KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship

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PGA Frisco

Frisco, Texas, USA

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Padraig Harrington

Q. Opening round 64. What was working well for you out there that led to that score?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It was a good day. Everything worked well. Hit the ball well off the tee, as Rocco said, particularly straight off the tee which helps. I think I holed a couple of putts at the right time. I do think that, you know, you get days like that, and I don't expect it be to like this now the next three days, but it was an easy 64. In some ways the reason it was an easy 64 is because when you're playing with somebody like Rocco there's always a bit of chat and there's always a bit of fun going on, so you're quite relaxed. And that really does make a difference to how you feel about your shots and things like that. So it's something as professionals we always need to keep reminding ourselves, but when you get a situation like this and it's showing again, you know, just being out there, chilling, telling stories, the odd joke, Rocco's caddie, he's caddied for the greats, so we were quizzing him as we were going around. So there was just plenty of conversation. And you end up shooting 64 and you go, oh, what, you know, you'd nearly forgotten about your score.

Q. When you think about it, what's the best tale Pete told you about one of his old loops?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: We went, we were actually grading putters. Who was the best putter, who was the best ball strikers. I didn't realize he had caddied for Ian Baker Finch and he felt Ian Baker Finch, for that moment in time, was the best putter he ever saw. Crenshaw was the best looking stroke, everything about it. Fascinating with Jack always birdieing the 18 hole, he would always hole a putt on the 18th even though he didn't putt very well up at that time. So it was just lots of good conversation.

And you would be surprised, not a lot of people have seen those generations all the way through. To go back and really have seen the guys who played in the '80s, you know, I could say I went out and watched the Irish Open and saw these guys play, but to know the difference, let's say, to be a caddie out here and to know the difference between the players, it was nice. And as I said, that was very much part of the round, just was very nice, relaxed round. Conditions were obviously ideal this morning. So, yeah. It's nice when they go like that. Like, as I said, I don't expect the next 54 holes to be as comfortable. But a good start is no harm. Be a long week for me now.

Q. As you felt your way around this golf course trying to learn it the last few days, did you think maybe if the wind was down a little this is place you can do some scoring?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I played here on Tuesday and obviously played the 18 Tuesday, but I played the back nine on Tuesday, 10, 11, 12 was in out of the right and, yeah, I can score really well on that. Then I played them yesterday with the wind out of the left and I said, Oh, these aren't very nice.

So the wind direction, because every hole nearly has a hazard down one side of it, the wind direct has a big effect on this course, it really, really does. Like you get 18 with a left-to-right wind and it's just like it's a stinker of a tee shot in a left-to-right wind.

The same with 16. Today we had is 16 in a right-to-left wind, so it's protecting off that hazard on the right. All of a sudden I hit driver down there and I had a little pitching wedge in stone dead. And you get a different wind there and I can tell you -- so it's a lot dependent on the wind and the pin positions. I think we seem to have two different referees set it up. They were pretty generous on the front nine and then they got a little tighter on the back nine, the pin conditions.

Q. When we spoke to you on Tuesday you were trying to get your feet on the ground. What kind of process did you go through to kind of exhale from last week and get ready for this week?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think that's what being an experienced pro is at this stage. We had a long day Tuesday because the pro-am was up early, long day, six hours. Got quite a bit of my work done on Tuesday because the way the pro-am went I could chip and putt during it. So I was wise enough, slept in yesterday morning, came out, played nine holes and left. That's a different Padraig Harrington that would have been around 20 years ago, I would probably be trying to play 18 holes and do four hours of practice. But I know that that's not the right thing to do when you're in the tournament week. So I think it's taken me probably 25 years of professional golf to get some sense.

Q. Would you say that on balance you played pretty well last week and is this a little bit of carry over from last week?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, I, a lot of guys do this and a lot of guys turn up to a major, and I felt this last week, I was at least a week short in preparation. And then what happens is you'll see a lot of guys do that, they play well and then they come out the following week and they play better the week after the major. And, yeah, I felt I was getting into it last week, but I wasn't there. I need to do a better job when I'm away from tournaments. I need to just do -- my preparation is not ideal. So last week it definitely helped me get where I am today, no doubt about it.

Q. Ten 3s out there today. What were a couple highlights on those birdies?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Couple highlights? I think a big part of it I holed a big putt on the 2nd, 35 feet, to get me going. You wanted to get up on the leaderboard. And once I holed that, the next is a par-5, I reached that and 2-putted that one. And then all of a sudden I'm off and running, creating chances. So I think that it, if I'm looking for something that could have made a difference to the day was that putt on the 2nd hole. It was 35 feet, in she goes, I'm off and running, hadn't birdied the 1st, so now I feel good about it.

I suppose the nicest hole I played -- I hit some -- nicest hole probably was 16. It was a drive and a pitching wedge to two feet. So that was probably the nicest hole.

Thought I nearly holed my tee shot on 17, but I missed that putt.

But, yeah, I didn't create any eagle chances, so there wasn't anything like that. So just some nice golf and some steady golf.

And I chipped in on 10. Actually, there you go. I hit a nice drive -- well I hit a 7-iron into 10. I had only, I think I had 170 yards into the wind, I hit a 7-iron that came up probably six yards short in the fringe and I just had to chip it over the collar and I chipped it in. So there -- it did a 360 too. So there was the highlight.

Q. How far was that?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: 25 feet. Something like that.

Q. You said you weren't going to go at 18, but you were there going at 18.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You know, I think if it's down off the right I'm going to hit driver. But it's still a -- I didn't hit a great drive at all. It's still a scary -- because I'm angling down the left so much, if I hit it left on that I'm effectively out of bounds. And anything right is going into the hazard. So it's an awkward tee shot. But when good things are happening for you, you got it keep going. If that was day that maybe I was 2-under par and I hadn't been playing well, I probably would have been more conservative. But I took the attitude, hey, things are falling in place today, they will probably fall in place here too.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
133001-1-1044 2023-05-25 19:02:00 GMT

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