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Padraig Harrington Provides Longest Answer To One Question In The Modern Transcript Era

To one of the shortest questions too...1856 words worth from Padraig Harrington after the Waste Management Open's third round, all to this (seemingly) harmless question...

Q.  Did you change your golf swing?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON:  No, I must admit ‑‑yeah, I've changed my golf swing, but I change it every day.  I changed my golf swing this week.  That's what I do:  I get up in the morning, and I change.  That's who I am.

Hmmm...paging Dr. Freud to the Waste Management Open media center. Dr. Sigmund Freud pick up the white courtesy phone as soon as possible.

If I had a problem since 2008 going down the road of changing, I'm a person who has always managed never to read anything about me.  I keep the media, certainly what people are saying about me, out of my world.

So since 2008 I'm on a higher level and I keep getting asked the same questions.  Eventually if you keep getting asked why you change your swing, again, you start explaining yourself and it turns into defending yourself.

Probably last year I probably ‑‑late last year I came to the conclusion, you know, I didn't actually change, because what I do every day is keep trying to evolve, and that's what I do.  Every day I change is being me.

People's perception of me changed because they assumed that because I won and peaked in 2007 and 2008, they assumed I was at a level I wanted to be at or had what I wanted, and they assumed why would you keep trying to change.  But the only thing I know is changing.  It gets me out of my bed in the morning and gets me motivated.

I'm 41 years of age and I think I'm a kid, and the reason I think I'm a kid is I think I'm going to find the secret every day.

I hit eight bags of balls before my round Thursday morning working on my swing.  I just love it.  That's who I am.

As regards to my form, I peaked obviously in 2007 and 2008.  Everybody peaks.  Professional golfers tend to last about 18 months when they peak and drift back to who they are.

Now, if that was a peak, and then you have an average play, yes, probably in 2009 or 2010, anyway, I played below average.  You have to play below average if you are going to peek as well.  The way I look at it, and maybe this is a mistake I made, you're trying to compare yourself to your absolute peak in 2008, whereas I should always be trying to work off my base, my average play.

If I can improve my baseline, that means when the peak comes around, it will be a little higher, probably a little bit longer.  You know, that's the game.  It ebbs and flows.

Like this answer. Oh, don't let me interrupt. Better yet, just go to the transcript and scroll down a bit if you want the rest. Just look for the long block of text.

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Reader Comments (17)

Rambly as it may be I found his thoughts on continuous improvement fascinating. Pithy? No. Insightful? Yes.
02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPJ
This is just one likable cat.

I was wondering if he had a different pronunciation, or ???, when the transcript spelling went from peak to peek, which IS a different word with a different meaning. The double E is in the second last paragraph above
02.3.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
PJ, I totally agree. I found his answer very insightful and I would think those of us who love and play the game try in some way to do just what Padraig is doing. We are trying to evolve and get better. Great stuff.
02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJerryG
In 10 years, we will look back and wonder how on earth a player of Padraig's (relatively) limited talent won 3 majors within 2 years... and this was in the pre-FH Tiger era!

All his continual talk of changing swings / developing himself is a smokescreen to cover the fact that he caught lightning in a bottle (and simply could not miss with the putter) for a brief period. You bet he would've kept doing the same thing if he could've done.
02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterStord
Paddy won his majors when tiger was out with broken leg and torn Achilles.
02.4.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoe
Internet age is not your friend, Joe, Tiger finished 12th in 2007.

Harrington has spent 265 weeks ranked in the world top 10, and he has finshed top10 in majors at least 10 times, apart from his 3 wins. He's an elite player who has maximised his talents. His continual talk about change only appears in the last couple of years because people weren't listening to him before then.
02.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKieran
Harrington is one of the most talented players in the game. You don't win those majors with "lightening in the bottle." I saw him on the practice range at the Barclays a few years ago. He was hitting gentle draws 240 yards with his driver, one handed--first right hand and then left-hand!
02.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterACE
Hey Ace...welcome back! (smile)
02.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
. . and if his putter hadn't gone south he likely wins the Masters last year. . . I think he missed 8 putts inside 8 feet in the final round
02.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRose
I sat next to him on the pitching green at Medinah at the PGA a couple of years back - for about an hour...his intensity and focus while he was practicing were remarkable. I remember watching Bjorn, Goosen, and a few others - swinging soundly, but somewhat going through the motions. Harrington was hitting 45 yard pitches, and was grinding over every single shot as if he was trying to get up and down on 18 at Augusta trying to win the Masters, watching every shot role out on the green.
Practice with purpose - I found that remarkable.
02.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlex H
I love this place: Donald can't play cause all he does is stay near the top of the world rankings without winning majors, Paddy can't play cause he won his majors when Tiger was not as his best... supposedly. (corrected by Kieran)
Paddy can obviously play and refreshingly, doesn't mind talking about his process.
02.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
I don't think anybody's denying he's talented, but the fact is that his 2 year spell is completely incongruous with anything else he's achieved in his career. 3 majors puts him tied with Vijay, Hale Irwin & Larry Nelson (all who showed much more consistency over the course of their careers).

He seems like a good guy, but there's no doubt he's been hopelessly trying to search for that "lightning" again. He won't find it.
02.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterStord
Not saying Paddy didn't earn them fair and square -- and his Sunday round at a blustery Birkdale was a master class -- but, while Tiger did play in the 2007 Open, he did not play in the 2008 Open or PGA at a time when he was FAR FAR FAR above everyone else. Following the 2007 Open, Tiger had 10 wins, 2 seconds and a fifth in 13 events (including the Target World Challenge and Dubai Desert Classic), before calling it quits for the year after the Torrey Open. So, while there isn't an asterisk after two of Paddy's majors, there's at least a #noTiger.
02.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

in other news, I went outesterday with a goal of 3 pars and no more hthan 2 doubles or worse, and amazingly gt 3 pars on the front with a 32-33 yd. lob wedge hole out, after a lip on the fwy bunker sent me sideways, and a 4w/sw put me pin high but I pulled it badly, as was my game all day-- lots of good drives(?) followed by pulled iron shots, and ailure to upndown. I was worn out-parred 10 and then the duct tape and bubble gum let go and I did too. picked up on sveral holes and I should have wentr home after 9-- 72 degree weather and sunshine were just too damn nice to leave. b tw, my R7 is a R7 425TP 9.5, and I have the same, but Tour issue 10.5, if I ever get it bCK./

SORRY FOR ot, and poor typing/spellong/ and being a bad person in general. Forgive me Shavles, for I no knot wajht I's a doin'/

Ward, I'm worried about the Beaver.
02.4.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
digger, superior report! Keep on charging ahead! I didn't get much traction on the bingo idea but I'll think of something else soon ;0). We are shut down here....think I'm gonna head for Hermosa....
02.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Thanks. Sounds like a plan! BTW a PS: My putting is pretty doggone awesome for not having played in so long. Sitting gripping the putter (and clubs) has made my preshot much quicker. Additionally, I have started attempting to find something off course that is a true 90* to the ground like a tower,telephone post, deck cover post, etc. I have always plumbed, and this trick, which I used to do, but sort of forgot about, adds a real asset to my read...course I played had a ton of breaks on many greens that is very tough to read if you are only looking at the immediate landscape.

Just Do It, probably.
02.5.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
digsouth: Analytical paralysis--just putt the ball, my man.
02.6.2013 | Unregistered Commentermunirat

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