McGinley excited about Portrush prospects
June 28, 2012 09:12:01 UK
World number two Rory McIlroy heads a strong Irish challenge at the Irish Open this week but Paul McGinley is hoping he can sneak under the radar to claim victory in his national tournament.
The likes of McIlroy, who can be backed at 8.00, Open champion Darren Clarke at 56.00 and Major winners Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell at 12.00 and 11.00 respectively have all been touted as possible Irish winners at Royal Portrush.
I'm going to enjoy every minute of it this week because I love this course.Paul McGinley
But of the home players, no one is currently playing better than McGinley and Europe's 2002 Ryder Cup hero, who is available at 51.00, is excited about his prospects over the next four days.
McGinley has registered three top-ten finishes in his last four starts including coming third at last week's BMW International Open and he is optimistic about his chances - as long as he can overcome a niggling long-term knee injury.
He told the Irish Golf Desk: "It's a great buzz for me to be playing well again and I'm going to enjoy every minute of it this week because I love this course.
"I'm excited. It's just exciting to be back playing at a high standard again after playing poorly for two years.
"But my knee is a worry and unfortunately I'm in the meat of the season now with four tournaments in a row."
McGinley has benefited this season from an improved fitness regime but his knee has caused him significant problems over the last few seasons.
The Irishman was forced to pull out of Open qualifying at Sunningdale at the start of the week because of soreness and is unable to practice as much as he'd like because of the problem.
McGinley added: "I don't want to blame my knee for bad golf. It's not about that. It's about me maintaining a level of performance.
"I have to take Mondays and Tuesdays off these days because it's all about maintenance for me."
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