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May 19, 2016

Paul McGinley

Straffan, Co. Kildare, Ireland

Q. Were a couple greens unplayable early on with the rain?
PAUL McGINLEY: The squeegees came out but they weren't unplayable.

Q. Were you delayed much?
PAUL McGINLEY: A couple of greens we had to wait but the rain it was very heavy.

Yeah, it was tough but it is what it is. You come to Ireland and unfortunately we seem to get bad weather year after year. Hopefully, fingers crossed, we might get a later slot going forward but a lot depends on Rory's schedule and this year wasn't possible with the tight schedule we already have in world golf.

You never know, going forward, we may have -- if you lock back to Portmarnock and Royal Dublin, we all look nostalgically back as those Irish Opens as the best ever, and they were June, July, even August. Maybe one day we'll get back to that but it is what it is and at the moment we'll deal with it.

Q. Your 17 tee wasn't in play today. Do you expect it to be play over the weekend?
PAUL McGINLEY: No doubt. The wind today was off the left. It wasn't helping. To keep it on the fairway you have to either hold it on the wind, or you have to start it over the water and let the wind move it. That's actually the toughest wind for the hole. The tee was forward but there's no doubt the weekend it will be back.

Q. Last year, your back was out, but is everything okay?
PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, been working on my fitness. Since last year been working on my fitness and making sure that I'm strong around that back area. I have a little weakness there in the bottom left-hand side of the back, and nothing major, just wear and tear of being a professional golfer and I've got to build my glutes and build everything around it and keep my flexibility going. Been working on that over the last eight months, ten months.

Q. Your reaction, I don't know if you heard about the Muirfield decision.
PAUL McGINLEY: I heard. Look, it's a debate that goes on in the golf and it's not for me to jump in and have an opinion I think. It's up to the R&A, USGA to take the lead in these kind of things. I roll in behind them. I believe the R&A have said -- it's a big debate in golf at the moment. The R&A have taken their position and it's up to them to lead. It's not really for me to jump in and have a view on that.

Q. A shame to lose a course like that from the rota for something like that.
PAUL McGINLEY: Well, it is, yeah, it is a shame, but what can you do. As I say, the R&A are a big, strong body and they are making the rules and their hosting the Open and their taking this view and we'll have to wait and see.

They have obviously taken that view. They have let lady members in, Augusta have let lady members in and there's still a few courses in the world that don't have it. You know, some members are changing and some deciding not. Muirfield obviously made this decision, and as I say, I think it's important that I don't jump in and have big views, but that, I'd certainly be led by people like The European Tour and led by people like the R&A.

Q. Some of the best venues are men-only clubs, do you see that as --
PAUL McGINLEY: Let's not forget, we have some great parkland courses in Ireland, Mt. Juliet, Adare Manor and K Club to name those three. We should be very proud of those. As much as we are known as a links destination, we have some great inland courses, as well. I know Rory is keen, ultimately, some day, to get this, and I think the Tour, it's quite well known, that hopefully we get a run of links courses around The Open Championship just like you would have tournaments leading into the tennis Wimbledon on grass. I think in an ideal world, that can happen.

But as you know, there's so many different factors come into it now, professional golf, people's schedules, tournaments, prize money, sponsors, dates in the schedule, it's very complex to get it all right. Just wait and see. Wait and see where it's going. The Scottish Open has taken the lead now where they have moved it away from Loch Lomond and now we seem to be on a links year after year.

So we'll see what goes the next few years. Everybody knows there's big changes going on on The European Tour, and that's a question for Keith Pelley to answer in terms of scheduling rather than me and what it is going forward and a question for Rory to answer, because he's got such a big voice in world golf and particularly when it comes to The Irish Open. Dubai Duty Free I think are signed for three years. So that's great. That solidifies the tournament going forward. Hopefully get some reasonable weather the next three days and we have a big, successful week.

I think it's important not to rule anybody out and it's nice to showcase the great links, as I say, but let's not forget the great inland courses. We had some great Irish Opens down in Mt. Juliet, Adare Manor, again, when Pádraig won, that was a hugely successful Irish Open. They should be part of the narrative, as well.

Q. It's a tourism thing, isn't it.
PAUL McGINLEY: The Irish tourist board have a big input but obviously Rory's voice is the strongest, and his schedule is going to be very important going forward.

As I say, the answer is not mine; the answer is Rory's, Keith Pelley's, and Dubai Duty Free's going forward.

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