McGinley has World Cup on his mind

Paul McGinley will tee it up in Hong Kong this week with the World Cup on his mind.

The Dubliner decided last week to enter the UBS Hong Kong Open at Fanling after being snubbed for an invite to the HSBC Champion Tournament in Shanghai.

McGinley failed to make the elite field in China after a disastrous season that featured nine missed cuts and just three top tens.

But with the Barbados World Cup alongside Padraig Harrington just three weeks away he badly needs to keep his game ticking over.

McGinley rapped: "I desperately wanted to play the HSBC Champions Tournament in Shanghai and had looked for an invitation on the basis that I was the only Ryder Cup player not exempt who wanted to play and the fact that the closing date in September was the week I fell out of the top 50 in the World Rankings to No 52.

"In the light of the fact that I am committed to playing the World Cup at Sandy Lane in early December I felt it’s important to keep my hand in competitively by entering the UBS Hong Kong Open."

McGinley was ranked 18th in the world following his Volvo Masters win just over a year ago.

But he has since slipped to 57th and is keen to come out all guns blazing in Hong Kong where Damien McGrane, Peter Lawrie and Gary Murphy will also kick of the 2007 European season.

Competition for the title will be red-hot with Michael Campbell and Retief Goosen, who were third in Shanghai, also in the field alongside defending champion Colin Montgomerie and 2004 winner Miguel Angel Jimenez.

European No 1 Harrington won't be in Hong Kong, where he won in 2004, but the in-form Dubliner will remain in Asia following his share of sixth place behind Yang Yong-eun in Shanghai on Sunday.

Harrington has hit a rich vein of form in recent months and will be gunning for more cash and glory alongside Tiger Woods, David Howell, Ian Poulter and Justin Rose in the €1.3 million Dunlop Phoenix event in Japan.

The Dubliner, 35, is one of the biggest threats to Woods bid for a hat-trick of Dunlop Phoenix wins and is looking forward to his first start in Japan since 1999.

Harrington, who remained at No 11 in the latest World Rankings, finished 22nd in the Casio World Open that year but is hoping for better this time around after a decent finish in Shanghai on Sunday.

He said: "Yes it is nice to see somewhere different. I hear the course is very good."

And he's happy with the way he's playing after recovering from a disastrous triple bogey at the 18th on Saturday with an eagle finish to his final round in China.

He added: "It has been very, very good. Sunday was excellent all the way through but Saturday could have been a little better.

"I was pretty focused all week and wasn't finding any distractions. I will look forward to when they get the greens a little bit firmer, that would suit me more."