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THE IRISH OPEN


June 29, 2012


Paul McGinley


PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND

Q.テつ Tell us how you feel about a round that started so brightly?
PAUL McGINLEY:テつ Yeah, very disappointing, made a stupid bogey yesterday and even more stupid today.テつ Disappointing.テつ I cracked my two shots on 9, as well, too.テつ I couldn't hit them any better.
Obviously five yards short, rolled back down the hill.テつ Thought I hit a good first putt.テつ Surprised how slow it was.テつ A bit of rain in the grass of course made a bit of a difference, and very disappointing but still a good round of golf.テつ 70 is a good score in tough conditions.テつ But overall I'm there or thereabouts and hopefully the leaders don't get too far away.

Q.テつ Is fatigue a factor?テつ You talked about big week last week and long day yesterday.
PAUL McGINLEY:テつ Yeah, it's always a factor in professional golf when you're playing a few weeks in a row.テつ I'm fit, I'm strong, and concentration has to stay up.テつ It's a big week.テつ I have a great sense of excitement this week being in Ireland and that drains your energy, as well.テつ I have to be careful not to end and too much energy but it's hard not to.

Q.テつ How proud are you of the way the tournament has been presented?
PAUL McGINLEY:テつ Absolutely, so proud to be Irish, to put on a show like this in the middle of a recession and for people to come out in such great form and great humour and enjoying the golf, and also a great tribute to the three boys from up here with the major wins, too.テつ It's great that they are able to bask in the glory.
To finish the way I did, very disappointing.テつ Hit two good shots on 2, cracked them and couldn't hit them any better.テつ It's disappointing.テつ I finished with a stupid bogey yesterday and today was even more stupid.

Q.テつ Going back to the beginning, what a start, four threes in a row on the back nine.
PAUL McGINLEY:テつ Yeah, came out of the blocks flying all right.テつ You know, holing from the fringe on 10 which was a great start for an eagle.テつ You make an eagle on the first hole, it's going to be a good day normally.
I played well.テつ I played solid.テつ I've played solid for the two days.テつ I could have scored better than I did, but I also could have scored worse, as well, too.テつ I'm there or thereabouts and hopefully the leaders don't get too far away.

Q.テつ Usually when the momentum changes, there's something that causes it; was there anything in particular that caused things to just go away from you?
PAUL McGINLEY:テつ Not really.テつ If I had birdied the last hole, I would have had one of the best scores of the round.テつ I made a bogey and shot 70, so shot 2‑under par.テつ If I made a birdie there, you would be telling me how great of a round of golf it was.テつ That's how small the margin is in professional golf.テつ But overall a good day.

Q.テつ Royal Portrush seems to be playing tough.
PAUL McGINLEY:テつ Absolutely, brilliant.テつ So proud to be Irish up here and seeing the crowds that have turned out, and how happy they are as well and hopefully they are still enjoying it and hopefully we get them some Irish players up there to give them something to cheer about.

Q.テつ At one stage looked like it was going to be very special.
PAUL McGINLEY:テつ Yeah, I make birdie on the last hole and shoot 68, it would be a fantastic score and we would be talking a different story about how well I played.テつ But 2‑under is still a good score in those conditions.テつ Cracked my two shots on 9, couldn't have hit it any better than I did, and even my first putt I thought was good.テつ Surprised how slow it was up that slope but that's links golf.

Q.テつ How tough is it going to be for the boys going out this afternoon?
PAUL McGINLEY:テつ Yeah, there's a lot of crosswinds.テつテつ That's the great thing about Portrush and one of the big assets the golf course has is there's few holes, consecutive holes in the same wind here.テつ You're constantly chapping and changing and referring to your yardage.テつ As a professional golfer, it's great to have those changes hole after hole.

Q.テつ How pleased are you with your form?
PAUL McGINLEY:テつ My form has been good.テつ I've been pleased.テつ The last couple of years I've played poorly and it's great to be back in contention and up in the leaderboard and seeing my name on the leaderboard.テつ It's been a lot of fun.

Q.テつ I watched you play in the final in the North here against Darren back in the day; when you get back to this part of the world, do memories come back?
PAUL McGINLEY:テつ Very much so.テつ That was a brilliant round of golf.テつ I played an unbelievable round there and think I shot 66 and lost in the final, and then I played unbelievably against McGimpsey and lost as well, too.テつ Maybe this course owes me something, but I've really enjoyed it.テつ North of Ireland is always one of my favourite championships and love the golf course.テつテつ Harry Colt is my favourite course designer, and this is one of his very best.

Q.テつ Does the local knowledge help?
PAUL McGINLEY:テつ Any links golf is like that, as well.テつ The big strength that the golf course has is that there are no two holes consecutively with the same wind.テつ You're constantly changing in crosswinds, which is exactly what links golf should be about.

Q.テつ Knowing about Irish Open over the years, what do you make of this and the crowds that have come out?
PAUL McGINLEY:テつ I have to be honest and say it's the best we've ever had, in terms of crowds.テつ We've had great Irish Opens on great golf courses, but in my opinion Portrush is up there with the very, very best courses in Ireland.
And to have a sellout crowds, it's something The European Tour has never done ever in its history before and to have sellout crowds all four days is quite incredible.テつ It's great, and the three boys with the major championships, is great.テつ The atmosphere is great.テつ Hopefully the rain stays off and people can get clapping as well so they are not holding off umbrellas and waterproofs.
Overall a good round of golf.テつ If I had made birdie on the last hole, we would be having a conversation about how well I played but that's how thin of a margin you have in professional golf.

Q.テつ You've had a grueling schedule recently.テつ Did that come into it at the end?
PAUL McGINLEY:テつ No, I can't blame it on that.テつ I slept great last night.テつ The back nine played tough, obviously we had the squally showers on the back nine and didn't have it on the front nine.テつ The back nine was tough, the wind was into us more on the back nine than it was on the front nine so it was hard to get at the golf course.テつ When I did at the course, I didn't convert my chances.

Q.テつ Darren was talking about the changes in the wind; that it's blowing in a reasonably generous direction for the players.テつ Are you surprised by the scores we are seeing out here?
PAUL McGINLEY:テつ No.テつ I know exactly how good professional golfers are on The European Tour nowadays.テつ The cuts amaze me every week how low they are, never mind the winning score and I'm not surprised.テつ That's the quality we have on The European Tour.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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