independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

McGinley vows to keep game in good shape

Paul McGinley

RYDER CUP captain Paul McGinley (46) happily set aside the duties of his exalted new office to fire a modestly-pleasing 70 in the first round of the Thailand Open.

McGinley's feet barely touched a fairway recently as he performed an array of Ryder Cup duties. Yet, he's determined to emulate Medinah miracle-worker Jose Maria Olazabal and keep his game in good shape during his captaincy.

"I've played a little bit at home and practiced a bit in between all the meetings I've had the last four or five weeks," he explained.

"My game's not too bad in terms of how I am hitting the ball, how I am chipping and putting. It's a question of getting it competition-sharp."

Defending champion Chris Wood and Padraig Harrington both opened with five-under par 67s for a share of 11th, three shy of Japan's first-round leader Koumei Oda.

"The course was there for the taking. Though five-under's a good start, it could've been better," said Harrington, who shot four straight birdies through five, but was "a bit disappointed," especially after a double-bogey five at 17.

Gareth Maybin was Ireland's best at the Avantha Masters. A one-under 71 left him 10 behind Thai Chinnarat Phadungsil (24). Michael Hoey shot 72 and Peter Lawrie 73.

Title-holder Luke Donald was two short of the early clubhouse lead in the Tampa Bay Championship after being frustrated by three bogeys in the final four holes of his one-under-par 70 at The Copperhead.

Avantha Masters, Day 2

Live, Sky Sports 2, 8.0

Tampa Bay Championship, Day 2

Live, Sky Sports 3, 7.0

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