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March 5, 2004

Paul McGinley


GORDON SIMPSON: Fantastic day's golf for you today, 13 birdies, I see, in your last 22 holes. What got things moving for you?

PAUL McGINLEY: Well, if I knew the secret, I would probably use it every week. It's hard to say.

It's a funny game. You know, I thought I played really well the week in Malaysia last week and what did I shoot, 1 under par maybe; and thought I played the same today, but instead of my 9 iron finishing 15 feet behind the pin, it was finishing a foot away today. Just things worked out for me today. I hit a lot of good iron shots but my good shots seemed to finish a foot or two foot away, as opposed 15 foot, 20 feet and still have work to do.

If you get one or two birdies, you tee it off, you get a bit more confident and I was able to take advantage of the par 5s and all in all it was a really good day.

GORDON SIMPSON: You must have been flying through to finish so well.

PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, it was the quality of my birdies that really pleased me. You can make birdies and then you can make birdies. My birdies were good birdies. They were three feet, four feet, good control with the iron shots, and no wind of course this morning which made it a bit easier.

But all in all, what can I say? It's been a great day. I've really enjoyed playing with Mark, obviously, and it's a good story with Mark shooting a lot of birdies, too. We certainly fed off each other, no question about that.

Q. The transformation even just from last night, you seemed a little bit frustrated yourself coming off the course?

PAUL McGINLEY: Well, I wasn't to be quite honest. I felt played quite well yesterday. I was 1 over par but I dropped three silly shots and hit a lot of quality shots. I was quite trippy when I went back to the room last night, I felt I hit the ball really well, it was a matter of time before I shot a good score. I said to J.P., my caddie, last night, I feel just a little bit of confidence away from playing really well.

When I went out this morning and hit a 4 iron on the green from when where I was on the 12th fairway, then I hit a driver and 5 wood on next and I was off. As I say, I was just a little bit confident way. I didn't feel I played badly yesterday for 1 under par.

Q. Lots of chat between you and Mark as well; you say you fed off each other?

PAUL McGINLEY: The last month or so we spent a lot of time together. We played in Pebble Beach together. He played with Jay McManus (ph) and we had dinner every night and played some practice rounds. Didn't actually play with him , just walked a couple of practice rounds with him. Got to know him a bit more than I had known him before. He's a really nice guy as everyone knows. I certainly was glad when I saw in the draw that I playing with them. It's experience, too around the clubs so many times, won major championships, seeing Tiger develop over the years, he's got a wealth of knowledge. I'd like to pick his brain.

Q. Anything in particular?

PAUL McGINLEY: Nothing this particular, general golf. If he was doing it all over again, he's a young guy, young kid who looks like a bit of talent, what kind of things is he encouraging, having all of that experience of what he has, things like that.

Q. Do you know what the most previous birdies in a row you've had?

PAUL McGINLEY: I have no idea but certainly not eight. To answer your question, no, I don't think it should be counted it was only half an hour break between the two you could say it was an extended nine holes but to be quite honest, it's two different rounds.

Just as I say, things rolled for me. I made birdie and 11, the par 3, and I stand up on the next and I hit a 4 iron all over the stick and finish a foot away from the hole. Other days, you're 20 feet short even though you're on line or it's 10 feet past, you have a tricky putt. Today it was finishing a foot away. As I said, the ball rolled to me. A lot of my birdies were kick ins, they were so close. Just a really enjoyable day when the ball goes to you like that.

I feel I played the weekend in Malaysia similar to how I played today and yet nothing was going right. I shot level par or whatever I shot.

Q. Since The Belfry, everybody looks at looks at results. How would you sum up things?

PAUL McGINLEY: How do I sum up things personally, myself? I'm very disappointed with my World Ranking position which is outside the Top 100 now. Might be outside the Top 150. I don't know what it is. I don't even look. I don't feel finishing 30th in the Order of Merit, I don't feel I'm 150th player in the word. I don't feel I've played that badly in the last year and a half. I haven't had many big finishes. Had a second or a third last year. But it's amazing how you can slowly fall down the World Rankings without playing that badly. And I feel I played average, I haven't played my best certainly and I certainly haven't played my worst.

The World Rankings, you have to perform well in the big tournaments, and this is a big tournament because it has huge World Ranking points with Tiger and Ernie playing. That's been a big disappointment.

On the other hand, the reaction of people has been tremendous. People are still wanting to talk about the Ryder Cup and come up to me often, and certainly increased my profile a thousand times from what I had before. I dearly would like to have an opportunity to play the Ryder Cup again.

Q. When you do have two of the three best players in the world here, what effect does that have on the field?

PAUL McGINLEY: Oh, I think what it certainly does is it adds atmosphere to the tournament. Whether that makes some people play better or some people play worse I do think this tournament always has a great atmosphere anyway and when Tiger comes it's even better. Obviously Ernie brings a lot, too.

The weather is good. When the weather is good, too, the atmosphere is always a little bit more intense and the reaction with the crowd, that kind of thing, big crowds around the greens, fans around the greens, I certainly like it. I certainly enjoy it when things go like today.

End of FastScripts.

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