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July 21, 2007

Paul McGinley


PAUL McGINLEY: I've been fortunate I've been involved in three Ryder Cups and I kind of know what the roaring and shouting is about with the adrenaline and excitement.
The British Open for me is the greatest golf tournament in the world. To be in contention is a positive dream, being in contention going into the last round, and I've achieved that. I'm going to be in one of the last groups tomorrow, I have a late tee time. But that's what you pay for it. I'm looking forward to it.
Sergio is obviously a great front-runner. I'm well aware how good a player he is, having played three Ryder Cups with him; he's a hell of a player. He's played great in all three of those. I really admire him as a player and a putter, so he's going to be tough.
At the end of the day it's me against the golf course. Carnoustie is a tough golf course, and I'm not getting ahead of myself. It's one shot at a time and see how things evolve from there.

Q. You're right back in the Championship after a disappointing day yesterday.
PAUL McGINLEY: I had a bad start yesterday. I had a good finish but a bad start. If I get away with a good start tomorrow, that would help for sure. I don't want the start I had yesterday.

Q. 3-under par, is that -- after your first round of I think it was 67 you had, is that where you would have wanted to be, going into the fourth day's play?
PAUL McGINLEY: No, I want to be leading by ten (laughter). But I'm there, thereabouts, so I've got a chance tomorrow, along with a lot of other people, and we'll take it from there.

Q. What was the key today after having disappointing shots yesterday throughout the round?
PAUL McGINLEY: I didn't play that badly yesterday. I didn't putt very well and I made a couple of basic errors where I drove it in the bunkers quite a lot. I didn't really play that badly yesterday, but I scored badly. Today a lot of fairways, a lot of greens and just good golf.
My reaction, obviously I'm pleased. I'm very pleased with the way I played today. I'm going to be one of the last groups tomorrow, but I'm going to be quite a bit off the lead it looks like, the way Sergio is playing. So I'm one of the number of people who have got an opportunity to win tomorrow. But I'm very, very well aware of Sergio, who he is, how he plays. I've been in three Ryder Cup teams with him. I hold him in the highest esteem. I know how good a player he is. I know how big a heart he is, as well, too, from what he's done in the Ryder Cups, which is the biggest stage of the lot. It's a big ask to catch him, because I know what he's capable of doing.
Having said that, I'm one of a bunch of 10 or 15 guys who may have a chance of winning. You never know what's going to happen; British Open you never know what's going to turn up tomorrow.

Q. You were really composed today. You really did look like you recovered from yesterday.
PAUL McGINLEY: I don't feel I played that badly yesterday. I scored badly. I drove it into too many bunkers yesterday. I didn't feel I played that badly yesterday. Today I kept it out of trouble off the tee, particularly, and I gave myself a lot of opportunities. Hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens, had a lot of chances for birdies. It was a lot of fun.
When you're playing well, you're playing in the British Open, you're playing en masse front of massive crowds, if you don't enjoy that, you're in the wrong business.

Q. In the context of the season you've had, which obviously has been disappointing, you seem to have found the real Paul McGinley?
PAUL McGINLEY: I said to you on Thursday I didn't play as well as I did Thursday all season. That's the first time I've played decent. I've been able to carry it through the last two days and hopefully home, as well.

Q. Obviously Sergio is the key. What's your expectations tomorrow?
PAUL McGINLEY: Not too much. I don't want to think about winning the British Open, I don't want to think too far ahead of myself. It's one step at a time. It's a golf course you can't go out and be aggressive on. You have to wait for your birdies, wait for your scoring chances and take one shot at a time.

Q. What's the difference with the first round compared to this round?
PAUL McGINLEY: I didn't putt as well as I did Thursday, but, look, 68 is a great score, no matter what the conditions. I think we were fortunate with the weather. They said the weather was going to be horrendous. It turned out to be quite decent. It wasn't as cold.
Yesterday the last six holes, I started at 3:15 yesterday, the last six holes were absolutely freezing cold yesterday. They were as tough of holes as you'd ever play. The conditions were light, more benign today, and hence the scoring I think is quite decent.

Q. Did you dwell on what happened on the 3rd yesterday?
PAUL McGINLEY: I should have had a drop. If I -- I could have if I had asked for a drop. It's not the referee's fault, it's my fault; I should have known the rules. I know we're under R&A rules this week. I know they're different in The R&A and I didn't refresh and look at them, and it's my fault and nobody else's.

Q. How much of a lift was that chip-in early in the round?
PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, it was a Ryder Cup rotor, wasn't it? It was great. I didn't have a great lie, but fortunately the grass underneath me was quite soft. I knew even if I mis-hit it, it would hit the downslope and run up to the pin. It wasn't as difficult a shot as it looked. But to hole it was great. You talk about momentum and things going for you, the 2nd hole to chip in was a nice start to the round.

Q. How much of an adrenaline rush was it for you?
PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, I think I have plenty of adrenaline anyway playing The Open in one of the last few groups. Obviously I gave myself a lot of opportunities today, and that's what pleased me most. I'll be there tomorrow with a chance along with 10, 12 other guys.
I'm not thinking too much about the wind, to be honest. It's one thing I've learned is not to get ahead of myself. I have a tendency to do that. I don't want to get ahead of myself. I want to take it one shot at a time. I want to -- I'm really just concerned with having a good start tomorrow and letting the momentum build.

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