Padraig got back to winning ways as he battled through the rain and wind at The European Club to collect the Ladbrokes.com PGA Irish Championship for the third year in a row and the sixth time in all. The last time a hat-trick was achieved in the Irish national championship was back in 1962 when Christy O'Connor, senior, won the fourth of his ten titles.
"Obviously any time you tee it up in a tournament your want to win it. Whatever that tournament is it's always very pleasing to win. It's a nice feeling especially as I haven't been in that winner's enclosure for a little bit now so it's always nice to get a win in the bag," said Padraig.
"Winning is a habit, there's no doubt about that. The more you win the better, regardless of where you are doing it. It's important to get out there and win. Yeah, it is important to win this week. The magnitude of the tournament is not as great as next week but winning is a habit and it's always good to be in winning form."
He added: "I avoided three-putting this week. I just haven't been dong that this year. I can't afford to give up those shots and it was nice that my putting was right on track this week so that's the most pleasing thing from the week.
"Chipping was solid enough, I was happy with that. Long game was much poorer than it has been probably all year. It probably was at its worst this week and I'm hoping that it's just a blip this week.
"I still have got a little work to do on a few things and hopefully the next couple of days I'll have settled on something."
Irish PGA Championship - Preview
This week I am defending my Irish PGA title at the European Club for the third year in succession having won the past two years. A lot of people have come up to me over the last few weeks and said that they will be doing the same thing that they did last year during the Open so as to help me win it again; I’m not a superstitious person but I do like to prepare properly. For this reason I am back in Ireland for the Irish PGA. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that this event has played a big part in getting me ready for the last two Opens that I won. The fact that it is played on a great links course like the European Club is a massive benefit, as there is no better preparation for links golf than actually playing it. The fact that I can come here and get competitive practise is massive for me.
I am coming into this week after missing my last five cuts; I find that hard to believe as I write this but it is the case. I know that my form hasn’t been great this year but after the two rounds in Paris last week I am very happy that I am on the right road. I would definitely like to have some better performances under my belt but there is nothing that I can do about it now. I have this week’s event to help finalise my Open preparations and get myself tournament ready. I want to be leaving here with my game ready to tee it up next week in the Open, as I don’t want to be going to Turnberry still thinking about where my game is and what I need to do.
It is great to be back this week defending my title; this is an event that I really enjoy and on top of that it is played on a great course. The European Club is as tough a links course as you will get. You have to hit every type of shot out there and you have to mentally be on top of your game as this course is ready to bite you at any stage. This year like a lot of courses, the rough is very tough, but with the weather that we have had it is a given. Like Turnberry there is a premium on hitting the fairways - it is actually better to be coming off the fairway from further back than the rough from closer to the green and in some cases it is hard to find your ball in the rough.
This event reminds me of my amateur days for a couple of reasons; firstly I played amateur golf with a lot of the players in the field and secondly the crowd get to walk on the fairways with us. On the Tour the crowd is always way back from where we are; this is a nice change as it is much more relaxed. I wouldn’t want it every week but for this week it is great. I feel totally at ease here and thoroughly enjoy the challenge. I don’t take anything for granted though, even though I have won it the last two years and 5 times overall. I know that it is a tough tournament to win as there are a lot of very good players in the field. I have to play my game and not get complacent so as to ensure that I have a chance come the final round.
I am looking forward to starting tomorrow. The course was in great condition for the pro-am today and actually it was very similar to Turnberry. As always I am here to try and win the tournament but the key is that I can’t win it in the first round. I have to be patient and remember that it is a four round event. On top of this I am also here to get myself ready for next week so I am hoping for some wind over the next four days as preparation for next week.
I play late tomorrow in the first round at 1.40pm and then 9.00am on Thursday morning with John Kelly and Robert Giles. I am very happy with how things are going and really looking forward to the week.