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September 15, 2005

Paul McGinley


GORDON SIMPSON: That was some turnaround in the afternoon today. Thomas looked like he had you early on but you really got after him this afternoon.

PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, nobody is more surprised than me that I won 6 & 5 having been 1 down after 18 holes, but I played really, really well this afternoon. I didn't play great, I think I shot 71 this morning. I needed to play a bit better this afternoon. I knew Thomas was playing well and he started the second 18 really well, but I was able to match him and made a few birdies and pushed by him.

GORDON SIMPSON: Of course, you seemed to get better and better, holing your second shot at the 11th.

PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, at that stage in the match, I think I was 4 up playing 11. He hit a decent shot in to about 15 feet and I was just making sure I hit it inside him or hit it close and give myself a chance at a birdie. At that stage, the last thing I wanted to do was hand him a hole and I was making sure I hit it as close as I could.

GORDON SIMPSON: What do you think changed it for you, just hanging in there?

PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, Thomas came out the first four or five holes this afternoon and played really well. I was able to match him. And then I had a really good putt for a halve on the fourth hole for 12 feet. Got up and down from 85 yards, him being on the green in two, and that kept me 1 down as opposed to going 2 down, which would have been a big momentum boost for him. And then I went on a run after that. On the next he ended up behind a tree. I had a few birdies in quick success and was able to forge ahead.

Q. How many yards on 12?


Q. What was the yardage?

PAUL McGINLEY: I had 82 yards to the pin after two shots and he was on the green about 25 feet. So I then hit it to 12 feet dead right of the hole to stay 1 down, and that was a huge, huge putt in terms of the momentum of the game. Because Thomas going 2 up, he's a class act and you don't want to give him any bit of daylight, and I was conscious of that.

GORDON SIMPSON: Clearly having waited a few years to get here, you have no intentions of going home straightaway.

PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, it's worked out well for me today. I have a really tough game again tomorrow. Everybody in this field is a real good player. It's a very, very strong field.

You know, I'm not getting ahead of myself. I know I'm going to have to play equally as well tomorrow to beat Luke. Luke has obviously played well today to beat Bernhard, and I'll go and have a rest this afternoon and get ready for another tough match tomorrow.

Q. What did Thomas say to you at the end?

PAUL McGINLEY: Thomas and me are really good friends. He wished me the best of luck, and I knew he meant it. He really would like to me going on now and doing well, I know that.

Q. Thomas can always do the school run tomorrow?

PAUL McGINLEY: That would be too cruel no, we're really good friends. He had a great run in this tournament and nearly won it. He's a class player as everyone knows. He's had a great run the last two or three months and I knew I had to play my best to beat him today.

Q. You were excited to get here?

PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, I was. I played really, really well in the BMW in Munich to make this, when Eddie Jordan caddied for me. It was very important that I played well in that event. Niclas Fasth played great, a little bit like Jacobson and me going for the Ryder Cup last year. I was able to fend him off by shooting 20 under par and shooting 65 on Sunday and just had the mark by that one shot. Maybe fate and destiny is on my side.

Q. Any chance of Eddie Jordan coming back on the bag?

PAUL McGINLEY: No, he's retired now. He's retired. That finished him off. He's retired. He's gone into retirement now. He's going to go cross the Atlantic in a sailboat. That's the next notch he wants to knock off his life.

Q. After the turning point, what you did over the next few holes?

PAUL McGINLEY: Well, first of all, that was a psychological blow for me against Thomas. Going 2 down against Thomas the way he had played the first three or four holes, I had to stick with him, right the storm basically, because he came out firing this afternoon.

Then the next hole he hit it behind a tree, the par 3, had no shot and I ended up winning that hole to go back to all square.

The next one, we both had 18 foot putts. I holed mine; he missed his.

The next one, it was unfortunate, he pitched up at the pin on the top tier and sloped off back the front of the green and 3 putted up that big slope. I was nicely in there to about 15 feet.

Then the next one, I hit a 6 iron. As I say, I was able to keep hitting good shots when I needed them. The next one I hit a 6 iron to about three feet, and that put me 3 up. You know, 3 up with ten play is a pretty comfortable position to be in.

From there on, it was a case of not letting him win any holes by me making mistakes, if you know what I mean. I wanted to make sure that I kept things tight and tidy. If he was going to birdie in and beat me, so be it, but I didn't want to give the game away.

Q. Are you now comfortable in this company?

PAUL McGINLEY: Well, I'd like to think so. Nothing has come easy to me in terms of golf and I've had to work hard for everything. You know, I'm certainly enjoying my best stint as a professional golfer now at 38 years of age. I feel I've always been a slow learner no matter what I I've done. Even when I got to football, it was sort of 16, 17, 18 that I became really good at football. When I was 12 and 13, I wasn't particularly good.

I've been a slow learner. I was 26 years old when I played my first year on Tour. You know, at 19 years of age, seven handicap, there's not many guys on Tour with seven handicap. They are winning majors now at 19 years of age. Things have come slowly to me.

NEC was a big tournament for me. I know I had a chance to win, it was very good until the last day, and playing so well and to finish third, it got me enough points to get well inside the Top 50 and also into this tournament basically. It was huge. It was a huge climb up the World Rankings and up the Order of Merit for me to perform so well in a serious event like that. I've had good results in majors before, but never being on the firing line the last 36 holes like I was over there.

I learned, of course, I could have won, but a lot more positives came out of it than anything else and I'll be better prepared next time I get into that situation. I did pretty decently for somebody who has not been in the real heat of winning a major championship before.

Q. What was your earliest memory of this event?

PAUL McGINLEY: Seve he chipped in on 18 against Palmer. It was a really close game. What year was that? .

NB: It was 1983.

PAUL McGINLEY: Well, he must be in his 50s at that stage. So he must have been nearly 60 years old.

Not that there's any strong memory for me. I was at the Champions Dinner last night for all of the players last night, and just looking at the back of the menu that had the list of champions, it's unbelievable. If you look through, there's not a tournament in the world, and I mean this, there's not a tournament in the world that would have the quality of champions that you've had in this tournament over the years. This is a huge, huge, huge event. The winners on it are magnificent. They really are magnificent.

End of FastScripts.

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