Team Europe > News

An Interview with Paul McGinley

RyderCup.com
September 17, 2004

JULIUS MASON: Congratulations, Paul, on a fine half match out there this morning. Some opening thoughts and we'll go to Q&A, please.

PAUL McGINLEY: Opening thoughts was a wonderful morning for the Europeans, obviously. 3 1/2 points out of four, who would have thought it. I mean, the story today really is Harrington and Monty. To take out your American No. 1 and No. 2, psychologically, it just sent a shiver right down through the team. It was an immense performance. Darren, as well, too, played magnificent, I believe. It was a wonderful team effort.

Momentum is huge in the Ryder Cup, and fortunately, we had it this morning.

But the Americans are a wounded animal. They will come back. Very strong team, 12 players, very strong captain. This Ryder Cup is long from over. We are very much in the present. We realize there's a hell of a long way to go. It's one day at a time, one match at a time.

JULIUS MASON: Thank you. Questions.

Q. What did you say to Luke on the first tee before and then after his opening drive?

PAUL McGINLEY: I said to him what Darren said to me last year, that is what I said, "Luke, you go first, if you don't -- if you miss a fairway, don't worry, I'm coming straight after you" and that's what Darren told me.

I felt a great sense of security when he told me that.

Now, Luke did hit it right as everybody knows and fortunately I smashed it down the middle after him at 340 yards. It worked for Darren and me, and hopefully it worked for Luke this morning. I'm sure it did.

Q. What did he say after his drive?

PAUL McGINLEY: Nothing. Nothing. He was a little bit in shock and obviously nervous. You know, a few words to him going down the fairway and then it was a case of letting him get on with his game. He was great. He got stronger as the match went down. His 2-iron to 18 is one of the greatest shots I've ever seen in circumstances like that, for a rookie, and I think as a team we are all very proud of him the way he's come through his first. He's only going to get stronger from here in.

Q. I guess the bonding of the European Team, how much does that have to do with you guys embracing the underdog role and maybe feeling that you have to come together in order to win the event?

PAUL McGINLEY: Yeah, the European Tour is a very close-knit tour as well. It's not as big as the American tour. We normally all stay in the same hotels and we're always drawn together with each other. Unlike in America where the draws are always Tiger will be playing with somebody from down the Order of Merit or whatever the case may be, in Europe we're always drawn together for TV because we are a smaller tour. There's a lot of camaraderie because of that. I think that is one of the things, why we are close together as a team.

I think we have got a wonderful captain this week. You're right, we always are the underdogs. The Americans are a very strong team. They have got four or five major winners on their team, something we don't have. In previous years, Europe did have that. We don't have it now.

I think we are a strong chain from 1 to 12 and I think that's the secret of a Ryder Cup, is to have 12 strong players. I think we do, as the Americans do. But as I say, the Americans are far from finished yet. There's a hell of a long way to go yet. They are a wounded animal and they are going to come at us really strong. We are aware of that.

Q. Padraig claims that you're a very unlucky putter. After this morning, do you intend to sue him for slander?

PAUL McGINLEY: (Laughing) He says a lot of things like that apparently, doesn't he?

No, I mean, Padraig was immense today. I'm proud of him. I'm so proud of what him and Monty did this morning. It was a huge psychological blow for the European Team, to take out their No. 1 and 2 players, as they did. As I say, it sent a shiver right down through the team. We could all feel it, we could all sense it. It muted the crowd to an extent. I'm very proud of Padraig today and I'm proud of Darren, too. Darren was world class this morning and it was great for the Irish.

Q. What did Bernhard say to you afterwards and just looking forward to this afternoon and the rest of it?

PAUL McGINLEY: I didn't speak to Bernhard that much. He congratulated us on our performance. I knew I wasn't playing in the afternoon. He told me that last night. But he felt he needed somebody with a little bit of experience to play with Luke to guide him through his first -- through his first match. You know, hopefully I provided that for him.

Q. How much do you think is Bernhard Langer's thought process, how much is it important to what's going on out there, especially in terms of the pairings, do you have any idea?

PAUL McGINLEY: It's obviously important. I mean, Bernhard Langer is a guy who is hugely well respected in the team room, there's no question about that, as Hal Sutton would be in the American team room. We have a huge respect for Bernhard Langer. I personally think he's a very intelligent man. I know that he's going to make a lot of right decisions this week. It gives a lot of security to the team that we have got somebody captaining the team who is -- who is a very clever man and knows how to win Ryder Cups.

JULIUS MASON: Questions? Paul McGinley, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you very much.

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