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Captain Paul McGinley blown away by whirlwind reaction

Updated: Friday, 18 Jan 2013 12:45 | Comments

Paul McGinley: 'It's all sunk in now'
Paul McGinley: 'It's all sunk in now'

Paul McGinley sported a grin as wide as the 18th green at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club today as he explained how he had been blown away by the reaction to his appointment as Europe's 2014 Ryder Cup captain.

The 46-year-old Dubliner was almost certain to miss the halfway cut at the Abu Dhabi Championship after carding a one-over-par 73 for a five-over tally of 149.

While McGinley was disappointed by his inability to make a mark on this week's European Tour event, he took great comfort from the hordes of well-wishers keen to slap him on the back as he made his way to the clubhouse.

"It's been a whirlwind for the last 48 hours," McGinley said as he wiped the sweat from his brow after another steamy day in the desert.

"It's all sunk in now. You can't help but think about the Ryder Cup because everyone's coming up to you wherever you turn - tour staff, fans, players, officials, caddies.

"It's all been completely overwhelming. I had no idea the reception would be so genuinely enthused for me and it's a really nice feeling to know your peers are so happy for you to have success."

McGinley, who took a sideways glance at the clubhouse clock as he was expecting a phone call from the Taoiseach Enda Kenny, said he had received hundreds of congratulatory text messages since his appointment on Tuesday.

"I've had nearly 500 texts and I haven't yet managed to sift my way through them all," he added. "I've had so many things to do so I don't know who most of them are from."

McGinley was not only "very excited" about what the captaincy would mean for him, he was also delighted at the positive spinoffs for golf in general, especially a project he is involved with in Africa.

"This is a real boost for me at this stage of my career because it opens so many doors for me, brings so much more worldwide exposure, and I want to use all that in the right way," said McGinley.

"I'm doing a lot of work in Ghana with Tullow Oil, the Royal and Ancient (R&A) and (golf club manufacturers) Taylor Made. They've all invested a lot in the project and now I'm Ryder Cup captain I can bring a lot more to the table when I go there."

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