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March 7, 2004

Paul McGinley


MICHAEL GIBBONS: Well, a good week, but a bit disappointing?

PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, obviously there's disappointment not to have won. We're in the game to win and the difference winning and coming in second are huge.

Having said that, I didn't lose the tournament. Mark won it. He played awesome. He played awesome. The first two days he played his lights out and the weekend I thought he hit the ball really well.

So, good luck to him. All credit to him. He has not been in contention for six years, has not won a tournament since he won Masters in '98, the British Open; was that the last time he won? Good luck to him. To be as tough as he was for the last two days, to be as tough as he was, and not having been in a really tight competitive situation recently, you've got to hand it to him. I can see why he's so successful through out his career. He obviously putts well. I can see now why he's so successful. I just came up a fraction short.

I enjoyed it. It's fun to play golf when you're playing well. It's fun to play well when you're in big tournaments and it's fun to play when you're first and second in a tournament. It's been a really good week. I've enjoyed it. Just disappointment not to have won obviously. We are all competitive people, but as I say, I don't feel I lost the tournament. Mark won it and good luck to him.

MICHAEL GIBBONS: Good World Ranking points for you.

PAUL McGINLEY: Yes, I see all that.

Q. What do you take out of a weekend when you're back in contention? I know Lancome last year was the last time you were really in contention in a big tournament; what do you take from this?

PAUL McGINLEY: I take out of the tournament that I'm still competitive. I gave it my best shot. Just Mark played awesome. He outplayed me. He outplayed me by one shot. I can't take anything away from him. As I say, I didn't lose the tournament. The golf course, again, was set up difficult. 17 and 18 where they put the pins on 17 and 18, gave anybody two shots behind and virtually no chance, was a really tight pin. He hit two unbelievable shot to get as close as he did. And 18, I impossible, if you're trying to make 3 and catch somebody, you've got to do what I did and hole a 50 footer.

I don't feel like I lost the tournament. It was tough, competitive golf. I feel like I've been in a boxing match. It's been a mentally tough week because I've been leading the tournament since halfway through the second round and it's been tough but enjoyable. Hopefully I can get back in contention again soon and keep getting those big World Ranking points and big finishes and obviously winning.

Q. Would it be fair to say that it began to turn around 9 and 10, when you wind up in the water, and 10 when you had that putt for the birdie?

PAUL McGINLEY: Well, you know, 9 to me is the most difficult hole on the golf course. Unfortunately it was my honor on the tee and the wind was slightly different today. In hindsight, I would have hit driver off the tee. It's surrounded with trees on the tee box. I couldn't feel the wind behind me. I felt it more across. It should have been behind me but I felt it more across. So I ended up hitting 3 wood. And in hindsight, I probably would have hit driver.

I didn't have a great lie and the wind is coming off the right for my second shot. I've got a bad lie, I've got hospitality on right and trying to draw it off the hospitality. It's one of those shots, one of those shots, another yard and it's on the back of the green but it didn't happen. No, I don't think I lost it there.

You could say maybe 16, I hit it left but ended up behind a tree, I had a very good lie, but to end up stone dead behind a tree was disappointing.

I don't feel like I last lost the tournament. I feel Mark won it. He hit every green in regulation on the back nine. He never seemed to give me an inch. Anything I had to do, I had to work hard to get. He played like a guy who has been winning tournaments every day of his life. He really just didn't give me an inch.

Q. What do you think of the Saw putting stroke?

PAUL McGINLEY: Well, he putted obviously lights out. There's no question about that. I putted very well, too, but you have to be to contend in a tournament. He knocked in his 2 and 3 footers which he said have been troubling him the last few years.

As I say, good luck to Mark. I can't take anything away from him. He won the tournament. He got his nose in front and didn't give an inch. That's what really good, tough players do. I felt I was always a bit behind today. He got off to a fast start. I was just that little bit behind. I did well not to force the issue. It's very easy to do and I've done it in the past, forcing the issue from that position and ending up finishing three and four behind, and I was able to hang in there when things were going good for him.

Anyway, it just didn't work out.

Q. The result of the rubgy match last night, did you begin to feel this could be Ireland's weekend?

PAUL McGINLEY: No question. I watched the match very passionately last night. I watched every minute of it. There's no question, these things happen. But it wasn't to be. It wasn't to be.

End of FastScripts.

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