McGinley feeling homesick

By Brian Keogh

Paul McGinley can't wait to get back on European soil so he can claw his way back up the World Golf Rankings.

The Dubliner has played just one event near home this season - the Portuguese Open in Estoril two weeks ago.

But after trips to Thailand, Qatar, Dubai, the US and China, he's looking forward to getting a run of events on Continental Europe.

He said: "I am just looking forward to the season because I am not far off where I need to be.

"I just need a run of tournaments. That is what I am missing more than anything.

"If you are not in the top 50 in the world, the start of the season is just a total nightmare."

McGinley slipped outside the top 100 in the world this week - slumping to 102nd from a high of 18th following his Volvo Masters win in 2005.

The three-time Ryder Cup hero is also 111th in the Order of Merit with just €57,979 from five starts.

Less than two years ago he finished third in the European money list with €2.2 million in earnings but last season he slumped to 52nd after a nightmare run that included a knee operation.

On a positive note, McGinley has made every cut so far in 2007.

But his best finish is still a share of 16th place in Qatar and he needs something positive to happen when he tees it up alongside amateur Rory McIlroy in the Spanish Open from 26-29 April.

The Dubliner, 40, was forced to watch the Masters on TV as he took time out to rest at his family's holiday hideaway in Donegal.

He made a surprise appearance at the West of Ireland championship in Sligo last weekend, watching his brother Michael in action before continuing his journey north.

And he should be buzzing with energy when he plays four events in a row in Europe in April and May with the Spanish Open quickly followed by the Italian Open, Irish Open and BWM PGA Championship at Wentworth.