2012 PGA Championship Interview Transcript -- Padraig Harrington

Q.  Thoughts on the day?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  Didn't quite happen.  Yeah, you know, obviously disappointed to the extent that I wasn't going to win, but you know, 5 under is not going to be very hard; if you play for second place, that would be    you know, but I don't play for second place so that's neither here nor there.

Played well this week.  Lots of good things.  Lots of positive things.

Q.  You seem to be happy with your level of performance?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  Game is in good shape.  It really is.  So I can't complain about that.  You know, tidy up here and there, and I saw some nice Sparks.  I hit some nice chip shots towards the end of the week which I wasn't doing at the start of the week.  I see a lot of good things in my game.  Just try and stay patient.  You know, it's as good as it's ever been.

Q.  And Rory's achievement?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  At this stage, people could be saying I was right when I was saying he could challenge Jack.

You've got to start when you're young; if you're going to win one a year, that's one each of the last two years.  So to get to Tiger's 14 or Jack's 18, you really do have to start doing it when you're in your early 20s, because you ain't going to be winning    as good as Tiger was, he proved that you're not    they don't come around as easy as people think they do.

You know, it's prolific winning to win one a year, so he has another 20 years ahead of him, maybe 25 years of golf.

Q.  Taking 54 hole lead and holding it, has not been an easy thing for guys this year.

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  He's played lovely.  There's been nobody else in this really.  So it's fantastic play by him.

You know, he's lapped the field twice now.  That's two tournaments he's lapped the field.  He nearly did it in another one.  Not many guys    you know, what the only person that's ever done that in majors in my time has been, you know, Tiger.  He's done it twice now.  I don't know how many times Tiger did it.  That's quite impressive, isn't it.

Q.  Does anyone drive the ball longer, straighter, higher than him?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  I think if you looked at the stats, there's quite a few.

Q.  Would you say it's his best club in the bag?  He loves the driver.

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  He certainly lives by it.  You know, when he's on form with that driver, he gains a lot of confidence driving the ball well, that's for sure.  He likes to    when he's driving it well    he seems to play his best when he's driving it well.  It sets him up for the rest of his game, and he does drive it magnificent, there's no doubt about that.

Q.  How good is Rory?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  You know, I said two years ago, when he lost at the Masters, that he could challenge Jack's record.  And now he's won one each of the last two years.

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  Coming from different places, I would think, you know, his is always destined to be.  If he didn't win the majors, you know, it would have been an underachievement or a letdown or whatever.

So the pressure was always on him in that sense.  He's only doing what he was destined to do and delivering on that.

You know, as he saw last year from winning, he won the U.S. Open last year and he has not had an easy ride of it since then.  It brings a lot of pressure with it.  I think winning his second major is going to make things a lot easier for him.  I think he'll be a better player for winning this time around.

The last time, well, it was great to win, and I think it heaped a lot of pressure on him.  I think winning a second time now will help him relax in that position and make it a lot easier on him going forward; to handle the type that    is he the No. 1 player in the world now, does he go back to    you know.

I think it will be easier for him to handle that position as he's won his second major in another year; going forward, looks like it's going to be plenty of majors ahead of him.  I think he can handle that expectation now; whereas I think last year, he's proved it, but you know, there's been up and downs since his last major win because of the pressure and the expectations and the hype.

Now he's delivered again.  It's going to be a lot easier for him going forward.  And he'll get better.

Q.  You were the person who mentioned that he could be the one to chase Jack rather than Tiger.  Do other players    you've obviously recognized and said yourself he's a different challenge; do other players think he's someone who could go for 14 or 18 majors?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  I still think Tiger's going to catch Jack.  So I wasn't putting Tiger out of the equation, either.  I just think Rory's won majors at a young age which is the key if you're going to win a substantial amount of them.  I think, you know, he's proving that he doesn't need to get better. 

He just needs to stay the same, which is a nice place to be.  You know, when he plays well, he can beat the field, hands down, as he's done here, as he did in Congressional.  So he's in a nice place going forward, and I do think that there will be a little less weight on his shoulders after his second major win than there was after the first.

Q.  Are you surprised that Tiger, after having a share of the lead going into the weekend, wasn't really a factor this time?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON:  You know, Rory's proving that when he plays well, he plays like Tiger played well    Tiger turned up for a few years, if he brought his A Game, the rest of us struggled to compete.  If he didn't have his A Game, and we did a wrong thing, we could compete with that.  Rory is showing that with his A Game, everybody else is going to struggle to compete with him, and Tiger needs his A Game to come up against Rory.  He's not going to beat him unless he has a big weekend.  You see Tiger was leading going into the weekend; he still needed to shoot 7 under par or more, whatever Rory is.  That's a big ask in a major.

So you know, Tiger would have had to play very well to do that.  And you know, clearly, he didn't play as well as he would have liked to, but you know, he's not going to pick    if Rory is playing as well as he is, Tiger's not going to pick a major off unless he's got his A Game out there.


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