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May 20, 2016

Paul McGinley

Straffan, Co. Kildare, Ireland

Q. Around the turn, you turned into a birdie-making machine. Tell us about that.
PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, you do get a few chances on the back nine and around the turn. It was a really tough stretch there. I keep referring to them as 16 and 17. What is it now, 5, 6, 7, as the course plays now. They are three really tough holes and I dropped two shots there.

But then you have a chance. 9 is a short iron in. 10, 11 are short irons in, as well, and I took advantage of those.

Q. Difficult morning conditions for you yesterday, difficult afternoon conditions today. Does that make your total all the more satisfying?
PAUL McGINLEY: Absolutely. It was tough. You've got to battle even harder when you're on the wrong side of the draw, but it's okay. It was kind of a motivating factor for me, too, and to make the cut on the wrong side of the draw is the good thing and leaves me there in contention.

Q. I know you're a big Celtic fan; new manager, Brendan Rodgers. Your reaction?
PAUL McGINLEY: First I heard of it. I knew he was in the frame. I'm delighted. He'll bring a whole new vibrancy to the place and how he analyses it. I think that's good news.

Q. On an afternoon when birdies were difficult to find, you found four in a row from the ninth. How good to do that in front of your home fans, particularly?
PAUL McGINLEY: It was good, and I needed it because I was leaking a few shots on that front nine. There's tough holes on the front nine, those crosswinds and I was missing fairways and paying the price. I took advantage with a short iron into 9, and 10, par 5, short iron again, 11, short iron. Then the hole Ewan told me to keep an eye on. I was really motivated to flight that hole. I nearly was almost going to be cheeky and point my finger at him in the camera, but no, it was good and well done, Ewan. I hit a really good shot, I really focused my concentration.

Q. You were in commentary with Ewan this morning and he said, watch out for the 12th, water on the left and everyone is going in it.
PAUL McGINLEY: He warned me and I thanked him for warning me. But it was a motivating thing for me. I know him well and there was a bit of banter and I certainly thought I hit one of my best shots of the day in there.

Q. You played Ryder Cup at K Club in 2006. Have your memories gone back to that as you've played this time around?
PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, every time I come here I think of that 16th hole and all the celebrations on that 16th hole. I think when I play, I forget the whole numbers, but the one Paul Casey hit a hole-in-one. Yeah, of course, and the balcony, the celebrations afterwards. It was very satisfying.

Obviously to play a Walker Cup in '91 like I did in my home country and have the honour of playing The Ryder Cup, as well, and to win by a record margin, that was very special.

Q. I know you're a huge Celtic fan; Brendan Rodgers announced as the new manager.
PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, that's good news. I think he'll be a good appointment. He'll have a point to prove after Liverpool and he'll be very motivated. He's from not too far across the water there in Northern Ireland and I think the people will be happy. He has a good eye for talent and he'll have a really good plan. It's a good move and good appointment for him in terms of his career and getting his career back on track again after the disappointment of Liverpool.

Q. Four birdies in a row -- when is the last time?
PAUL McGINLEY: I do it quite regularly (laughter).

We got the worst of the draw obviously. I was obviously very pleased to have made the cut and be right there in contention but I played well in The Irish Open last year, too. I was hovering around 20th position when I had to withdraw on the Sunday morning.

So it's always nice to play an Irish Open. This golf course, it's a really tough course for me, incredibly long. The par 4s on the front nine, crosswinds, very difficult. I paid the price, missed fairways. But gave me some chances and I had chances. I putted well. My short iron play was good. Gave myself some chances.

A little bit disappointed with my finish there, because you're finishing par 5, short par 4, par 5 and there's three chances there and I didn't take one of those. But look, I'm very happy to shoot 71, a good score, and on the wrong side of the draw to be there or thereabouts, I'm obviously pleased.

At this stage of my career, I think it's great that Rory and Danny are on the right side of the draw in terms of the tournament and The Irish Open and the interest. I think what we really need is to showcase Ireland. We don't want rain, we don't want wind and we don't want all the horrible things that are possibly going to come.

We want to be able to showcase the great place K Club is, the big crowds and two of the best players in the world in contention. That's my wish for the weekend and anything I do to contribute to that, I'll be very happy with.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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