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June 27, 2013

Paul McGinley


Q.  Good 2‑under par, decent start?
PAUL McGINLEY:  Very decent start.  I'm really happy with that.  2‑under par is a good score.  I think we had rain for 15 of the 18 holes which wasn't much fun; unexpected.  I didn't think the forecast was going to be rain, was heavy at times so pleased to shoot 2‑under par.

Q.  With the other responsibilities, as well, it must be difficult to keep your focus on the golf?
PAUL McGINLEY:  It's difficult but it's not impossible.  I think it's important for the next two years that I remain competitive on Tour.  It's important that I play well and be in the tournaments and play with the guys, and I'm really‑‑ I think it's an important part of my job and I'm focused on that.

Q.  I was watching the coverage and I saw you rolled in a lot of very good par putts, so your blade is working well.
PAUL McGINLEY:  Yeah, it was that kind of day.  I had a lot of sort of six‑footers or par and whenever I hit it on the green, you had a six‑footer; and even if I missed I was missing it in the right place.  I had three birdies and that was good.  It was that kind of day, a scrappy day and wasn't a day where you were going to have loads of birdie opportunities, but a lot of par saves which I holed obviously, too.

Q.  The Irish Open, always seems to rain; it's incredible, isn't it.
PAUL McGINLEY:  I know, it's so unfortunate because this was not the forecast, not the forecast I read, anyway.  It was a light shower maybe this afternoon, but hopefully it's over the worst of it.  I know the forecast is definitely better for the weekend and definitely in the 20s and fingers crossed for that.

Q.  So what are the aspirations?
PAUL McGINLEY:  Continue playing well.  Today got me a bit by surprise.  I'm kind of glad to shoot 2‑under par.  By surprise, I didn't expect the weather to be that tough, and the course played really tough, because it was cold, as well and the ball was not flying through.
Some of the holes played really long into the breeze and it was wet and cold and it was a real challenge.  I'm pleased to have shot 70 and we'll just assess it tomorrow and take it from there.

Q.  With so many extra media responsibilities, how are you coping with all that?
PAUL McGINLEY:  So far so good.  I think it's gone okay.  I've got a good mentor here, the man beside me, here, Scott, is keeping an eye on me and making sure I don't do too much and keeping an eye on everything.  There's a really good team behind me in The Ryder Cup And the European Tour, very strong team, commercial department are very strong and media department are very strong.  I'm very grateful for that, it's something I didn't expect them to be as strong as they are.  I didn't realise they were as big as they are and that's been a real help to me I have to say.

Q.  Round of 70, good to do it in the situation you're in now, isn't it, particularly on a golf course like this?
PAUL McGINLEY:  Yeah, I'm really pleased.  It was a tough day, I didn't expect this.  The forecast I read wasn't to have 15 holes of rain and cold like it was today and breeze in.  There's a lot of tough holes out there so I'm really pleased to battle the way I did to shoot 2‑under par.

Q.  Obviously you've spoken about the fact that you really want to play well from now right through to The Ryder Cup at the end of 2014, or September 2014.  There's plenty of game there, isn't there?
PAUL McGINLEY:  Yeah, I don't think it's a question of want.  I think it's an important duty.  Part of the captain's duty is to remain competitive on Tour.  I'm out there; I'm seeing the guys; I'm at the tournaments for a reason.  I don't want to be a ceremonial captain for the next two years and I still have ambitions to play well.
I know I can play well and it's important that I remain motivated on that and focused on that and don't neglect it.

Q.  Is that a typical scenario, a 2‑under par on a tough course?
PAUL McGINLEY:  Yeah, in Wentworth, I actually played great tee‑to‑green.  If I had putted as well in Wentworth like I putted today, it would have been right up there.  So if I can get the two of them blended over the next few months I'll be happy.

Q.  You have a third place finish in an Irish Open I think 13 years ago; you're in a position to contend, I know it's a lot to ask, but you're in a position to contend here.
PAUL McGINLEY:  I am, we'll just have to wait and see.  There's a long way to go and at the moment, I'm focused.  I shot a good 2‑under par today, got a good start and we'll assess things tomorrow and take it from there.
But I don't want to get ahead of myself too much and put too much expectation on myself.  Of course I'm capable of winning but that's all so far off in the distance, it's a question of going out tomorrow and being focused and playing the golf course and shooting a score again and kind of assessing things from there onwards.

Q.  You'd love to be in the final Saturday or Sunday just to feel the crowd and atmosphere and maybe that would be an incentive to drive you on?
PAUL McGINLEY:  Yeah, I don't think there's a player in the field who wouldn't want that, and obviously being Irish particularly, you want to be up there in the end.  But we'll wait and see.
I'm looking forward to the next few days and I'm looking forward to the next three weeks, in fact, not just tomorrow or this week because I've got The French Open and The Scottish Open, three weeks in a row, something I have not done in quite a while, so I'm looking forward to that.

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