• Johnnie Walker Championship, 1st Round

McGinley rules out playing at Ryder Cup

ESPN staff
August 22, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Paul McGinley is three shots off the lead at Gleneagles © Getty Images
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Paul McGinley has ruled out any notion of qualifying for Europe's Ryder Cup team after an impressive first day at the Johnnie Walker Championship which left him three shots off the lead.

McGinley sits tied for 14th after hitting 68 on the first day at Gleneagles, the course where he will captain Europe in the biennial event next year.

Bernd Wiesberger of Austria and Argentina's Ricardo Gonzalez are the joint leaders after posting seven-under 65s. They both carded seven birdies, Gonzalez adding an eagle and a couple of bogeys.

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Following his efforts on the Centenary Course, McGinley dismissed any possibility of being a playing captain in the Ryder Cup. He said: "To be honest, I think I won't even have myself on the points list.

"If I start playing well it's a big bonus but one thing is for sure, there's no way I can be a playing captain. Let's put it in perspective, I've had a good round today but I've had a mediocre season, probably a poor season to be honest, so far."

McGinley took plenty of notes as he made his way around the course, which suited his game better than in previous years with less severe rough, and admits he will seek the input of his likely team members as he plots Europe's path to glory at Gleneagles.

"The jury is still out at the moment, but it's been a huge learning curve to go to the other end of the scale in terms of the set-up of the golf course this week," McGinley added.

"I lost a ball with my second shot into the 15th last year and I was probably three yards left of the green. This year it's good rough, but not unplayable. I don't know which way we'll go yet, but it's good to get both perspectives."

Wiesberger and Gonzalez are a stroke clear of a group six players which includes Englishmen Oliver Fisher, Mark Foster and Ross Fisher. Spain's Ignacio Garrido, Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee and Australian Brett Rumford make up the rest.

Englishmen Tom Lewis and Andy Sullivan are a further shot back at five under. Francesco Molinari, who helped Europe win the Ryder Cup outright at Medinah after Martin Kaymer had holed the putt to retain the trophy, shot a three-under 69 to tie for 26th.

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