Media Center Interviews

March 30, 2023

First Round Interview with Padraig Harrington

Q. Paddy, great start. For the past six or so months I'm used to talking to you on PGA TOUR Champions about your rounds. Obviously still got a lot of game out here. Just get a few comments about today?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Look, tough conditions, which generally suit me. And I kept my head down, I never saw the leaderboard until I finished. I didn't know I was leading and that's what you've got to do on a tough day. You've got to hit sensible shots and sometimes the sensible shot isn't trying to hit the middle of the fairway, it's squeezing it up one side of it. Even if it goes in the rough, it's fine. Got to really have your thinking hat on and I did a good job mentally today. I worked my way around the golf course, didn't get myself in too many awkward situations and I got up and down quite a few times and I putted well. But a lot of the times I was in a -- I suppose good things were happening to me as well, so that's usually when good things are happening it gets a lot easier when you have to grind it out a bit.

Q. Obviously a lot going on with you, the recent nomination for the World Golf Hall of Fame, you're doing so incredibly well out on PGA TOUR Champions. How much fun is it for you to come back out here on the regular Tour and put up a number like this?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Look, it is fun. I love playing the Champions Tour and it's really helped my game no end. I'm out there thinking, oh, I think I'm playing better. So I come, I play three European Tour events this year, this is my third PGA TOUR event and I'm kind of going, well, I think I'm better, let's go and see if I really am better out there with the kids.

So yeah, it's nice to show some form. I had a reasonable chance in the first one in the DP World at the start of the year to win. Yeah, it's nice to come out shooting a good score today. It was a bit scrappy to get there, but to be leading at any stage is not a bad thing on the Tour. Maybe the guys in the afternoon are going to get a little bit better, but it's a good start to the week.

Q. And last question, how are you feeling physically?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I will spend a good few hours in the physio truck this afternoon, yeah. The only thing I'm worried about is I'm probably going to have to play 26, 27 holes on Saturday. After walking 18 holes, I can't do much. My leg, it's my leg actually, it seizes up quite a bit afterwards.

Yeah, look, I'll figure it out, don't worry. All these things, you'd always find a way of working through it. While it would be something I would be mindful of, I don't think it will hold me back.

Q. You've done so many different things in this game, had success at so many levels, now you're doing Paddy's Golf Tips. What brings you the most joy about this game at this point in your career?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think because I'm an optimist, pretty enthusiastic person, I. get up in the morning and it just, it drives me on. I wake up and the minute I go hit a golf shot, and you'd think I'd have sense at this stage, I'm dreaming that I'm going to find the secret. I know there isn't one, but you're always hopeful, dreaming. I think just keeps you young, it keeps you there.

And I figured I'd burnt out maybe five, maybe five six years ago I'd have been burnt out when it came to golf and I established a new way of doing it for myself. You know, I don't -- I'm not as intense as I would have been, I look to enjoy my weeks more. Yeah, I'm a little bit more relaxed about everything that goes on. I know I'm going to try hard enough, so I can afford to take a step back and I think that was the only way I could continue to compete out here is just to take a step back and enjoy the stuff I enjoy and trying to get rid of the stuff that was making it tedious.