Sport Golf

Friday 29 August 2014

McGinley vows to keep game in good shape

William S Callahan

Published 15/03/2013 | 05:00

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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.

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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.

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