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August 29, 2004

Paul McGinley


THE MODERATOR: In Germany we also have word of mouth, how many years of age did you get today?

PAUL McGINLEY: I didn't want to think too much about it, but, yeah, it was a tough day. I knew it was going to be a tough day. Freddie is a real tough competitor. He's a scrapper, and they are the guys that are always tough to fight against in a situation like that.

I tried to do as best I can to jump ahead. That was my focus today, try to take it off my match against Freddie. It was obviously a very difficult thing to do and it really boiled down to quite a lot of match-play between the two of us.

Q. How proud are you of yourself, not just today, but the past ten weeks?

PAUL McGINLEY: I'm obviously very pleased. This is something I really wanted to make. Am I proud of myself? Yeah, of course I'm proud of myself. But anything I say after that will be arrogance and I certainly don't want to be arrogant.

It's been a roller coaster ride the last six weeks. I had the leash between my teeth like a dog, I didn't want to let it go and fortunately I just held on to it long enough.

Q. When did you realize the place was safe; did you have to wait till the final putt?

PAUL McGINLEY: You know, I saw Monty, I just happened to see as I was waiting for my drop there to miss a putt to go from 17 to 16. And I knew Freddie was going to have that putt to join third place. It was right up to the very end. I said at the start of the week, I wish I could have backed what I said, because I called it was going to go right down to the wire, right down to the last putt, and it virtually did.

So many players jumping to get on the team, Bernhard has got a job to make in the next two hours to pick two guys and good luck to him. Good luck to him. He has four or five guys who are so worthy of a pick, and every one of them has battled so hard. And that's why it was so important for me to make the 10 because I didn't want to add to Bernhard's problems.

From my own point of view, you know, I felt looking at the guys ahead of me that they were all just as worthy of a pick. Even though I made a dash for the line, they all made a dash in their own way and they are all deserving of a pick, too. I didn't want the opportunity to arise where I might miss the team. That's why there was so much pressure this week.

Q. How long was the shot at the 18th and how worried were you when you saw it was in the hazard?

PAUL McGINLEY: Van de Velde all over, it was never in the water hazard. It hit the stand and kicked right in the water. It was never in the water. It was but a simple chip from pin-high right. Hit the water and ricocheted and it was Van de Velde all over.

One thing I was very pleased about was my presence of mind when he was giving me my options for the drop. I looked, I mean, I had four or five different options and I had the presence of mind to pick out what my best option was of getting it up-and-down. Managed to drop it correctly so that I could get it in that position to drop it and get it up-and-down and I managed to get a good five in the end.

Q. Two-time European Ryder Cup player, what does that mean?

PAUL McGINLEY: It obviously means a lot. I had such a great experience the last time. I've said it before, everybody knows for obvious reasons, but it wasn't just because I holed the winning putt. It was the bonding affect with the players on the team. It was the bonding with the captain. It was one of those things in your life that I will always remember.

The putt was fantastic, and of course I'll always remember it for that. The big memory that comes away from me was the bonding with everybody. I'm looking forward to that again, very much so. I've said it before many times, I played a lot of football as a kid; and it's one thing I really miss about professional football is the team atmosphere, the team spirit the team meetings, everybody pulling for each other. I'm looking forward to being part of Bernhard's team.

Q. I'm sure some of my colleagues will smile at me for saying this, Paul, but three members of the 12-European team are from Ireland and -- (laughter).

PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, rub it in there. It's fantastic. We had three the last time, too, a quarter of the team made up of Paddies; you can't argue with that, can you? Graeme McDowell, a great score today, he had to win today to give himself a chance of getting in. Having gone through this week, the hell I've gone through, I said to Padraig this morning, I said, I really appreciate what you did now in '99 qualifying second to come in. I do have sympathy, to get knocked out from No. 10 to 11, boy, what those boys must have went through, given what I went through this week. Padraig's performance was unbelievable; to do what he did to go from where Graeme McDowell was basically onto the team by coming in second, it was pretty awesome.

Q. Are you even aware yet of what Ian Poulter did to get into the team?

PAUL McGINLEY: No, I have no idea what Poulter did. I have no idea, 27 shots or something?

Q. 6-under for the last eight holes.

PAUL McGINLEY: Awesome. Awesome.

Q. Talk about him as a golfer. You've probably got to know him now.

PAUL McGINLEY: I just love his attitude. I love his attitude. He's got a lot of schtick for his trousers at the British Open, and I'm an Irishman, and I have to say, they were fantastic. I love the color that he brings to the game. I think he adds so much to the appeal of golf and brings it to a wider audience, just like Tiger has brought it to a different audience; though it's not on the same scale, far from it. I think it's wonderful for the European Tour that he showed such desire to make the team. He's a great addition to that team. He won't be afraid of anybody.

As I said before, I feel I played much better in that campaign to qualify for that. As you can see, the guys who are going to miss out on this team, it's been a hell of an effort from everybody. Everybody has played fantastically well to make the team and Ian Poulter is certainly one of them.

Q. You said earlier in the year this was going to be one of the strongest European teams of all time. Do you still believe that?

PAUL McGINLEY: Well, yeah, as I said, I wish I would have backed what I said. I keep saying -- I've nearly called it right all the time in this Ryder Cup. I knew, I had two second places, by March, April, just after I had the operation on my knee. I was looking at the list and I was about 15, 16 on the list and I had two second places already. I was thinking, Jesus Christ, these guys have played so well and I have two second places and the 16 guys have done better than me with that. Right from there, I knew it was going to be a hell of a tough team to make.

Q. Do you think if you had missed out on the team 100% that Langer may have made you a pick or not?

PAUL McGINLEY: Absolutely not. Bernhard has such a hell of a touch choice to make. I just wish him luck. I'm certainly not going to say who I think he should pick because I'm part of team now and I certainly don't want to undermine what the captain may do in the future.

I obviously have my views but I'm not going to make any of them public. I'm just going to wish Bernhard the best. I'm part of the team, and the last thing I want to do is disrupt anything he may do in the next two hours, because I know that's going to be your next question.

Q. Why "absolutely not"?

PAUL McGINLEY: Why absolutely not? What do you mean absolutely not? That I wasn't going to get a pick? I don't know, it wasn't absolutely not that I wasn't going to get a pick. It was absolutely not that I didn't want to open the door to put myself in that mold. There are four or five players that are all deserving, equally as deserving as far as I'm concerned as what I was.

I didn't want to put myself in that mix because it's a hell of a tough choice for Bernhard to make. I've made a dash for the line, but on the other hand I've played more tournaments than anybody else. I've played nine, 10, 11 in a row, something like that. I think that would have taken away from me. The quality there, in all of the tournaments there that I played, that might have hurt me in Bernhard's eyes, I don't know.

But, look, I've made it. I'm absolutely thrilled to have made it and I'm looking forward to three weeks' time.

Q. Where are you playing from now, what's your schedule?

PAUL McGINLEY: I really don't know. I haven't decided. My whole life has been on hold basically, everything, family life, everything for the last ten weeks. Is it ten I've played in a row, yeah? My last ten weeks, one thing I do know, I'm going to take Ali and the kids to Ireland next week. I have a company day Tuesday and a company day on Thursday and I'm going to spend the weekend in Ireland. I'm looking forward to that. Anything after that, I don't know. Looking forward to maybe seeing a Celtic game and West Ham game, if I can fit it in.

I'm going to sit down and have a chat with Chubby tomorrow. He's pushed me well with my schedule, he's pushed me to play all of the events, and it's been proved right. Holland was the one that I questioned about having a week off, and when I got there, I realized, absolutely right, 100%. There's no other place I should be that in Holland, and fortunately I came in second. I was running out of time at that stage. It wasn't a big decision in the end, but I guess a question of sitting down now and seeing what's happening. And wish Bernhard the best of luck with his two picks.

Q. You don't know about the German Masters?

PAUL McGINLEY: I don't know about the German Masters. I'm definitely not playing this week, that's for sure.

THE MODERATOR: Paul, congratulations, and for sure good luck for Detroit. Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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