Padraig Harrington Saturday (Third Round)
Q. I suppose just assess what sort of round it was, it was going very well and then it wasn't?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yeah, you know, obviously it was going nicely for eight holes, which is kind of the start that isn't so bad. You need to get a few in the bank for the last couple of holes in there. I was disappointed.
I hit a nice shot into 11, I walked off with bogey.
And then missed on 13.
Hit a bad drive on 14. I ended up making a great 7, and straight home from there.
Q. It seems to be tricky, to say the least, is it fair, because it looks as though the USGA took on board the thought that Merion might be savaged by you guys. Pins are tucked and some scores are embarrassing for players?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I don't think anybody is embarrassed about the scores out there. I would suggest that the pin positions are set every day. So it's not like they're being cut by pin positions. I would suggest that it would have been interesting if it was firm and fast.
I think it's playing quite nice as it is. If you're on top of your game, I think this is a pretty reasonable challenge. I'm disappointed that I haven't played better, because I think level par has a great chance of winning, and I don't see it as being an unrealistic score. No, I don't think it's tricked up, no.
Q. Obviously someone who has won three majors, the win is almost out of sight. What are your goals?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Every round of golf you try to play your very best and shoot a good score, hope for a miracle. That's what you've got to hope for. Who knows, maybe the 62 is in me foam. You never know what's going to happen. You always try to go out and play well.
You could birdie your last hole and that brings you the confidence to win the next week.
Q. As glorious as Merion looks and seems to be playing to some degree, is there some nervousness for the tight holes and proximity of the out of bounds?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think probably the greatest lesson we all got was when we played Torrey Pines and level par was the winning score, around level par. If it was a regular PGA tournament, it would have been a dozen under, at least. I've got to say it's the same thing here. If this is a regular TOUR event, we'd be doing better. The U.S. Open just seems to intimidate.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think psychologically going out there and it's built up don't make a mistake. And every shot you're hitting, even when you're in position, you're ‑‑ you've got a lot of fear, rather than ‑‑ it's one thing if you're out of position, but when you're in position it's just tough. And I can assume that's what's going through my head. That must be what's going through other people's heads.
Players are hitting shots they wouldn't normally hit because the U.S. Open makes them afraid of making mistakes.
Q. You played this course on a number of days and said it was a fair, even tempered challenge, but they've adjusted the fairways?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: This is a U.S. Open. I've played this golf course a number of times in the last couple of years. It's not like the course. But I knew that. I know that people would say to you, is there any advantage coming to play this course maybe in the last couple of years. No, when you turn up, you're going to be presented with a U.S. Open golf course, which is a big test with the several par‑3s that are a 3‑wood. You've got a lot of big holes, a lot of tough stuff out there. And I don't think the rough is that heavy. You can definitely pull a lie in the rough and play it. So it's not ‑‑ it's more the players than the course.
Q. 14, you said it was a good 7 in the end?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I hit a hook off the tee. It was probably blowing as hard at that stage, and it went out of bounds. And then I hit the next one basically unplayable on the right.
I was pretty confident getting on the tee box. If I wasn't confident, maybe I could have hit two 3‑woods to it or something like that. But I presume it's probably the toughest hole today. It certainly felt that way to me.
Q. You were put on the clock walking to the 11th tee, did that have any effect on you?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, not really. We're used to that. That's the nature of the game. The group in front is told to move on, they moved. We didn't move with them.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, like I said I hit a nice shot into 11, good up and down.
Nice shot into 13, 14. I was feeling pretty good going into it. I hit a bad tee shot.
Q. By the way, when you were 1‑under after 8, you were in the top echelon, maybe one player was better than you?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: 1‑under, I knew it was fine.