I’ve just come out of the conference room where Padraig Harrington has been speaking very candidly about his chances this week.
“I’ll be honest, if there was a way I could push the Open back by a few weeks, I would.” He said. “But I can’t so I just have to play the hand I’m dealt come Thursday afternoon.”
It’s refreshing to hear one of the top pros giving such honest answers to questions about their game. I was concerned the whole conference could turn a little sour early doors when the very first question asked was, “Padraig, would you explain why you’ve been playing so poorly lately?” But the defending champion took it in his stride and dealt with all comers extremely eloquently. He still believes he can win this week if he gets in position to contest it down the stretch. But, in his own words, the question is “can he get in the position to contest it down the stretch?”
Just after the Irishman, world number one Tiger Woods came in to the conference centre. Things started off interestingly as so many people piled into the room that the floor gave way. Woods is renowned for keeping things close to his chest and giving very little away to the press. That trait seemed to be continuing early in the questioning. When one of the UK journos asked which of the Brits might have a chance to taste Major success, he simply answered, “There are a bunch of guys.” Thanks for that Tiger.
But, as the conference went on, Tiger let slip that he does have a sense of humour. When asked if he would like to emulate Greg Norman’s performance at Birkdale last year and compete in a Major at the age of 53, he replied “I’d just like to be above dirt.” Then when a Japanese correspondent asked what Tiger thought the first two rounds would be like playing with teenage sensation Ryo Ishikawa, Tiger answered. “I think it’s going to be real quiet.” For an American he has a pretty good sense of sarcasm.