McGinley denies Garcia bust up

From Brian Keogh in Tulsa

Paul McGinley has denied rumours of a massive bust up with Sergio Garcia over the Spaniard's Carnoustie fiasco.

The fiery latin ace was furious that he had to wait "15 minutes" for bunkers to be raked as McGinley and Chris DiMarco finished in front of him the Open last month.

Frustrated Garcia tugged his approach into sand and failed to make the par four that would have denied Padraig Harrington the Claret Jug.

But after clear-the-air talks with Garcia in Akron last week, McGinley confirmed that there was no question of a major grudge developing.

McGinley said: "I had a long chat with Sergio in Akron and he bears no grudge. Absolutely not.

"But I can understand his frustration and I do understand where he was coming from."

McGinley revealed that he counted 52 people inside the ropes on the final day at Carnoustie from TV crews and scorers to reporters and officials.

And he believes the R&A needs to address the issue to prevent the Open becoming what he described as "a zoo."

He said: "Sergio was giving out and he was probably right. They were told not to rake the bunkers until we finished play, if the tour caddies were doing it, they know when to get into the bunkers, when to rake, when to stop, and that’s what speeds up play.

"There was a BBC buggy going straight up the middle of the fairway as I was standing over my tee shot. It was a huge learning curve. I’d never been in the second last group in a major before and boy did I learn a lot.

"The Ryder cup was a pussy cat compared to that. The amount of activity going on inside the ropes was extraordinary. Nobody’s allowed inside the ropes at the Ryder Cup except the referee, the caddies, the players, that’s it.

"I played with DiMarco and his caddie counted 52 people inside the ropes on one hole. It’s a zoo. I was caught between Sergio in the game behind and Padraig in the game ahead.

"We were caught in the middle, so there were TV crews, radio crews, officials. It was just unbeleiveable. I’ve never seen anything like it. it was a big learning experience and should I ever get in that position again I will know a lot more of what to expect. It took me by surprise to be honest.

"I mean he counted 52 people on the fairway. What’s going on there? I will be prepared for it the next time I am in a major championship.

"I don't know if it is the same here in America because I have never been in the last groups in the majors here. But certainly in the British Open 52 people inside the ropes is ridiculous, it's out of order."

McGinley was tied for third entering the final round of the Open but eventually finished a frustrating 19th after closing with a 73.

And he hopes to bounce back this week by grabbing a top finish that would help salvage his season.

Ranked 155th in the world, McGinley said: "I was really disappointed with Carnoustie. I’ve played so well, shot 73 on Sunday which wasn’t a disastrous round and I ended up going from third to 19th.

"That hurt, because I feel I played a lot better than 19th during the week. I've played well the last two weeks without having a big result and that is what is hurting me at the moment.

"I have only missed three cuts but I am lacking a big finish. Between now and the end of the season it would be nice to have some big finishes."

Southern Hills could be a good place to start as it is not a long-hitters paradise.

And while McGinley believes the race for the title is wide open, his light-weight frame will allow him to cope better with the heat and humidity that many of the heavier players.

He said: "It is obviously a super golf course, short by modern standards, a lot of two irons off the tee. I can’t remember doing that ever in America on any kind of a golf course.

"Certainly I’d do it in British Opens and that where you get the run, but it’s unusual to have that many two irons as you have this week.

"I’d like to think it suits me. I much prefer this than if it was 7,800 yards. And I’m well used to the weather. One thing we do on the European tour is play in this type of climate.

"If I get dehydrated this week I have nobody to blame but myself. I’ve had lots of experience in this heat and humidity.

"Rest is important, energy is important. Lots of fluids, salts, eating well at night, and sleeping is important. There will be a lot of guys up there who are comfortable here.

"This golf course brings a lot of guys into the equation in terms of winning and it is not your typical big golf course that we seem to play more and more in America.

"They take the top 100 players in the world and then fill it with the 20 guys from the PGA and special invites like I’m on this week with the Ryder Cup.

"So they do go out of their way to make sure they have the best, if you take out the 20 guys from the PGA, they have the best 136 players that they can find."