Ryder Cup LogoRyder Cup: Team USASeptember 22-24 2006, The K Club, Straffan, County Kildare, Ireland
Story Image Darren Clarke of Europe watches team mate Paul McGinley tee off during the first official practice day of The 2006 Ryder Cup.

McGinley Lifted by Irish Bottle

Ireland's Paul McGinley milked the support from the 45,000 strong crowd which poured into The K Club and is ready to play his part in Europe's bid to win The Ryder Cup for a third successive time.

Rod Williams, Press Officer
19 September 2006

The biggest event in Irish sporting history got underway with the first official practice day and no man is more proud to be part of it than Paul McGinley. The Dubliner partnered Padraig Harrington in the first practice round and with Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood in the same group, the Irish crowd didn’t stop cheering all day.

"I read somewhere that two billion people are going to have access to watching this. That puts it into perspective how big this is.

"This is a showcase for Ireland. As an economy and as a country we've grown unbelievably in the last ten years. I can see that more than most people because I don't live here any more and can see the changes when I come back.

"This is very much a cherry at the end of the cake to put on an event of this size. I've never seen corporate hospitality and stands of this magnitude. That makes me proud as an Irishman."

McGinley has struggled with his form during the summer but on returning to The K Club, can feel his confidence grow. And having been part of the last two winning European sides, knows what to expect.

"The most important thing for me is that we win this cup at the end of the week.

"I have work to do. My short game is still not as sharp as I'd like it to be, but I had a really good week of practice last week and I'm raring to go.

"I'm sure the adrenaline and the excitement of playing in front of my home crowd and playing in the Ryder Cup will bring the form to a new level this week, like it will to a lot of guys."

The Irish crowd bring a unique flavour to the event.

“It’s great to see the crowds out,” remarked McGinley at the end of a day which saw 45,000 spectators come through the gates. “Plenty of good atmosphere and good fun out there and smart comments like you have in Ireland.”

One story summed up the carnival atmosphere as the spectators began helping themselves to water bottles from the back of a buggy as the driver sat oblivious to all the chaos behind him watching the golf. “It can only happen in Ireland,” joked McGinley. “He had a hundred bottles to start and by the time he pulled off, I’d say he only had ten left. It was so funny.”

Video Highlights

Darren Clarke Sunday Video Recap
Check out all the great highlights from Sunday's European victory. Watch

Memorable Moments

  • 1969: Tony Jacklin and Jack Nicklaus on the final hole of the final day.