Paul McGinley still managed to auction off his Ryder Cup captain's blazer for charity after it was missed by the thieves who broke into his car on Monday.
Last year's triumphant Ryder Cup skipper revealed that he was with the Donegal-born priest who married him and christened his three cidren when his car was broken into shortly after he arrived in San Francisco.
According to Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle who attended McGinley's press conference, the Dubliner's clubs didn't fit in the boot of his rental SUV bearing Nevada plates so he threw them in the back seat. The car was immediately targeted by thieves looking for likely out-of-owners.
According to the PGA Tour's Helen Ross:
McGinley parked his SUV outside the Cliff House, a historic restaurant where the two planned to eat lunch. He and McBride got out and started walking down the beach.
"It was the most beautiful day," McGinley said with a wry smile. "The waves were huge. ... I was taking photographs of the waves.
"I should have been looking around me instead of taking photographs."
When McGinley and McBride returned to the car they found the back window smashed in and the car ransacked. His golf clubs were gone. Ditto for his travel documents, iPad and computer, as well as the notebook where he chronicles what he's doing with his golf swing.
"I had some Ryder Cup notes in there as well," McGinley said.
The victorious European captain had also brought some Ryder Cup memorabilia -- autographed photographs and a gala menu signed by both teams, among other things -- that was to be auctioned off Monday night at a dinner to benefit the Irish Immigration Pastoral Center that McBride, who married McGinley and his wife, Ali, and christened all their children, runs.
The culprits didn't take his official Ryder Cup blazer, which he later auctioned off the at a fund-raiser for the Irish Pastoral Center in San Francisco, where Fr McBride is attached.
“They rifled through my clothes but didn’t take them,” McGinley said ahead of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, where e will pay wit Ben Sharpe , CEO of TaylorMade Golf, at Monterey Peninsula Country Club on Thursday. “Obviously, they didn’t see any value in a European blazer.”
According to the Chronicle:
The incident complicated McGinley’s preparations for the AT&T, which begins Thursday on the Monterey Peninsula. He spent most of Tuesday getting fitted for new clubs; replacing the irons and wedges were no problem, but he’s not comfortable with his driver and other woods.
“My preparation for the tournament has been very poor – I haven’t played any holes yet,” he said. “I’ve spent all my time running around trying to get equipment. It’s not just the clubs, it’s also my range finder, all my golf notes, shoes, gloves, all the stuff you would normally have.
“But, look, it’s all right. I’ll deal with it. It’s not ideal preparation, but it doesn’t stop me from enjoying this week and hopefully playing well.”
Golfbytourmiss.com adds further detail about McGinley's relationship with Donegal-born Fr McBride, a keen golfer. Needless to say in San Francisco, the story also features the obligatory Irish cop:
And in another Irish theme twist the first on the scene was an Irish American policeman in Officer McMahon.
“Officer McMahon came and helped me, and he’s the one who pointed out I had out of state plates, and that’s what they do as they troll up‑and‑down to see any out of state cars,” said McGinley.
“So there’s a chance that it’s a tourist, there’s a chance that there’s something in the car, because it’s ‑‑ and the boot was all secured, but the fact that they smashed the back window and obviously popped the boot from inside and had a look in there.
“But despite what happened the charity function still went ahead at the pastoral center and hopefully we would have raised still a lot of money.”
Shane Lowry and Dermot Desmond will be in the first group off the first tee at Pebble Beach with Pádraig Harrington and JP McManus, winners of the event in 2012.
Lowry was pleased with his performance in San Diego and relieved to escape injury when he and caddie Dermot Byrne were rear-ended in traffic in LA on the way to Pebble Beach, as he recounts in his column in The Irish Times.
As for Harrington, his latest diary entry summed up his feelings about his game:
"I was very disappointed to miss the cut last week, especially as after four holes of my second round I was five under par for the tournament. I got on a run of bogies and I just wasn't able to stop them. The South Course played very tough last week and if you were not hitting it well it was a struggle. I ended up hitting too many shots from the rough and it cost me.
"I shot three under in the first round on the easier North Course, which was fine but it should have been a lot better. I was three under through nine holes but wasn't able to improve. I made three bogeys on my back nine when I really shouldn't have made any and then I failed to make a birdie on the last hole - I was unlucky in that I got an extremely heavy lie in the rough which meant that I couldn't reach the green. That said three under was ok and it put me in good position going into the second round.
"My second round started out well in terms of scoring - I made three pars and then an eagle on the 13th (my 4th hole of the day). However I had missed the first three greens and then chipped in from off the edge for eagle. This continued for the rest of my round and I missed a lot of greens and fairways. I just didn't play well, in actual fact I chipped and putted well to shot the score I did.
"I spent the weekend in San Diego and played a couple of games. On Saturday I played a pro-am on the North Course and then on Sunday I played on a local course with a few friends. I can see from my two weeks that it is rustiness that is contributing to my poor play. Getting out and playing is what I need and I feel a lot better after getting in the two rounds at the weekend. Whilst it is not the same as competitive tournament rounds, it all helps.
"I am heading to Pebble Beach for the AT&T this week and looking forward to catching up with my Partner, J.P., as well as getting some more competitive rounds under my belt."