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March 6, 2004

Paul McGinley


GORDON SIMPSON: Well, Paul, very close at the last green there. You end up level, nice pitch in.

PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, you know, if I had not have chipped in I made a mistake my second. I hit a really good tee shot and I hit it in the semi rough and it's sitting right down in a hole, almost like a pitchmark.

I decided, let's take 6 out of play and try to make a 4 the other way. Then I made my mistake of laying up too close to the water. I left myself a little flick of a sand wedge across the water, which you don't want to do. You want to have something you can compress over the water and hit a full shot. That's why I hit it just a little long. The greens were still firm.

The golf course completely changed today than it has been the first two days. Somebody said the best score was 68 and I can see why. I seem to be hitting away from pins all day long because I knew where the trouble was with the pins and when you seem to be hitting away you are downwind, downhill, downgrain into a lot of these putts. The golf course played extremely difficult. I thought I had to play smart golf to get around for.

The hardness of the greens it didn't really blow that much today. If we get some wind tomorrow along with how firm the course is now, it's going to be anybody could win from seven, eight, nine shots behind. It's really that difficult.

GORDON SIMPSON: Well, Derksen shot 65 last year to win.

PAUL McGINLEY: So, well it will be interesting to see. Nobody is out of the equation yet with the golf course the play it's playing. It's really playing like a major now. They firmed the greens up so much more today they are 13 or 14 on the Stimp today compared to 10 or 11 the first two days. It's a real challenge.

Q. Do you remember the last time you shared the lead? Mark cannot remember the last time he shared the lead going into the last round.

PAUL McGINLEY: I can't remember. I came in second the Lancome last year. I was three off the lead until the last.

GORDON SIMPSON: Where were you when you won at Celtic Manor?

PAUL McGINLEY: Well, I was in the lead in the playoff.

GORDON SIMPSON: That's true.

PAUL McGINLEY: The way it look worked out. (Laughter.) I don't know.

Q. You're enjoying it, obviously.

PAUL McGINLEY: Well, if you don't enjoy a big atmosphere like this, one of the biggest golf tournaments in the world, the best player in the world is here, No. 3 in the world here, all of our top players from Europe are here, great atmosphere, big crowd, great golf course, and you're playing well and you're in contention and you're leading, if you don't enjoy that, you're in the wrong business.

Q. Can you put your finger why you're in this position, playing well this week?

PAUL McGINLEY: Well, if I could, I would bottle it and sell it to everybody and make billions. There's nothing, really. I got on a birdie run yesterday. As I said, the rolled for me yesterday and when the ball rolls for you in golf, you can shoot low numbers and I did that yesterday.

Today, it was a case of hanging in there and playing the course properly and not getting myself in too much trouble and just trying to grind out a really good score and I feel I did that.

Q. Has his teaching helped inaudible?

PAUL McGINLEY: No question of, I have been with Bob before I left and went back to ball. I think he's the best coach in the world. He's helped me and I'm very happy with the work that I've done with him, not only is he a great coach but a great person and I really enjoy spending time with him. Yeah, there's no question I did have a period there for six, eight months where I played the worst golf in my career. That made me make a decision to go back to Bob. I'm very happy with what we're doing.

Q. What kind of schedule do you follow?

PAUL McGINLEY: I do but I base it around 30 games. (Laughter.) I went to all of the home games in the Champions League in the winter. What I do is I get the first flight in the morning from half 6 and fly up, spend the day with Bob, when it gets dark at five, half five, I head to Buckhead (ph) and that's what I do. Any time I'm home, I try to not feel too guilty of going away by not mixing it in with Bob.

Q. You did get yourself in trouble once and popped it in the water?

PAUL McGINLEY: I did on the second. You know, probably a little bit of experience coming in where I hit a bad 5 wood on the second hole in the water, I hit a bad 5 wood on the third hole into the bunker, I hit a bad 5 wood on the 10th hole into the bunker and on the 13th I hit it down the middle of the fairway and a 5 wood shot and I got trouble left and I've got water right. A couple of years ago, I certainly would have taken on the shot and maybe take 6 or 7, but today I didn't feel comfortable with that because I hit three bad shots already. So I laid up. Again, I made the mistake of laying up ten yards too far. Ball was bouncing quite hard on those fairways and I made that mistake twice when I was laying off the divot on 13 and 18, laying up too close.

I'm going to go hit some balls now with a 5 wood because it's a very important club around here and I didn't play with well today.

Q. Your recovery inaudible?

PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, I hit a really good third shot out of the semi rough. I got lot of height and spine spin on it to get it from 50 feet was good from that angle and it was great to hole the putt.

Q. You played down the importance of the chip at the end there but Mark was saying that shots win tournaments, surely that must be a nice thought for you to take into the last day?

PAUL McGINLEY: No question. It's obviously nice to chip in. Obviously it was such a quick chip down the hill there, it was a case of getting the ball started and letting it feed down to the hole and make sure I don't take 6. Fortunately hit a great chip and it went in.

Those things happen. But Mark hit the pin on the 13th when he was going 40 feet past the pin and birdies the next two holes. Those things happen, as well, when you win tournaments.

Nobody is ruled out of the equation. It's not just me and Mark. Anybody from six, seven, eight shots back can win if the wind blows because the course is playing that difficult.

End of FastScripts.

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