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July 9, 2009

Paul McGinley


MICHAEL GIBBONS: Paul thanks for joining us. Superb start to the tournament. Give us your thoughts on that to start off.
PAUL McGINLEY: I'm obviously really, really pleased. 65 is a great score around Loch Lomond, as we all know. It was windy this afternoon. The greens were a bit bumpy, and I played really, really good, and that gives me more pleasure than anything else. The score is great obviously, but the quality of my golf was excellent and that's great.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: You said on TV how comfortable you felt from the word go.
PAUL McGINLEY: There's something about Scotland. I've always enjoyed coming to Scotland. There's something about when I checked into Cameron House, there's a feel-good factor, and see how good the golf course is, it's in great condition.
Yeah, I had a good feeling when I got here. So I carried it through in the first round, but as we all know, there's a long way to go.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: That's been the thing this season, putting the four rounds together.
PAUL McGINLEY: That's the thing, my career has been consistency, and that's the one thing that's let me down this year. There's been a lot of good golf tournament, whether it be a tournament; I have not put four rounds together. And whether it be a round; I haven't put 18 holes. Today was good. I made one bogey, and even that bogey was a really good iron shot that ended up in the hole just through the back of the green. Other than that, it was a good day of golf, and I'm obviously pleased because it's been a rough season up to now.

Q. You talked about calmness. Is there a calmness in your game overall with The Open just a week away?
PAUL McGINLEY: Calmness probably is not the right word. I think feel-good factor. Checking into the hotel, got to the golf course, there's a familiarity I think is the word, and I'm comfortable in Scotland. I come up here obviously as you know to watch Celtic and see Bob Torrance and I'm very familiar and comfortable in the country, and sometimes that has an effect.

Q. What's been missing --
PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, the thing that I've been missing most this year is my game has not been way off kilter, but for some reason, I'll have two or three shots in a round that have been very destructive, causing double-bogeys or even worse, or bad bogeys at the wrong time and losing momentum. And that's what I've been missing more than anything this year is that consistency.
If you saw me hitting the ball on the range or watch me play in the Pro-Am or watch me play even a round of golf, you'll say, God, there's a lot of really good quality in there, but I haven't been able to produce the consistency. As I say, the mainstay of my career is inconsistency and that's what's let me down so far this year. There's not a lot wrong with my game. I've been saying that for six months, and continue to miss cuts. We all know how that feels.

Q. What is the cause of the feel-good? Is it memories of a tournament? Have you got a good record here, or is there a particular moment you think back on?
PAUL McGINLEY: I have a good record here. My first Ryder Cup year, I had a big finish here, third place, which pretty much put me on the cusp of making the team. But nothing spectacular, no.
But as I say, there's something -- I'm familiar with Scotland and I come up here, a lot, as you know. And yeah, it just had -- it was nice to check into the same hotel every year, see the golf course, go to the same restaurants. I get a lot of support, or half the population up here, anyway. (Laughter).

Q. Were you tempted to play the Irish PGA this week?
PAUL McGINLEY: No. It's kind of hard to justify playing the Irish PGA when it's that much money and points and everything available this week. Particularly when I haven't had -- I would love to play the PGA.
Padraig is playing the PGA this week, and it's exactly what he wanted at this time, having had a bad run the last couple of months. That's what he wants is to get into a tournament and be in contention and it's perfect for him. And it would have been perfect for me, except it came up against a tournament of this size, as I say, I can't afford to miss, and as I say, at a course that I'm familiar with and enjoy.

Q. Maybe getting ahead of ourselves, but if you couldn't be a Ryder Cup Captain in Ireland, would Scotland be the next best thing for you (laughter)?
PAUL McGINLEY: That's a loaded question. (Laughter) As I say, half the population up here would be very happy if I was. But I mean, it's so far off. It's really so far off, and you know, I think a lot will depend on how I play the next five or six years.
I think it's important that -- well, not important, but it's been well documented that a Ryder Cup Captain, we feel, it's a benefit if he's still contending or playing. If I'm going to be the person in six years' time or seven years' time or whatever it is, I don't know, a lot of it will depend how I play, and the next four or five or six years. And if the opinion is still strongly that we need to have a current player involved, a lot will depend on how I play. It's so far down the road at this time.

Q. Good preparation this week for The Open?
PAUL McGINLEY: Well, I love British Opens. That's another feel-good factor this week. I went down on Tuesday and played Tuesday morning. Yeah, the feel-good factor of getting to a British Open, seeing a major, seeing the whole place ready, seeing the condition of the golf course, that's a goal in itself even though it's a practise round. Turnberry is in immaculate condition and it's a wonderfully strong golf course, and it's going to be a great British Open -- or should I say, "Open." Don't use that word.

Q. (Inaudible).
PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, any British Open. I think the British Opens are more -- they are not as set up -- a lot of the Tour courses we play nowadays are really set up in favour of somebody who can bomb it. The majors to a large extent don't necessarily do that because there's a high premium on hitting the fairway, and in the case of The Open, on keeping out of the bunkers, so accuracy is a big factor, more so in majors than it is in Tour events that we do play.
I'm looking forward to it. I didn't play any majors last year. Last major, Carnoustie two years ago, I played really well in as well and was actually joint-score with Padraig going into the last day.
Yeah, I love playing British Opens and I love playing links courses like we all do, particularly when it's a major championship.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Thank you, well done. Cheers.

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