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February 11, 2015
PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA
THE MODERATOR:Â We would like to welcome Paul McGinley to the interview room.Â Making your seventh start here at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro‑Am.Â And first start on the PGA TOUR since playing here last year.Â So with that, just a few opening comments on being back here at Pebble Beach.
PAUL MCGINLEY:Â Yeah, well, look, it's no secret I'm 48 years of age now, I'm in the twilight of my career, still enjoy playing, competing.Â I play ‑‑ I'm fully exempt on the European Tour still, and I probably play 15 events this year over there.Â I'll play‑‑ this is my only event in the States.
I'm looking forward to playing.Â It's one of my favorite tournaments of the year, Pebble Beach, big Irish contingent here.Â And we always have a good fun just‑‑ not just on the courses, but off it as well, too.Â With the weather as spectacular as it's forecast to be this week I think it's going to be a great week.
THE MODERATOR:Â Questions?
Q.Â I'm curious to see, just kind of mentally, if you are thrown off at all over what happened yesterday at the Cliffs?
PAUL MCGINLEY:Â Yeah, well it was in the, the Cliff House in San Francisco.Â One o'clock in the afternoon, just got off the flight, wanted some fresh air, having been on an airplane for so long.Â Friend of mine, a Catholic priest, met me at the airport, married actually me and Ali and christened all our kids and good friend of the family.Â And he says come on, we'll walk the beach and get some fresh air.Â He said there's a lovely restaurant called the Cliff House, we'll go have and lunch there after.
We parked there just outside the Cliff House and busy street.Â Lovely part of town, one o'clock in the afternoon, walked the beach, and came back and back window was smashed in and stuff taken.
Now, the problem was I had a SUV, my clubs wouldn't fit in the trunk, so they were sitting in the back seat.Â The rest of the tough stuff was all hidden but once they saw the golf clubs.Â The policeman came and who, Irish American policeman, and he was very nice and he said, the fact that the rental car I had was an out of state car, it was a Nevada car, and that kind of brings attention.
And then when they would have seen the clubs in the back seat, too.Â But wouldn't think 1 o'clock in the afternoon and in a beautiful, busy street in a busy car park, too.Â But I guess it happens all over the world, it's not just in San Francisco.
But it's disappointing, obviously, and my clubs are gone.Â I'm not a big changer of clubs, so changing equipment is ‑‑ even though I'm with the same brand of TaylorMade, it's still a challenge for me.Â So that's what I spent all day yesterday, was trying to get used ‑‑ the irons were okay but the woods I'm using were slightly different so we're working on the lofts and all those things.Â So I'll do more work and play nine holes hopefully.Â So not ideal preparation, we'll make the most it have.
Q.Â What else did you lose beside the clubs?
PAUL MCGINLEY:Â Well, this priest that I talked about, I was doing a function for him on Monday night in San Francisco for his diocese.Â We're trying to raise some funds for him so I had a number of Ryder Cup memorabilia with me for him that we were going to auction.Â Signed gala dinner menu by both teams.Â Signed photographs, things like that.Â So they were obviously stolen.Â All my passport, travel documents and iPad, computer, that kind of stuff.
Q.Â You know, as a side Fergie had the same thing happen at Wentworth.
PAUL MCGINLEY:Â Who did?
PAUL MCGINLEY:Â Did he?
Q.Â At Wentworth.Â Clubs, computer, passport.
PAUL MCGINLEY:Â Really.
Q.Â So it‑‑
PAUL MCGINLEY:Â So now we're square now, is that what you're saying?
Q.Â If Fergie can win us the Ryder Cup, we would be square.
PAUL MCGINLEY:Â Yeah, I mean I was only an hour and a half in the country.Â But, look, as I say, it can happen anywhere in the world.Â It's one of those things.
And 1 o'clock in the afternoon, normally I'm quite good and I'm aware of that, but 1 o'clock in the afternoon and the fact that the clubs wouldn't fit in the trunk, they were just sitting in the back seat, but the car was alarmed it was locked, everything was fine, but didn't stop them anyway.Â Brazen nowadays, aren't they.Â Just in the middle of a busy street.
Q.Â No luck getting anything back?
PAUL MCGINLEY:Â No, no, we have been trying.Â But no, it's unlikely now at this stage I would say.Â It's the personal things probably more so than the golf clubs, to be honest.Â Those signed items from the Ryder Cup were very special, and I was keeping them for special charities.Â And one of them was, as I say this friend of mine Brendan, who is a priest and does great job for Irish immigration in San Francisco.
Q.Â Can you give us more information on the diocese or the church or whatever it might be that he's involved with and his name?
PAUL MCGINLEY:Â Irish Pastoral Center is what it's called.Â His name is Brendan, Fr. Brendan McBride.Â He married me and Ali, christened all my kids.
He went to school with my dad and has been a great friend of the family for as long as I can remember.Â And he's been living out here now about 20 years.Â Good golfer too.Â He's coming down this week.
Q.Â Usually from an equipment standpoint, obviously, TaylorMade in Europe has all your specs and everything that's involved.Â Sometimes the equipment isn't necessarily the same over there as it is over here.Â So now you're coming over here.Â Are you being able to replicate completely or are you having to make adjustments on stuff they don't have here?
PAUL MCGINLEY:Â No, they have the stuff here.Â I tell you, the problem is the irons are great, no problem.Â The putter obviously no problem.Â The wedges no problem.Â I haven't changed into the new driver yet.Â I was in the process of doing that, so now it's forced mow to change into it.
And secondly, the rescue irons that I use the 2, 3, 4 rescue; they're the older model that I was using, so they don't stock those anymore, so they only have the new model.Â So obviously slightly different.
So just ‑‑ it's betting in the yardages as well, too.Â So I was on the Trackman for quite awhile yesterday getting the yardage's right and then the adjustment of the heavy sea air here, too which makes things complicated.Â But it's all right, we'll get there.
Q.Â Does this change your expectations for this week now?
PAUL MCGINLEY:Â Yeah, it does.Â Obviously it makes it difficult.Â My preparation for the tournament's been very poor in terms of I haven't played any holes yet.Â I've spent all my time there running around trying to get equipment.Â It's not just the clubs, obviously my range finder, all my notes, my golf notes that I've been taking and working on my golf swing and stuff like that.Â Golf shoes, gloves, all the stuff that you would normally have.
But, look, it's all right.Â I'll deal with it.Â It's not ideal preparation, but doesn't stop me from enjoying this week and hopefully playing well.
Q.Â Have you ever had that happen?
PAUL MCGINLEY:Â No, no.Â First time it's ever happened.
Q.Â Was the meal worth it?
PAUL MCGINLEY:Â Well, it was it was a very nice lunch all right, yeah.Â But we noticed it before lunch, actually.Â We only walked the beach‑‑ it was a nice ‑‑ we enjoyed the walk, let's put it that way.Â We walked about a mile up the beach and a mile back.Â It was the most beautiful day, the waves were huge.Â We were admiring the waves, I was taking photographs of the waves.Â I should have been looking around me instead of taking photographs.
Q.Â You're pretty prodigious in regards to taking notes, so how far back is this book that you had in your bag?
PAUL MCGINLEY:Â It was last year.Â I actually finished one notebook and I was beginning starting another and I had both notebooks in there last year.
So it's Trackman data, stuff that I worked on on my golf swing and little notes that I take when I play well and what I did.Â If I worked on something that didn't work out, I was able it highlight it.Â So it just gives me a continuity of what I'm trying to work on in my golf swing.Â Just like to have a little small notebook always in my bag to write down notes.Â I had some Ryder Cup notes in there as well too.
Q.Â Yes, I'm aware of that.
PAUL MCGINLEY:Â But nothing that's going to be too revealing, I have to say.
Q.Â What's been the reaction of the Irish community?Â I know it's tight knit and it must feel terrible, sounded like you had an Irish policeman you said show up as well.
PAUL MCGINLEY:Â Yeah, Officer McMahon.Â He came and helped me.Â And he's the one who kind of said, look, out of state plates, what they do is they troll up‑and‑down, if they see an out of state, there's a chance that's a tourist, there's a chance that there's something in the car, because it's ‑‑ and the boot was all secured, but the fact that they smashed the back window and obviously popped the boot from inside and had a look in there.
But the Irish, we still did the function, we still did the charity event on the Monday night for the pastoral center and hopefully we would have raised still a lot of money.
One of the things I donated was my Ryder Cup blazer and the blazer that I wore the last two years, the official blazer.Â That wasn't stolen.Â That was in my luggage.Â They didn't take my clothes.Â They rifled through them, but didn't take them.Â Obviously didn't see any value in a European blazer.
So that went for auction and yeah, we had a good night still.
Q.Â Aside from what happened there on Monday, coming back to California in general for you and kind of your ties over the years and what it means for Paul McGinley in California, Pebble Beach of course this week, but just overall how do you look at it?
PAUL MCGINLEY:Â Yeah, California feels like a second home to me, to be honest.Â I really feel comfortable in California.Â I really like it here.Â I could certainly move and live here in a moment, no problem.
My boy is a good player now and I'm hoping he's going to maybe come out here after the Scottish Open, he's only 14 now and I would love to see him go to California.Â I had a great time here.Â Great friends, all my friends and roommates from school I still stay in touch with them all from San Diego.Â One of them is caddieing for me this week, John Adams.
The rest of them all came over, six of them came over to the Ryder Cup last year and were blown away with it.Â So it's great that we've all still remained friends and they have all grown up now and we have all grown up and got married and had kids and all that kind of thing.Â So we'll see.
But I'm very comfortable and I'm very happy in California.Â Particularly when the weather's like this.
Q.Â You said this is the only tournament in the States.Â Is it the venue?Â What about ‑‑ why this tournament?
PAUL MCGINLEY:Â Well, yeah, just a great tournament.Â As I say, big Irish contingent here this week, amateurs and pros.Â Shane Lowry playing and obviously myself and a number of amateurs playing too.Â Nice dinners in the evening time.Â I enjoy it.Â I like the format.
To be quite honest, I don't think my game is competitive enough to go and look for invites to play on the PGA TOUR.Â Quite happy of playing a half schedule of 15 events on the European schedule as well.
I have lots of things going on off the golf course too, I'm kept very busy.Â But I still enjoy playing, still enjoy competing and we'll see when I get to 50 where I'm going to go and what I'm going to try and do.Â But I certainly want to stay competitive the next two years and play as I say kind of what I consider a half schedule of about 15 events.
Q.Â Can you talk a little more about your son who is 14, where was, where were you in his time frame?
PAUL MCGINLEY:Â Oh, I was, I was unique because I was very different.Â At 14 I was probably 16 or 17 handicap and no desires at all in being a professional golfer.Â I played during the summer only.Â I was it was only when I was 19 when I broke my kneecap playing football and I couldn't play anymore that I started to play golf seriously in 12 months of the year.
So he's way ahead of the game from where I was.Â He's keen, he's a nice player.Â Look, there's loads of kids, as you know, but looking at education, the one thing that I felt I did when I ‑‑ because I didn't think I was going to be good enough to be a professional, but what I was trying to do was kill two birds with one stone and be as good a golfer as I could, but also getting an education at the back of it as well, too.
So I came away having killed two birds with one stone, I came out here to San Diego and my golf really improved and I went back, played Walker Cup, but I also had a degree in my back pocket when I turned pro.
So if I haven't had made it the first year or two through Tour school, I still had a degree in business that I was going to fall back on.
That's what I want him to do, too.Â He's a million miles away from being anywhere near a professional level, but he's very keen on golf and he hits the ball very nicely and we'll see how it all evolves.
But certainly my wife was on a scholarship to America University here, I was, and I would love nothing more than maybe one or even two of our kids doing the same.
Q.Â Wasn't your wife the better golfer?
PAUL MCGINLEY:Â Far better.
She was an All‑American three times, yeah.Â She was really good.Â She was pretty good.Â Still is.
Q.Â I was going to ask you about you mentioned your family there and the importance of that.Â How special was it, as you mentioned to your college roommates how unique is it to have so many clans together?Â Dinners with possibly J.P. and some of those amateurs that you mentioned, that uniqueness to a week like this, the closeness to friend and family?
PAUL MCGINLEY:Â Yeah, that's, it's an Irish thing, to be honest, a very Irish thing.Â We enjoy each other's company, we obviously enjoy the banter and it's again it's one of the reasons why ‑‑ Irish people in general are quite social, I think it's one of the reasons why I always gravitated toward team sports and sharing experiences with other people as well, too.
For an Irish person, it's quite an easy fit.Â We like to spend time and chat and have a bit of fun.Â And, yeah, this week certainly is a good opportunity for that.Â Just like the Dunhill is as well, too, that's one of my favorite tournaments as well, which was the week after the Ryder Cup last year and I couldn't believe, having not played for six weeks before the Ryder Cup, I was amazed how well I played in that.Â So, maybe something similar this week will be very nice.
THE MODERATOR:Â Paul, thanks so much for your time.
PAUL MCGINLEY:Â Thank you.
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