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February 20, 2002

Paul McGinley


SCOTT CROCKETT: Paul, thanks for coming in, and well played. You had seven birdies in the round. All in all a pretty good day's work for you.

PAUL MCGINLEY: You say six birdies, I say seven. I birdied 2, birdied 5, birdied 6, birdied 8, birdied 9, birdied 12, birdied 13 -- how many is that? Seven. And one bogey. I bogeyed 10.

So, I'm obviously very pleased to have won, and won comfortable. I haven't been playing particularly well, obviously, so early in the season. I didn't play particularly great today, but I managed my game really well. Hit a lot of shots close, but managing it. Not hitting the shots I wanted to hit, but by hitting the shots that my swing was allowing me.

And I putted nicely. There's a little story behind the putter. I've been using a Ping putter for a year now, with obviously a lot of success, but it's a very, very light putter. The putter, guys on the Tour, tell me it's the lightest putter anybody uses on TOUR; and it's great, and on fast greens, there's not much on it and it's very light.

So, I putted here on Monday in practice and didn't putt very well. I woke up the next morning and the thing that was in my head was a mallet putter; I need to get a mallet putter. So obviously, my subconscious was working during the night.

So I went to the new putters and sure enough there was one made up with my length, 33 inches, had five degrees of loft on it which you need for these greens, and it was really heavy.

So, I took it out and hit it in practice yesterday and used it today. I was a bit apprehensive because I have not changed putters for a year, but I putted beautifully, so it was kind of a funny story.

Q. Was it the putter you saw in your dreams? Did you recognize it the moment you saw?

PAUL MCGINLEY: I just woke up with a mallet putter in my head. Big heavy mallet putter was what my unconscious was telling me. So, if I can do something with my golf swing I'll be really happy.

Q. Have you used that kind before?

PAUL MCGINLEY: I have used one, about two years ago, yeah. This is a new one that TaylorMade had just developed, the Rossi. I walked out there and in the bag -- none of them are made up because the shafts are so long so they cut them to the player's length. But there was one sitting there, my length, so I picked it up and said,"that feels nice." It's the heaviest putter I have ever used and obviously I putted beautifully today.

So, thank you subconscious.

Q. It looks like Duval.

PAUL MCGINLEY: To be quite honest, this is not a story, but to be quite honest, it doesn't matter who you play at this level. Anybody can shoot any score. I was 6-under par today. I probably would have won most games. Some guys, wouldn't, I'm sure, playing 1- or 2-over par. At this level, everybody plays so well. It's just on the day who you play and how you play and how they play. It really doesn't matter. A lot of reputation and form goes out the window, as you saw today with some of the guys who got beaten.

Q. Is it an extra, playing the Open Champion?

PAUL MCGINLEY: Of course. He's obviously going to be facing me in the Ryder Cup in September which I'm conscious of, too. So I'm keen to get a run on this. And also, I think this tournament and the Seve Trophy are going to work in our favor in terms of getting some match-play experience under our belt before the Ryder Cup. Guys like me, Phillip Price, Niclas Fasth -- and I don't know if Phillip Price won today, how is he playing?

Q. He lost.

PAUL MCGINLEY: But it's good experience for us to be playing in this and playing the Seve Trophy again with the Ryder Cup in mind. If we had played last year we would not have that experience. It could work to our advantage, and I'm conscious of that.

Q. How is your confidence?

PAUL MCGINLEY: Not great. I played in L.A. last week. Made the cut but finished down, with two 71s and a 76 in one round, which hurt me. I didn't play particularly well. So, confidence was not great coming in here.

But, this is where my game has come on from where it was two years ago. I can play without my swing being exactly where it should be and I can still play well. I did that today. My course management was really good. My management of my swing and management of my game was very good, and that's how I managed to shoot the scores I did. I think I only missed one green in regulation -- no, two greens in regulation, and they were not by far.

So, yeah, as I say, I'm pleased to have won and won so comfortably. And shot the score I did, obviously. At the end of day, this game is all about scoring. It's how your short game is and how you score and where your bad shots or, and if you can get up-and-down on a bad shot and make par.

Q. Any talk about his success from last year?

PAUL MCGINLEY: Well, it came into the conversation when he told me he bought a new house or he was just taking three weeks off and moving into a new house. I said obviously that "was from the money you won last year." But I see he leads greens in regulation over here, and I knew that. I knew I would have to play really well to beat him. If you lead greens in regulation on the American tour, you are a very good ball striker, which he was.

I was pleased to get up on him and when I got up on him, I kept making birdies to go 2-up, 3-up, 4-up and eventually 5-up.

But as I say, there's no bad players in this field. You're not going to -- you have to be very, very lucky to play pretty and win. That's the standard we are at.

Q. Have you played the Wentworth?


Q. Your last match-play experience?

PAUL MCGINLEY: This tournament last year in Australia. Gary Orr beat me in the first round.

Before that, the Irish Match-Play that was about five years ago where I was beaten in the final by Des Smyth. So there's not been a lot. But as an amateur, obviously I played a lot of it. So I'm quite comfortable with match-play from my amateur days.

End of FastScripts....

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