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September 18, 2011

Paul McGinley


GORDON SIMPSON: I think we'll just make a start everyone. The rain has come right on cue.
So congratulations to Paul McGinley and his Great Britain and Ireland team, two out of two, I'm sure that was a very pleasurable experience for you, and I'm sure if Seve was up there looking down, he would be proud of how both teams performed today.
PAUL McGINLEY: You're right, at five back I felt I had a lot of strength at the front. And when I talk about strength, I talk about, A, experience, and B, guys in form. It's not just experience. It's guys in form, as well, too.
I felt what I tried to do was balance it throughout the team, just in case things did go wrong, that I had pockets of experience throughout the team. Fortunately, that bailed me out in the end. Who would have thought I would have won half a point out of the first six games? Quite incredible.
So all credit to Jean and his team. I know they had a team meeting before they went out for half an hour, and that all of his players were here very early this morning and a lot of pride at stake. All credit to them and shows you what can be achieved as a team when you role everybody together.
GORDON SIMPSON: Shows what the rookies can do; David Horsey, Scott Jamieson and Mark Foster the winning point at the end.
PAUL McGINLEY: Absolutely. That probably gave me more pleasure than anything else because I probably worked on them harder than anybody this week with the rookies to try to make them feel comfortable. Again I give a lot of credit to Lee and Darren and Poults, and to a lesser extent Ross, who were great with the rookies this week and did quite a lot in the team meetings and showed a lot of respect to the rookies. Because they realise how important rookies are on the team. It's very, very important that the rookies are meant -- are welcomed into the team and made to feel that they play a vital role.
They understand that. They went out of their way to make sure that happened.

Q. Did you think at any stage, we are not going to be able to get this because, you just had two guys in the lead and probably just 1-up --
PAUL McGINLEY: Of course I did. I was looking at the board like everybody else. I was like, where are we going to get our three points? Yeah, of course I did.
You know, but at the same time, I had confidence in my strategy that I had pockets of my strengths throughout the team. As I say, I experience, stroke, form and I kept those pockets spaced throughout the team so that if the top guys didn't win, you know, then the middle guys didn't win, the bottom guys could win, and unfortunately that's what bailed me out. That's what really bailed me out.
I mean, it's a big learning curve for me, too. I've been captain twice and people have said nice things about me being captain and I've been fortunate to win twice but the bottom line, as well, too, is I've lost two singles. So I have address that. If I'm ever going to be captain again, I have to address: Have I done something wrong in the singles. Why are we not -- why is my team not coming out in the singles, with good leads, on the two occasions I've been captain and finishing the job off.
I thought I had the answer, today and obviously I didn't. I think a lot of it, I have to give credit to Jean and his team, how motivated they were and how important the top team -- how important his top matches, his top players turned around the deficit and got the momentum going in their favour. The first match, I knew was going to be close between Thomas and Lee, but if you told me Lee would be 3-up after five and still lose his game, I would say, not in a million years, who would have thought that. All credit to Thomas for that.
Became a cavalcade of one win after another for them and shows you again the response of momentum in team sports, how vital it is to get it.
I was aware of that, and I felt I had it with Dyson and Westwood, one and two. I felt certainly I had a lot of strength there at the top. But shows you at the level, you criticise me all week for saying we are underdogs, we are underdogs, but the World Rankings doesn't lie and The Race to Dubai doesn't lie. These guys are really, really strong players.
When you look at their team lined out in the singles, you think, wow, they are very, very strong. So we didn't underestimate them. Don't think we have made that mistake and been underestimating taking things easy. Far from it going into the singles.
I felt the team was very highly motivated going out there today. But the bottom line is, I still, as a captain, I lost my singles, and as much as I'm delighted to have won and things went so great this week, I'm going to reflect on why we didn't win the singles, why things went against us as it did two years ago.

Q. You said last night that you wanted to cluster Dyson, Donaldson and Rock together early in the singles lineup because they are close friends; do you reflect that that maybe didn't quite come off today?
PAUL McGINLEY: Well, it's one of the things I'll look at. That's a really good question and that was the first thing that comes to minds. That's the first thing I have in my notebook with a big star besides it.
But having said, that as I say, for me, strength of the team is not necessarily experience. Everybody looks at Darren Clarke and thinks, experience. Darren has not been on his game this week. So he wasn't one of my pockets.
My pocket was experience combined with form. David Horsey was a strong -- even though he's a rookie, he was one of my strengths going out in the singles because his form is so good. We all played so well, even though he's a rookie, I knew he was going to provide a really strong game for whoever he played against because he's had a great week up to now, and that's exactly what I thought with Jamie Donaldson.
So I've got one, two, three, either experience, stroke, form. So I thought I had that covered. But you know, who knows, and I think instead of me thinking I did something wrong, I think probably what I'm going to end up is that Jean did a lot right today. I think he really got his team flying, and those guys came out.
I mean, Anders Hanson is a dogged competitor. I knew that at No. 2 and he wins his singles every time, nothing surer. I think he shot 10- or 11-under par beating Nick Dougherty two years ago, he's a hell of a player. Molinari can wear you down and he had him up there. And as I say, Thomas, taking out Lee, is understandable. You know Thomas is a fantastic player as we all know full of confidence. But Thomas taking out Lee with a -- three-hole disadvantage after five holes, you would think, no, ain't going to happen. So I think I've got -- I'll probably end up giving more credit to -- not more credit I'll probably end up, my analysis will end back at the job that Jean has done on his team today.

Q. Considering how well some of the young guys played this week on both sides, and the fact that there's several guys unfortunately weren't here, it bodes well for Europe next year, doesn't it, the way the guys played?
PAUL McGINLEY: It bodes very well for Europe next year. I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Those of you, I'm sure you're all on these Twitter accounts that follow the players on Twitter. We got pummeled on the Friday and we were obviously very disappointed going out Friday night. And we were sitting down in a lovely restaurant, we had just ordered our food. I had invited Ollie to come along, and he said he might come along later in the evening but he couldn't make the start.
So the team was a little bit deflated and I was working on everybody, keeping us up, that it was like shooting 71 the second day after shooting 61 the first day. We are still leading the tournament, let's not get out of perspective and didn't want to be too hard. And Ian Poulter as usual is flicking through his mobile phone and comes across a Tweet from Graeme McDowell saying he was kicking back enjoying the sunshine in Orlando and the range was calling him. This was red rag to a bull.
Poulter took that, and if you trace back the Tweets from Graeme McDowell, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter, you'll have a lot of fun. I'll just share that little secret with you. It provided huge humour for us for the two hours we had dinner that night, and the next morning, as well, too. Because you had on the one side, you had Graeme with his public persona being Twitter saying one thing, and then the other side, you had him privately texting the boys saying, back off, I know I've made a mistake.
So it was quite funny but it shows you the spirit the Europeans have, as much as we were giving him stick publically, behind it all, it was banter, and he realised it was banter. But it certainly brought us out of the -- it brought us out of the disappointment that we had on the second day.
So that's the kind of spirit that you have within The European Team. And yeah, I've got some great characters on the team, there's no doubt about that.

Q. I noticed at the end, you went up to Ian Poulter and said "The legend continues."

Q. It was vital what he did for you today, isn't it.
PAUL McGINLEY: There's no doubt. He just loves it. He just loves it. He absolutely loves it. The ultimate competitor, the ultimate match player, the guy you want to have in your corner coming down the last few holes, he's 1-down with four to play, I think he birdied three of the last four -- four of the last five, am I right? Three of the last five? I mean, awesome, just awesome.
Coming down the last hole, I felt it was important for me as captain to let him know, he's -- there's some guys you want to know the situation. Some guys you want to tell the situation. That inspires them. Other guys, you want them to focus on themselves and not look at the leaderboard. He's one guy that you need to tell him the situation.
And I think coming down, his match was vital that we didn't lose it. If he won it, fantastic. If he got a halve, also fantastic. Not fantastic, but great. But if he lost, we are really going to be in trouble.
And I would have taken my chances with a halve. So it was important for me to relay that information to him. He wasn't having any of it (laughing).
I say he wasn't having any of it -- of course he was, he hit it right at the pin. His shot ended up being part way what I wanted him to do, hit it 25, 30 feet pin-high right; and he fired at the pin and hit it to about eight feet pin-high right and holed the putt.
So he's just great. And what a guy to have on your team. Aren't we lucky as Europeans to have him, and Lee Westwood, as well. You take those two, they can play America on their own nearly.

Q. Did you see when he did that to you, he turned around (indicating thumbing his nose in fun)?
PAUL McGINLEY: He was kind of messing -- he was winding me up saying he was going to take the flag on. I think he's experienced enough to know that it wasn't a case of taking the flag on. He said he took the flag on.
GORDON SIMPSON: Thank you very much again, Paul. Thank you very much and well done.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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