Paul McGinley is bracing himself for another golfing marathon in this week’s Italian Open.

The Dubliner was shattered after the Spanish Open in Madrid, where he eventually finished tied for 17th behind South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel.

But he fears that the weather could wreck his hopes to getting back into the world’s top 100 in Milan as he plays the second of five events on the trot..

McGinley said: “The weather was dreadful in Madrid - as bad as I can remember in my fifteen years on tour for stoppages and time at the golf course.

“I was averaging 14 hours a day from Wednesday to Saturday at the golf course and we were living in true Spanish style by having our dinner at 11pm each night.

“I’m looking forward to continuing my run of tournaments next week in Italy but my caddy tells me the forecast is not so good again.”

McGinley is struggling to get back into the top 100 in the world rankings after reaching a high of 16th less than two years ago.

The three time Ryder Cup hero actually fell two places to 108th in the latest list but showed signs in Spain that things are on the up.

At nine under par, he finished just seven strokes behind winner Schwartzel and jumped to 100th in the Order of Merit.

McGInley said: “I feel I made good progress last week in Spain. I was relatively pleased with my performance but felt that the tournament got away from me in the second round when I ended the day with a double bogey.

“I rallied well over the weekend to shoot seven under for the last two rounds but there was too much ground and too many players to catch.

“In order to contend I need to keep my intensity levels high for four rounds as the standard is so high that an average score can throw you right out of the tournament.

“All in all it was a good week considering it was only my seventh tournament of the year and the first in a run of five in a row.”

McGinley will be joined in Italy by Graeme McDowell, Peter Lawrie and Gary Murphy while David Higgins is second reserve.

Waterville man Higgins missed the cut by one agonising shot in Spain last week but McDowell, Lawrie and Murphy all played solidly,