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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Paddy Speaks

In case you missed it, Padraig Harrington did a phone interview on Morning Drive Monday morning. I think Paddy always says something interesting when he talks to the media, and he had a couple of observations that were interesting enough that I wanted to pass them along.

Padraig Harrington photoThe first concerned his remark that Rory McIlroy would surpass Jack's major record. Paddy said that he was actually misquoted, and he went into some detail about what he meant. Although it was mentioned to Rory during a U.S. Open presser (remember Rory's humorous "Oh Paddy, Paddy, Paddy..." reaction?), Paddy said he actually said it at the Masters and that he didn't say Rory would break Jack's mark. Rather, he said Rory had both the talent and the time to beat Jack's mark.

And Paddy said the time aspect was the most important. Jack had 25 years -- 100 majors -- in which to build his record. Even Tiger, who had started winning early and dominated for 12 years, had only been able to amass 14 majors. The fact that Rory was playing so well so early gave him the best chance to chase down Jack... and he added that he thought Keegan Bradley had the same chance. While Keegan has slipped under the radar with casual golf fans, Paddy said the Tour pros had noticed his talent early on.

The other comment concerned the state of Tiger's game. Since he had played the first two days of the PGA with Tiger, he was asked where he thought the Big Cat's game was. I thought this was particularly interesting, given that Paddy is such a technician himself, and perhaps it will give some of you encouragement about your own games.

Paddy believes that Tiger has confidence issues -- not with his swing so much as his knee. This makes good sense to me -- although it's held up so far, it takes time to rebuild trust in it and swing without fearing that it's going to give out again. But I got the impression that Paddy feels that's not the biggest issue.

Instead, Paddy believes Tiger is having troubles with perfectionism. If anybody would know, it would be Mr. Tinkerer. Paddy's comment really caught my attention because while most critics are attacking Tiger's mechanics, Paddy believes that any other player with Tiger's game as it is right now would be winning! That's something worth remembering next time you get too bummed out over the state of your game.

Padraig Harrington is a pretty smart guy. (Well, except for tinkering with his swing after winning 3 majors.) It should be fun to see him at the Wyndham this week.

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