The Senior Open Presented by Rolex

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Auchterarder, Scotland, United Kingdom

PGA Centenary at Gleneagles

Padraig Harrington

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Your debut in the Senior Open debut this week, how much are you looking forward to it?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. Yeah, obviously my first year on the Tour. I've had a few good run, obviously winning the U.S. Senior Open was nice, nice to get a win. I had three second places coming up to that.

Yeah, it's kind of interesting, depending on the golf course. Some of the courses really suit me, and I have a particularly good chance those weeks and other weeks, a bit like this week, I'm looking at this course, most of the tee shots are downhill, a lot of irons, 5-woods off the tee, type thing.

I think it's a tougher task this week to get a win but obviously whoever plays the best, whoever holds the putts will do that. But I wouldn't be jumping out this week and saying this is the course made in heaven for me. Certainly Saucon Valley was very suitable.

THE MODERATOR: You must take confidence from that first senior major win coming into another major championship.

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, no doubt about it. As I said, the three runners up, I knew I was there or thereabouts. I had not really felt like I've had a big week in terms of, I've played well some weeks, not putted well and other weeks I've played average and putted well. I haven't put it all together.

U.S. Open was very nice. Got myself certainly 63 holes of good stuff. Looking at this course, I like it, with it being firm and fast, obviously it brings a lot more people into the field. You've got to play well and hold the putts. There will be more -- there's more people to compete against around this golf course. It's a very fair setup I think for the majority of the field.

Q. Henrik being stripped of The Ryder Cup captaincy, what's your view on that?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: Well, it's announced, we are all hearing this for the last week so it's not really big news in that sense. It's something that was expected. Clearly it's unfortunate, the situation that he's not going to continue on as captain.

From our perspective, from my perspective, I'm part of the committee that picks the captain. We have already, I suppose, got ourselves ready to have a meeting to pick the next captain. We are ready to go. It's not set at this moment but we are making sure the processes are in place. Good order to pick the next time.

It's plenty of time. 15 months is loads of time. Give him credit, he didn't pull out like a month before or three months before. It is 15 months, plenty of time. No issue as regards the actual team and like there's been nothing set in place about the selection processes or qualification processes. Really doesn't affect The Ryder Cup in any shape or form. I'm sure we'll have a new captain installed pretty soon.

Q. Do you empathise with Henrik and the decision he had to make?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: I certainly empathise with anybody that makes the decisions that they have made in terms of going to play a new tour, the financial incentives are quite impressive.

I do think it's different in Henrik's case, yes. He signed a contract not to do that and was specifically asked not to do that. So yes, I don't -- I have no empathy there. No, he took The Ryder Cup job when LIV was in doubt, and now that LIV is pretty much mainstream normalised, he's jumped ship.

Q. Do you feel letdown, being part of that process yourself, and the others involved?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: I'm not going to go into the detail of the actual selection and the committee and things. No, I'm not going to go through how we came about our decisions or what.

The Tour will tell you they had a signed contract. I suppose I can say, there was more commitments asked but as I said, it's different when you sign up to do something and clearly he took -- he wanted to take something on when LIV looked like it wasn't going to happen. And now that LIV, as we see, is mainstream, pretty close to being mainstream, there's certainly less risk in joining the LIV Tour. He's gone over, which I know it's a financial decision. We're all here to make money and things like that but there is an element of like signing up to do something, and as much as it might suit him now and as much as it financially -- financially being a Ryder Cup Captain in Europe is very lucrative. Clearly it's financially better to go over to LIV but sometimes when you sign up for something, you have to accept that you made the decision at the time and you've got to stick to it.

In that sense, he signed to say he wouldn't do it.

Q. Going back to this week, watching you hit balls yesterday, that doesn't look like senior golf?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: No, I'm still trying to be a young guy and still trying to compete with the young guys, and very much a part of the modern game is you've got to be powerful out there. I've held my position throughout my career in terms of relative to the field. I'm in the same position now. I hit the golf further now than I've ever hit it but relatively I feel I'm in the same place I've always been. It gives me hope when I tee it up in events like The Open last week. I do find at a regular event, I'm always under a little bit of pressure to be at my very best. It's very hard to be at your very best when you think you can't take any mistakes. You know, mistakes happen more often when you feel like you can't handle them.

So at a regular event, it's tough, but in my head, the only thing that lets me down at an event is not the physical side. It would be the mental side or moving into the short game, maybe my putting.

I come to an event like this, and I don't need it here. I know some people have talked there's two holes with carries but every other tee shot is straight downhill here. It's a great course. Every tee shot is downhill and every second shot is uphill, nearly.

Q. Can you carry 18?

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON: I don't even need a carry on it, no. It's like downwind, downhill. It's 75 yards in on Monday.

Today I must have had 150 front today off a good drive. I didn't get over the second. The one on the Monday got all the way down the second. But that's only one hole.

Like other holes, there's only two holes that I would say hitting a driver out there is advantageous. And remember, the further you hit it, it's harder to hit it straight, too. It's not like I'm swinging pretty full-out, well, not really here but at regular events. It doesn't come without its risk, put it like that. Yes, it's great to be long and I feel like I can compete and my irons are the same as the young guys in general. But you know, here it's more about hitting it straight. Good courses -- for the tournament we have, this is a good golf course.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
122975-1-1003 2022-07-20 17:57:00 GMT

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