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September 25, 2009

Paul McGinley


STEVE TODD: If you can start by reviewing today's play, you said good start yesterday, 3-2, and same again today.
PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, we are absolutely delighted, really delighted. We are up against it. We know that. We know we have to play great, and we did it again today. To win again today was great, to be over 3-2 up, 6-4 overall; as a footballer would say, we are over the moon.
STEVE TODD: Thomas shuffled his pack a little more.
PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, he did.
STEVE TODD: What did you make of the different pairings today and how it all panned out?
PAUL McGINLEY: I said to my team last night, I think their pairings were very strong today and we were really up against it. But no matter where he shuffles his pack, it's going to be strong and we are going to be up against it. We knew we had to play the same quality of golf that we did the first day, and fortunately, we did.
We didn't get off to the flyer of a start the way we did the first morning, but you know, the standard of golf was very, very high, particularly that lead match, where Chris Wood and Anthony Wall were the stars the first day, I think Ollie and Dys played unbelievable golf today to win their match.
STEVE TODD: I think they were 11-under par on the second game, 9-under in the first; 20-under par for the first two games.
PAUL McGINLEY: I've stressed momentum so much this week. And it's one thing saying things; it's another thing the players actually doing it. But fortunately, they have done it and pulled that off, pulled the momentum bit off each day. We managed to win the top two matches each day, which was huge.

Q. Whereas Thomas chopped his pairings, you had no thoughts of doing that; you were really happy with the five pairings that you had?
PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, well, we won three of our games the first day, and I looked at the stats and I looked at the guys who lost and I looked at the way they played on the golf course, and I felt, hey, sometimes you know, you play well and you get beat. You're playing against some of the best players in the world and sometimes that happens.
They all gel well as personalities, they gel well as players, and sometimes you just get beat. It's not because you made a bad pairing or because it didn't work or didn't gel or whatever. Sometimes you get beat.
To give an example, Ross Fisher the first day in his match against Gonzalo and Jiménez, Gonzalo missed a putt from three feet on the 7th green for a birdie, which I saw; if he had holed that putt, they would have had nine birdies in a row. They birdied 5, 6, that would have been a birdie on 7, and they birdied 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. Sometimes you come up against a steam train, and again that's a point I made at the meeting last night.
Sometimes these things happen and it doesn't mean you made a bad pairing or you shuffle the pack. It just means today we got beat. Now the Europeans had the same view the first day the way Anthony Wall and Chris Wood played, sometimes you come up against a brick wall, and not because the pairing was wrong, but because we are playing against the top level of players and sometimes that happens.

Q. Any promises that everybody plays tomorrow? Have you gone down that road at all?
PAUL McGINLEY: I can't tell you that. (Laughing) I can't tell you that. I'll tell you that tomorrow night. We have already spoken about it; put it that way. I can't show my hand for the afternoon, sorry.

Q. Thomas is suggesting that one of the problems with the format of the Vivendi Trophy is by having five matches on the first two days, that you don't get a great deal of momentum; so the The Ryder Cup as an example, would have to stay at three days because of what you see here.
PAUL McGINLEY: I don't really understand the point.

Q. He feels that by playing five matches each day, Thursday and Friday, and having the tournament over four days, that it's not a great deal of momentum to the Vivendi Trophy to get into the Saturday. So asked whether The Ryder Cup could ever be a four-day tournament, he said no, based on what he's experienced here.
PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, I mean, it is a point, and it will be a point that I'll be stressing very much very much to my team tonight; that even though we are halfway in terms of time and in terms of days, we are not halfway in terms of points. We have played for ten points up to now. We have 18 points to play with over the weekend. So there's a huge, huge way to go.
Yes, we have had a good first two days, yes we have played really well the first two days. But in the whole context of winning the trophy, it is quite small considering the amount of effort we have put into the first two days that we have got a two-point lead. But it's still quite -- I won't use the word insignificant, but it is small in the context of winning the overall trophy.
So we are very well aware, my team is very well aware and I've pounded it in from the start of the week, this is a long week and just as many, if not more points available on Sunday as there is at the start of the week; and we are not to extend our energy and burn ourselves come Sunday where we are on a downer.

Q. Curious, and looking at your draw for tomorrow morning, on the face of it, one surprise is that Robert Rock is in and Anthony Wall is not; what is the thinking?
PAUL McGINLEY: I don't want to give my hand away too much. I would love to talk about it. Can we talk about it tomorrow afternoon when the teams go in for the afternoon, and we'll talk about it then?
But I have a strategy, let's just put it that way. Sorry I can't answer -- it's a good question. Sorry I can't answer it straight, but I'll talk about it tomorrow. Come and ask me, I'm talk about it easily in the afternoon. But I don't want to show my hand.
Robert Rock has been a wonderful team member this week and he's played a huge part in the team, even though I know he's lost the two matches. I was just disappointed for him on 18. If his ball was one yard further right on 18 there, it would have snuck on to the edge of the green, and that would have made the target a lot smaller for the boys coming behind, for Gonzo particularly. Gonzo is going at an open green when the two boys were in the bunker, and it's unfortunate, he played 16 extremely well, hit two great shots in the middle of the green and nearly had an eagle and played 17 well, too.
As I say, if he had just -- if his ball had been one yard further right on 18, it would have made the target a lot smaller for the European side. But that's what happens. Sometimes it rolls for and you sometimes it doesn't.

Q. Back to the point about The Ryder Cup, are you adamant that it should stay at three days, because the talk has been about possibly following The Presidents Cup.
PAUL McGINLEY: I think the only reason it would go to four days, I think there's only one reason, one valid reason to go to four days and that is light in the British Isles at that time of year. There's the only reason I can see why it may go, but other than that, I don't think it needs to be changed, in my opinion.

Q. You may play a straight back to this one, but you talked about the guys meshing very well and Ross and Nick have done that, but you've split them up here. Do you just feel that they can both play this different form well?
PAUL McGINLEY: Again, it's a really good question and I'd love to answer it, but I'm afraid I can't.
I have a strategy. I'm working towards it. You know, I'll enlighten you more tomorrow night, because at that stage all of the pairings will be over and we'll be straight down to singles. Let's talk about it tomorrow night. But I have a strategy as to why I'm doing it and why I'm working it that way.

Q. Greensomes, very strange form of golf, one that you guys would play very rarely, how do you get into mind-set of that?
PAUL McGINLEY: Well, that's not a form of golf I've played a lot of, either. The only time I've played it is in the Seve Trophy, and believe it or not, greensomes is not in the Rules of Golf as a format of playing golf.
So, yeah, there are some things I've picked up over the years, particularly playing foursomes, and also playing greensomes as well, too. I have one or two points that I'll be making at the meeting tonight about playing greensomes, but particularly playing foursomes, which I've got a lot more experience playing. But there are a couple little things, little strategy things that I think can work to our advantage. I'll be sharing those tonight.

Q. Similar sort of point, is it fair to say that you've come up with pairings there to take advantage of the specific greensomes format; the fact that you're going to be choosing drives?
PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, of course, of course. I looked at the way the guys are driving the ball and what ball they use, all those basic things that every captain would do. But as I say, every single pairing there has got a thought behind it and has had reason behind it. You know, if I could explain to you, it would enlighten you a lot and you wouldn't have to ask so many questions. (Laughter) So I'm sorry about that.
I'll be very happy to talk about it tomorrow afternoon. As you all know, I love team golf. I love the strategy of it. I've learned a lot over the years, and this is my opportunity to put what I've learned into place. Let's just see if I'm right or not, I don't know. At this time tomorrow night we'll know whether we got my pairing right or not or whether my strategy was right or not, or just sometimes the other team plays better. We'll see.

Q. The bookies had you as underdogs before the start; did you think that was right?
PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, of course it is, yeah. We all know that. You just look at their team, the quality of the team. They know that. We spoke about that in our team room quite a lot, and yeah, it's quite obvious, I think four current Ryder Cup players on their team. Look how far down the Order of Merit they went to fill their team compared to where we went. It's obvious, their players are having a much stronger year than we are and we are up against it. We are very much aware of that, but that doesn't mean we can't win.
It means it's more difficult and we know the quality that we are playing against. But you know, we are underdogs and we know that, and we know we have to play unbelievably well to win this trophy. We are not going to get it easily because we are playing against class players.

Q. But some of the guys have already showed that they can play well.
PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, and there's a lot more golf to come. But as I say, we have done very well the first two days. We have won both days. But in the whole context of winning the tournament, we have made a bit of progress, but we have not made huge progress because there's so many points to be still available. There's 18 points to come, as I say. We have only played ten. We are just a third, really, if you want to look at it in general terms. We are very much aware that we have a long, long way to go and pacing ourselves and getting ready for Sunday is just as important, and that's been the case all week long, something I've stressed very much from the minute we arrived here.

Q. Are there people you consider assistants this week or just helpers?
PAUL McGINLEY: No, there's no assistants. That's one of the rules. The only assistants myself and Thomas have are the caddies. We have the caddies ride in each buggy and we have food and drink but there is no assistants.

Q. How do you cope with seeing everything you want to see?
PAUL McGINLEY: Oh, it's very difficult, very, very difficult. And trying to get feedback on the matters, as well, too, I've listened to the caddies. I've listened to their views and spoken to them privately, as well as with their player. I've encouraged the views of everybody involved in the team, players and caddies, very much so. I've put them all into the mesh, and plus, the bit of knowledge that I've put learned over the years, put that together and come out with a strategy and that's how we are going to win this.
So far it's gone well but there's a long, long way to go, we are a third of the way and halfway to go. I know that's not exact -- (laughter). I can just see the quote tomorrow, 'McGinley needs to go back to school.' Okay, just generalise, okay. Harrington would love that if he saw that (laughing). Thank you.

End of FastScripts

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