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May 20, 2005

Paul McGinley


GORDON SIMPSON: Paul, pretty interesting adventure you had out there today with a 7 on your card and 7 birdies.

PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, obviously I'm pleased to shoot under 70 is a really good effort around here no matter what the conditions. You know, the 7 I took, I lost a ball. What are the chances of losing a ball in Ireland? But I did. I managed to lose a ball on the par 5. It wasn't spotted. The rough is very wet and extremely penal. I wasn't that far off the fairway, but it wasn't spotted by the marshals. And in wet rough the ball goes in and it buries in the rough. It doesn't sort of bounce out; it just weaves its way in and the grass covers it. So it's very easy to lose a ball, and that's what happened.

GORDON SIMPSON: But you maintained your composure from that 7 and came back very strongly. You were on a good roll at the time.

PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, I did. I felt I played well. I missed a few putts around the turn, but I holed a few as well, too.

As I say, overall, it's a golf course you've got to be so patient on because it really can get to you. You know, the conditions can get to you as well, too. I would not say I remained definitely patient but reasonably patient.

Q. What about the course?

PAUL McGINLEY: Well, you know, I think this golf course makes you get back in the present very quickly, you know, because the course is so difficult and so penal, if you hit a bad shot that if you don't have your wits about you, you can easily lose it.

You know, I heard some of the guys saying yesterday, they shot 75, 76 and played quite well. I can easily see that. You can easily play pretty good out there and shoot 75. I think the fact that, also the fact that even though I had a double bogey, I was still 1 under par for the day, and anything under par is a real good score; that, with the combination of knowing that I have to stay present on this golf course and be with every shot.

Q. Is it easier to stay focused on this course?

PAUL McGINLEY: No, I would not call it easy, but it's something that you've got to do. If you're going to contend, you've got to be extremely patient and stay one shot at a time, because you can't get ahead of yourself on this off course. Other courses, you can go ahead, I've got a good finish, a couple par 5s on in two, and the pins I can go at them because the greens are soft. You can't with this. There's potential for disaster on every hole out there.

Q. Is this the most difficult on Tour?

PAUL McGINLEY: It's right up there. I can't think offhand if it's the most difficult but it's extremely difficult. It's right up there. I think Carnoustie in '99 was the most difficult.

Q. On the regular Tour?

PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, on the Tour, I can't think offhand. I'd have to sit and think about that. But I can't think of one at the moment. But there probably is somewhere along the line.

Q. Do you enjoy a challenge like this

PAUL McGINLEY: I mean, I can't speak for my colleagues. I can certainly speak for myself and I like a ball striker's course. I think Monty's nearly got it right here. I don't think he has got it right, but I think he's nearly got it right. He's on the right lines.

In my view, technology has gone too far and we play too many golf courses which are the setup, the shots required are a little bit one dimensional and what Monty has tried to achieve here is more than one dimensional golf. You've got to shape the ball, you've got to work the ball and you've got to think.

And he's on the right lines. I don't think he's quite achieved what he set out to do. I mean, I can't speak for Monty, but I think he's on the right lines. Big hitting is still getting rewarded out there. It's not something that should be taken away. It's a very important part of the way, but it should be risk reward more so than just pure reward. And a lot of times we play bunkers that are 280 carry off the tee, which 90 percent of the field can't carry, but ten percent can. And, you know, now those bunkers are not in play for those. So how is that fair? They should be it hitting into the same areas that we are hitting into.

The risk reward, and that's my view on golf in general, it's not just this week. And I commend Monty for going down that route because he think that should be the future of the game, not what they have done at St. Andrews which is just keep putting length on. I'm very disappointed with that. I think the powers that be have got to realize, hey, it's bring the skill back into this, let's put the pin positions and little swales on the edge of the slopes. Let's bring the thinking man into it and let's bring the shot making into it again instead of just pure, brute strength. We have a lot of that, I have to say.

Q. Where has he failed?

PAUL McGINLEY: I don't want to be critical of the golf course. That's the first thing I don't want to do.

Q. In general?

PAUL McGINLEY: In general, some of the shaping is not quite right. The ball goes off the greens too many times for a windswept golf course. That's my general, but again, I'm not going to educate Monty too much. It's his baby, and let him decide what he's going to do from here. But I have some good views on the golf course, yeah, but I don't want to make them public because it's not my position to be. It's Monty's course, and I'm certainly not going to be critical of somebody else's work.

Q. Has technology gone too far?

PAUL McGINLEY: Oh, I don't know if technology has gone too far, but I think the course setups have gone too far. Technology is fine. Technology is not a problem. The biggest hitters in the world should get rewarded, don't get me wrong, but let's bring the shot making back into it again. Let's bring the guy who thinks clever back into it again. A lot of the time, that's not the fact.

Q. Is this similar to how you were playing at the beginning of last year?

PAUL McGINLEY: I'd like to think so, but I feel like I played the best golf of my career the five or six months of the year. I've played eight or nine events. I played the small events in Asia by choice. Some of the bigger ones I could have played in America with my Ryder Cup status, by I feel like I've got to win again. It's a while since I've won, and I hope to have a win by now. I nearly did it but didn't quite do it. I need to get back in the winner's circle as soon as possible.

Q. What would a win here mean?

PAUL McGINLEY: I've love to have the opportunity, I've love the opportunity coming down the last three or four holes and be in contention in the Irish Open. I've love it. A situation like that, sometimes you win, sometimes you don't. Sometimes you can play good golf and lose. That's just the way it is. But the main thing is to be there, to be in with a shout, and that's the intention, to be there.

Q. Could you compare playing in your home country to a team or for your country?

PAUL McGINLEY: I don't think you can compare. I don't think you can compare at all. I mean, it's not comparing. I mean, when you're playing for a team and you're playing for your country and you're playing for your continent, that's a different kind of feeling than actually playing for yourself, albeit it is in Ireland. You're not comparing apples with apples.

Q. Inaudible

PAUL McGINLEY: I'm in Ireland; the English and Spaniards are not on my side this week.

Q. When was the last time you lost a ball?

PAUL McGINLEY: I lost a ball last year in the British Open, and before that I can't remember.

Q. Have you lost a ball in Ireland before?

PAUL McGINLEY: No. That's what's ironic. Keeping me one shot off the lead. As I say, it was a left to right wind, it was laying up in the right side of the fairway. I was about five yards into the grass. But what happens is because the grass is wet, that fescue grass is wet, I mean, the ball goes in and it's like digging a tunnel that goes in and spins and then the grass covers it over. So it's very easy to lose a ball.

Q. What would you estimate your gallery today?

PAUL McGINLEY: A hundred people maybe. It was early in the morning. So, there wasn't a huge amount of people there, yeah.

Q. Inaudible

PAUL McGINLEY: No, well, we do. We have a good love for it, but as I say it's difficult to find. I don't want to get into it I was, yeah. The marshals were standing because the marshals, the reason I was critical of them was they showed me the wrong bush. The TV pictures showed me later they were pointing in me in the wrong bush.

Q. What are the benefits from working with a sports psychologist

PAUL McGINLEY: What are the benefits? Peace of mind. What I like to do is, I'm doing some work with Jos (Vanstiphout) at the moment and I haven't done anything all year. I go in spells where I work with Jos and I go away and do my thing and I go back with him again and it's on and off. What have I learned, basically, I like to pick his brain, pick his brain, particularly about what he's working with Ernie. Ernie is playing magnificent golf; won four times this year. Thomas Bjorn won the tournament last week. It's just not coincidence that he has got so many wins; that these guys have had so many wins. I'd just like to make sure that I'm abreast of all what's going on in the game at the moment or if there's something I'm missing. It's just keeping my ears to the ground, basically, really and keeping me focused.

I've always worked well when I've worked with Jos, I've always played well. He's a guy that we work for spells and then we take a break, and then we work again and I think that will always be the case.

Q. Are you abreast of what�s going on with Ernie now?

PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, I mean, Ernie Ernie is, I mean to, have won four times this year, these guys pick off wins, and Vijay the same, like it's the easiest thing in the world. It's just a high level of expectation, really. That's the thing that Ernie has got more so than ever. He's got a Rolls Royce of the game, there's no doubt about that, and that's a huge asset. His expectations are extremely high.

Q. If he has a Rolls Royce, what do you have?

PAUL McGINLEY: Bentley BMW Nissan, BMW (laughter).

GORDON SIMPSON: Let's get the details of your card.

PAUL McGINLEY: I started out, 13 is a drivable par 4. I hit it in the bunker pin high right and came out to first birdie was the par 3, 12. I hit a 5 iron to about six feet.

Next one I drove it nearly pin high, came out to six feet again.

Next one I hit a drive and a 9 iron to about 15 feet.

Then I lost the ball.

17, I hit it in the bunker, came out to four feet, missed it.

1, I hit a drive and a 5 iron on the green, 3 putted.

2, I hit a wedge to 12 feet.

4, I hit it on the green, driver big wood 3 wood big second shot, 232, hit it onto 40 feet, two putts.

Then the chip in was from the back fringe. That's the difficulty of this golf course. I pitched a foot from the hole and rolled off the back of the green and chipped in.

Next one I played in a squally shower, I hit driver, 6 iron to about 25 feet.

Q. What do you feel you have to do to be playing the best golf of your career?

PAUL McGINLEY: I've just got to get up that extra level, just a little bit more patience, a little bit more focus, switched on for my shots, as opposed to, you know, getting in a comfort zone and just playing. You've got to really, really focus and be with every single shots. The standards are so high now days. If you fall asleep for five or six holes, 1 or 2 over you're going to fall down the field. The scoring was particularly good yesterday on this golf course. The cut was 1 over par yesterday. That's a pretty high standard.

Q. Do you fall asleep on the course?

PAUL McGINLEY: I tend to switch off and start daydreaming.


PAUL McGINLEY: I've been watching them all season, I have season tickets to go there any time I'm home. I'm going to go to the finals, it's the day after the PGA, Celtics look like they are winning this week, too. So actually it could be. My two teams, I could be cheering them, it will be very nice.

GORDON SIMPSON: Well played, Paul. Thanks again.

End of FastScripts.

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