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October 30, 2005

Paul McGinley


GORDON SIMPSON: Paul McGinley, Volvo Masters Champion 2005. Paul, I'm sure you could hardly have envisaged that 4 over par after five holes on Friday, and here you are with the trophy sitting in front of you. An amazing performance.

PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, amazing. First of all, you know, the thing that pleased me more than anything else is the size of the title. I was very close to winning three huge titles this year, and it didn't happen for one reason or another. But to win a title of this size means a huge, huge amount to me and I'm proud to have won here competing against the top 60 players.

GORDON SIMPSON: Can you talk about the frustration, you haven't managed to get over the line and this time you did it in style, as well.

PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, those really hurt hard, losing to Michael in the final at the World Match Play hit me as hard as I've ever been hit before but it also made me more determined. You know, to come back so quickly after that, and play as well as I have this week, particularly when things went so wrong in the first seven holes and the first eight when I took a bogey and double bogey, I really am. I'm absolutely so pleased to have won a title of this size; and to win it against the class of player that was in the last few groups and to win the way I did.

But as I say, those losses that I've had really, really hurt me, but I learned from them. It was huge learning curves and I put a lot of what happened in those losses into practice today and I was able to pull off the shots and do the things that I think cost me in the past.

So the learning curve will continue to grow. I don't think you ever get to know winning, there's a skill, there's a knack to it and a way of doing it and it's just taken me longer to learn than most people.

Q. Sorry to put you on the spot, but where does this rank alongside sinking the winning putt in the Ryder Cup?

PAUL McGINLEY: How does it rank? It's not apples to apples. You can't compare. Winning the World Cup with Padraig was huge and emotional for me to win that for Ireland, and the Ryder Cup is something different. This is a selfish win. This is for Paul McGinley. The other two were as much for everybody else as it was for me. If I'm being selfish, this is for Paul McGinley, as I said.

Q. After the start you made on Thursday, when did you feel it starting to turn your way again?

PAUL McGINLEY: You know, I walked off the course after 74 a first day and the Irish press guys who were there, I said I've done pretty well here to shoot 74, having a triple and double in the first seven holes and still get around in 3 over par and only seven shots off the lead. I easily could have gone to 76, 77, 78 with a double and a triple. That would have been probably the score which would have blown me out of the tournament. I've done that so many times around here, I didn't want that to happen again.

And I was quite pleased walking off the course with a 74. Realizing you know, that I had a double and a triple, and then to come back, it was great. I don't think I made a bogey. I bogeyed the first hole the second round and I didn't have a bogey the rest of the tournament. That's a pretty long amount of holes on this golf course without a bogey and something I'm proud of.

GORDON SIMPSON: Of course, your old sparring partner, Padraig, he hung about to see your victory as well. I'm sure you enjoyed that.

PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, I very much appreciated that. Obviously we're big friends and big competitors. I feel he stole this tournament off me a couple of years ago when he birdied the 18th hole to beat me.

But at the same time, let's spare a thought for my other buddy, Darren, who had to leave the tournament. There's no deterioration. As everyone knows, Heather, there's no deterioration, but my heart is out to Darren. He's obviously going through a tough time. And me and Darren and Padraig, we have flown a flag in the past at the Ryder Cup and hopefully we'll do it again next year in Ireland.

Q. We've known you a long time, and we never saw you as disappointed as you were the night at Wentworth after losing that World Match Play final, did it ever cross your mind that this day would ever come?

PAUL McGINLEY: No, I really felt I would win a big one because I knew the quality of my golf, I had come up a level. I was competing on the big stage now and I had not done that in the past. It is only this year I've really competed on the big stage and on an individual basis. I've done it in spurts where I've maybe had a good round a good tournament where I've shot a good score to get into the top five or so in the tournament.

But the level of my golf this year, the quality of shots that I've been playing, the shots that I couldn't have played in the past, the extra distance I'm hitting the ball, the improvement in my short game, all of those things were pointing me in the right direction, made me think that I'm on the right road.

You know, what's the difference now? The difference is mentally. I had to move up mentally to the level that my game is at. I learned a lot of hard lessons, one of the lessons that I learned particularly was I really thought I was going to win at Wentworth against Michael. I really thought I was going to win. It actually worked against me. One of the advantages I had today was the golf course was so difficult. You never win at Valderrama until you get off that 18th green, and that worked, you had to be focused on the present.

Q. You nearly ruined your knees getting to the last Ryder Cup, obviously there's still some money to be won but not a lot. That's going to make a hell of a difference to you, isn't it?

PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, it is. I've got an appointment in the morning at 8:20 to get a scan on my knee which has been bothering me. It returned this week after six weeks of being pain free, and it looks like I'm going to have a bit of operation. And it does give me a lit of leeway that if I do do it, I can do it properly and not have to rush back like I did the last time.

Q. You said you learned a lot of lessons from the previous near misses. Was that particularly evident in decision making like deciding to lay up on 17 and putting it on the green?

PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, absolutely, no question. It wasn't a time to be gung ho. It was comfortable to be on in two. It was really a 3 iron and probably could have hit a good 5 wood shot in there. But I felt, I asked Darren exactly the position where I stood and I knew I was one or two ahead. And I think he said that after the cheers, he listened for the cheers and on 16, which I had not done, and he told me that he heard two cheers which meant that it was two pars; so that I was two ahead. I said, well, you know, if I make a five here, I should really be at least one ahead going down the last, and if I make a four, I've pretty much got it in the bag.

By the way I took my little boy to West Ham last week, first time, five years old against Middlebrook. His first time ever at a football game. Need to get him to Parkhead next.

GORDON SIMPSON: What were you left with on the 17th fairway?

PAUL McGINLEY: The third shot? Third shot 112 yards which was a full sand wedge for me. I left myself the perfect yardage, because it was so horrible, my tee shot I was able to hit a second shot with only a 9 iron. I knew exactly how far I had to hit it and leave myself a shot to pitch it on the top tier. So I had the advantage of being so far up that I could be pretty precise with my second shot and leave myself a good yardage on my third shot.

Q. You looked pretty tense, what was going through your head besides the moment?

PAUL McGINLEY: I'm trying to win a massive tournament, obviously. I've had chances to win three massive tournaments this year and it hasn't happened. I didn't want it to go pear shaped again. I really wanted to win, too badly, and of course I was tense. I don't think anybody who tells you they are not tense on the 17th hole in the Valderrama with the Volvo Masters on the line isn't; I don't care who he is.

Q. You wanted Eddie Jordan to come into the interview with you, and in your speech you said that he's been helping you, can you be more specific?

PAUL McGINLEY: I've known Eddie for about 20 years, and he's been a great friend, not just to me, to our family over the years, especially when we moved over to England first. Over the last 12 months, he's sold his team as everybody knows. He has a bit more time and I've spent a bit more time with him, and everybody knows he caddied for me in the BMW. And I learned a huge amount from him for that. I thought I knew Eddie well after 20 years, but I've seen a different side, particularly when he caddied for me, and I learned a lot, but I'm not going to give away too many secrets. He has certainly helped me, no question about in the last since the BMW, particularly, when he caddied for me.

It was a big it was a big thing for me. People thought that it was a joke, and we were very conscious that we were probably going to be seen that way, but that there was a lot to be learned form both of us. I certainly learned a lot. He saw a different side of me, too, and I saw a different side of him. I think he's been very instrumental in this win. He's been down here all week and I've had dinner with him every night. And we had a good bit of banter, watched matches up in his house today before we came out, went over to have breakfast with at his house, grabbed a shower and then off we came.

Q. After the experience of this great season for you, do you think that you are closer to get your first major?

PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, I really do. The indication for that is the quality of my golf, which in the past as I say I didn't have the array of shots that I have now so that makes me think, yes, it is something now.

But again, it's not something you go out and win. I think that you have to build up to it and let it happen. It's not going that you go out, and going to win a major. I've learned a lot, I've won a big title here and it's important now for my career that I go on from here, and certainly not plateau.

Q. Your confidence is bigger?

PAUL McGINLEY: Of course it is, yeah. You know, it's hard to be confident when you've been up there and not won, and I wanted that. What's most important is that I won in style. I did what I had to do. I put the harsh lessons of the past into play. I played the shots that I had to play, tough shots, as everybody knows in Valderrama the last five, six holes. I played those shots and it gives me a lot of confidence for the future.

Q. You said you moved up mentally to match up your game, who were the key people or was it yourself?

PAUL McGINLEY: I think myself, learning experiences, learning curves. I was absolutely devastated after the HSBC in Wentworth, absolutely devastated. I played, I thought I played overall the best golf that week, and I felt that I didn't play my best golf in the final, and the question was why. And I feel I've got to the bottom of why I didn't, and I certainly put that into practice today.

Q. Despite the knee problem, your fitness is pretty much a factor in your success, is there anything extra you've done in the last year?

PAUL McGINLEY: Nothing extra, but very specific, very specific. I've got a lot of physio in my home, I have a very good physio I have at home, four or five times a week, and stretching, and strength. I'm only 5'7 1/2, to be exact, and I don't weigh very much. I weigh just over 11 and 1/2 stone. So in order for me to compete with the big guys who are six foot three and much heavier than me, I have to be strong and I have to be fit. I recognized that quite a long time ago and it's something that's important if I'm going to compete.

Q. Could you comment on the role of Bob Torrance in your game?

PAUL McGINLEY: Bob is huge. As everybody knows he's been my main teacher since I turned pro. I had a spell with Pete Cowen, but Bob's great. At this stage, he told me this week, and Bob never gives you a bum steer. He'll never tell you something that he doesn't really believe, and he told me this week that technically there's not much more that he can do with my swing. He's never said that to me before. That certainly is a boost of confidence.

Q. How long do you think you'll be out with the knee surgery?

PAUL McGINLEY: I'm hoping eight to ten weeks. I'm hoping eight to ten weeks. But one thing is for certain: I'm certainly going to play the World Cup. I'll play Shanghai. Week after next week, play Shanghai, and World Cup and I'm penciled to go in the next day and get it done then. I've pulled out of Hong Kong and China and those tournaments at the end of the season.

Q. You start back when?

PAUL McGINLEY: It's not for certain. The scan tomorrow will let me know exactly where I stand.

Q. Where would you start back?

PAUL McGINLEY: It will probably be Qatar.

GORDON SIMPSON: Paul, it's been a long time coming and well worth the wait.

PAUL McGINLEY: Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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