‘I’ve got a headache’: Padraig Harrington reveals his ‘two-pizza’ recovery dinner

Padraig Harrington is playing well early at the Open Championship.

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Despite first-round leader Cameron Young racing to eight under par, the opening day at St. Andrews was far from an easy for most players.

The fairways were fiery and wickedly firm, which made judging how to play them a mentally tiring task. It also meant pace of play slowed to a crawl, which was taxing in its own right. And that’s all before it comes to actually hitting the shot itself.

Fifty-year-old Padraig Harrington certainly wasn’t immune to those effects. By his own admission, he came off the course exhausted, and nursing a minor knee injury.

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“Physically it’s a little tough for me at the moment. I’ve got a bit of an injury, and 18 holes is a long day, let alone when you’re waiting around and then trying to warm up for each shot, stay as sharp as you can,” he said. “When you’re 50 years of age, it’s hard to Rolls Royce it on every swing.”

Outside of a few shots, you could hardly tell from looking at his game. His lone mistake came on the 16th, when he missed a short putt for par.

“I got tired,” he said. “It was a long day. I didn’t need to miss that putt.”

But Harrington’s not being too hard on himself. He’s only human, after all.

“I’m shattered. I’m really tired. I’ve got a headache. I’m hungry,” he said.

But don’t worry. The menu for the night was planning to fix that problem.

“I’ve got pizza waiting for me there,” he said. “Good old manager has two pizzas, actually.”

Whatever the recovery plan was, it worked. Paddy came back fresh the next day and started birdie-birdie to get inside the top 10.

Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees the brand’s game improvement content spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.