PAUL McGINLEY managed only one top 10 finish in the last two years on the European Tour as he battled with a knee problem, but he looks a different player this season.
The 45-year-old Irishman, hero of the 2002 Ryder Cup and front-runner to lead Europe at Gleneagles in 2014, resumed the BMW International Open in Cologne today in joint third place.
An opening 65, which left him one behind Australian Marcus Fraser and Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti, was McGinley's second in a row.
The previous one gave him a sixth place finish in the Wales Open at Celtic Manor and he had another as he came seventh in Korea in April. "I'm in a nice little run and this was another good day, but there's three more to go," said McGinley, whose last victory came at the 2005 Volvo Masters.
He has been captain of the last two Britain and Ireland sides in the Seve Trophy and winning both of those matches continued a fine record.
The Dubliner was a member of three Ryder Cup sides and won all of them. He played two Seve Trophies, triumphing in them as well, and as a vice-captain to Colin Montgomerie two years ago he was able to celebrate again.
England's Chris Wood and Danny Willett matched McGinley's round, Wood after thinking he might miss his start time because of a traffic jam.
The Bristol golfer -- and several other players -- solved that particular problem by "legging it" across some fields. "It was about three and a half kilometres and I was a bit sweaty when I got here, but it was worth it," he said.