank it?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  It wasn't that strong surely.  Really it wasn't.

Q.  Scores are just very high.

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  Yeah, but see, you've got elevated greens.  So it's not like you hit a low shot running on to the green.  You have to carry it on to the green.  So that's    and you know, it's the elevation of the greens that does it.  Obviously a links golf course where we get stronger winds on a links golf course, tends\to draw the ball in if you keep it down.  You know, here, the greens are fast.  You miss the green, you go    like I missed the 8th hole, I hit it on the bank in the right and kicked down and ran down into the bunker and ended up with like 32 yards back into the wind.  That's a long way to try and hit a bunker shot book into the wind and I essentially duffed it out 20 feet short.

But the golf course is a tough course in the wind.  It's not that the wind is that strong; it's that the golf course is a really, really difficult course.  When you have elevated greens, and as I said, the ball running away, and the greens fast when you are chipping up, like if you're chipping downwind, it can be awkward.  Davis hit a 3 wood down 3 and he hit it miles down, must have been 40 yards off the green and it was, you know, it was a difficult shot.  He didn't get it on the green.

Most of my bogeys came on the downwind holes.  I hit    I drove it well again and hit my irons well again.  I just, you know, a few loose mental shots and I said, just kept chipping it to six feet.  It's not easy to hole them out there.  It's a tough day when you're putting in the crosswinds.

Q.  Like any of the four days at Portrush a few weeks ago?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  This really is different.  It's just completely different.  Really, you can't    you can't compare winds.  I will say, the squall now, as I said, we were struggling to hit the ball, we couldn't    it was 170 to come to the front of the green.  You know, we were thinking about going back for a 5 wood ask that says a lot.

Q.  How good was Vijay's round today?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  It's very impressive.  His short game is so sharp, it gave him a lot of confidence today.  And he's played well, and again, short game is very sharp.  You need that actually, when you're trying to win a major; you need to be holing the 10 footers, getting up and down, and he's certainly doing that.

And he played well enough today that yesterday he didn't play anywhere near up to his standard but his short game was so good.

Today he played very well tee to green.  There was nothing    didn't have any of the way ward shots at all.  And the short game was still very sharp.  So, yeah, he's feeling very confident going into the weekend.

Q.  José Maria said you need something exceptional to get to The Ryder Cup in a very unusual press conference I personally thought; what are your feelings about that?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  He said it.  There you go.  He's obviously got, you know, players in mind from that.

You know, I can't do anything about it, honestly.  As I said, I missed out on the eight tournaments that guarantee you World Ranking points by not playing well last year.  I've played solid in every event.  I really    I couldn't be happier with my form and my game.

Yeah, I'd love    you know, I would love, as I said, to have an exceptional week, but there you golf at least it's clearer in my mind now.  I won't be waiting    I won't be waiting on (laughing)    obviously I have to do something very good here or next week.

Q.  Are you surprised almost at the certainty of his tone?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  Well, he's obviously got things in his mind.  There certainly isn't very much room for a pick for me.  You know, you're looking at obviously Ian Poulter is going to get one and, you know, there's one left.  Obviously I'm not in the reckoning as it stands.  So I have to do something exceptional.  At least it's clear.

Q.  When you say do something, does that mean you'll play next week or what do you do?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  They changed the ruling for The Barclays, so I'm going to play The Barclays and going to try and win there.

Q.  Do you think that would be exceptional?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  Well, I hope it would be.  Look, I'm playing lovely golf.  I can't do anything more than I've done during the year.  As I said I do rue the fact that I didn't play in the four World events and I didn't play in the two Tour Championships at the end of the year.  Didn't play in the Match Play and didn't play in the guaranteed points in Sun City or Chevron.  At the end of the day, when you're not picking up those easy points, it's hard to do things.  Everywhere else I've played, you know, I've been happy and solid with my game.

As I said, I don't regret bogeying the last at the U.S. Open, but things like that ultimately cost me in The Ryder Cup table.  But you know, such is life.  Maybe the weekend here will go well and we won't have to look back at the misses.

Q.  What about next week, will you play?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  Wyndham.  No, I don't think that's going to be exceptional from the sound of it.  I can't see myself    you know, do you think that's going to force his hand?  I don't think so.  So this week, you know, as I've said, shouldn't be too far away here, and I'm playing well enough and hitting the ball well enough, just drop a few putts and chip a few close and we could be there at the end of the week.

Q.  A bunch of players on the chopping block, what do you think he's thinking  

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  From what Karl says, it's pretty clear.  I'm not in his reckoning at the moment.

Q.  In his good books?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  Well, I get on with José but it's quite clear.  You know, as I said, you know, with one pick already basically gone, it leaves very little options left.  You know, there is nobody else who is not on team who has not been    it has to be a rookie he's thinking of picking, so there you go.

Q.  You have plenty of time?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  I do.  I have six rounds.  There you go.

Q.  A 59?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  Would 59 would be extraordinary enough?  Well, now you've put it in the wind    (laughter).

Look, hey, it's the way it is.  I couldn't have    I'm happy to be playing well, there you go.  I try to be    I try to be playing well and in with a chance to playing poorly and having to be picked because there was no one else or something like that.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports ...