By Brian Keogh
Paul McGinley reckons he’s ready to blast his way back into the winner’s circle after his worst season for 15 years.
But he says he’s not the least bit surprised by Ireland’s amazing winning streak this season and warned fans not to get carried away.
After watching Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke, Damien McGrane and Peter Lawrie lift titles, he said: “It makes me proud of the Irish. I remember reading an article in one of the Irish papers over Christmas asking why Irish golf is in a slump.
“But I am not surprised that Peter has won. I am not surprised that Damien has won. I have been saying for a while how good these kids really are.
“I’m absolutely delighted for the young guys. It’s great. Especially for Peter. To win so shortly after his buddy Damien winning was a very difficult thing.
“As for Darren, I’m not surprised either. He’s a bit of a player. It’s not like he’s come from nowhere.
“He’s gone through the emotional turmoil but when your game is as good as Darren’s you are going to have your weeks when you win and he did.
“But there is so much more to it than just holing a putt at the right time to win a tournament and your name going on the trophy.
“And anyone who looks deeper at Irish golf will see that there is an abundant of talent. Not just on tour, but coming through.
“How can it be on the crest of a wave when six months ago it was in the doldrums? That's why I don't get carried away with the wins and I don't get carried away with the losses.”
McGinley didn’t have even one top ten last year, slumping from 71st to 207th in the world and to his worst Order of Merit position since his rookie season in 1992.
Yet he believes he’s closer than ever to hitting a red-hot streak of form again with three top-tens already this season.
He said: “I’ve just got to wait for my week and if I keep my stats as good as they are, I’ll have a hell of a season in the weeks to come.
“I’ve won here before, the Irish PGA in 2003, and as long as we get decent weather it should be okay. A few showers are due to come in but I think it’ll be okay. It’s nothing like last year.”
As for the Ryder Cup, McGinley admits that he needs a few big weeks before he can even start thinking about packing his bags for Valhalla.
Still 160th in the world, he said: “I’m way off Ryder Cup at the moment. If I could play my way into a position where I could make the team, it would be a different scenario but I am so far away now. I haven’t had the big cheques.
“I keep saying if I’m going to make it, I’m going to have to win big cheques. If I am going to get up the world rankings, I’ve got to have big finishes. I haven’t been doing it.
“I’m still not making any indentations in the world rankings because it’s all about first or second.”
One good week could send McGinley’s season into orbit and he’s hoping that it comes soon.
He said: “It’s all about confidence. If I keep playing the way I have been, I’ll have my week. It will come.
“Last year I wasn’t even close, my game was way off the pace and the closest I was finishing was 18th. This year I’ve already had three or four top tens. There are signs that I am on the right path.”