Padraig Harrington: The media needs to take responsibility for their stories

He was misquoted last year in relation to Sergio Garcia

BY Simon Maguire 20:52 Sunday 7 January 2018, 20:52 7 Jan 2018

Paul Kimmage and Padraig Harrington were the guests on Off the Ball for the Sunday Paper Review.

The pair joined Joe Molloy to look back at the big stories from the week, but the three-time major winner opened up immediately about how the media can have a huge role in a person's life, without taking any responsibility.

The Irishman was misquoted last year in relation to comments he made about Sergio Garcia, which prompted the pair to meet and clear the air, and he expects the media to begin taking responsibility for their headlines and articles.

Sergio Garcia. Picture by: Charlotte Observer/TNS/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

"I've nearly never written anything about me since I was 18 years of age" he told Joe Molloy. "I read something back in the day that upset me and put me off for a match and it was the headline that put me off and that's a contentious thing we can talk about forever.

"Basically, I would not be a quick player - I certainly wasn't a quick player back then and the headline was "Stackstown Express" and I read too much into it and I rushed my next match and I lost. 

"It's amazing how an individual reads way too much into something written about them. I knew I was slow - I have no issue with that - I just ended up speeding up and lost. It was in the British Amateur which was a big tournament at the time.

"I would have been one of the favourites. I was playing great and I realised that 'look, I can't control the press - it's North Korea' so I've got to figure something out. So the best way is to not read anything your involved in.

"Because, you can give a nice innocuous article to somebody and if it's written about them - they're so concerned about what it actually means and everybody else reading it wouldn't even see (or) read anything like what they're reading into it and this is why see all the rows stirred up by the media that if the people themselves talked face-to-face then (read) what's written down - they completely go over the top. So the best thing is not to read it!" he added. 

"Sorry for getting off on a controversial issue here," he continued, "but I do have a bone to pick. All journalists will tell you they write the article and they put it in but the headline is put out there. You're still responsible for the headline...genuinely there's so many headlines now - the headline writers get away with it.

"They write a headline, and I said I nearly don't read anything written about me - I'm going to go all the way now controversial and I was trying to avoid this but I had a headline written about me this year - it was taken from a radio interview. 

"I said a player 'was' a sore loser and I was talking about when I won one of the Opens in 2008 and the headline quoted me and they took a word out of my quote and they still put it in italics as a quote. 

"The headline was 'Sergio's a sore loser' where I said 'Sergio was a sore loser' - they just took 'was' out and still put it as a headline and it got me a lot of grief (and) completely changed the context of what I was talking about.

"I understand the headline writer has to write something that will get people's attention. I understand that the article has to be written too but I do think that somebody has to take responsibility for, as far as I was concerned, a horrible misquote - to quote somebody but to take a word out."

 The full podcast is available here: 

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