Paul McGinley has received an invitation to contest this year’s PGA Championship where fellow Irishman Rory McIlroy will defend the Rodman Wanamaker Trophy.
While it is now customary for the US PGA, as organisers of both the Ryder Cup and PGA Championship, to offer rival captains an invite, McGinley is delighted to be heading back to Oak Hill for a first time in a decade, where he and fellow Irishman Phillip Walton helped deliver Europe the 1995 Ryder Cup. It will also be the Dubliner’s first PGA Championship since 2007.
“I knew when I became Ryder Cup captain I would receive an invitation to compete in the PGA Championship but then it was nice when the official invitation arrived in the mail,” said McGinley.
Unless McGinley qualifies on June 24 at Sunningdale for the British Open, then the PGA will be McGinley’s first Major appearance since the 2009 Open at Turnberry.
However McGinley indicated he will be present at the British Open where he will meet USA captain Tom Watson for a first time since the American’s appointment as Gleneagles captain.
And McGinley’s father, Michael has spoken about the appointment of his son to Europe’s highest position and the reaction from the Irish public.
“It’s just been fantastic the reaction in Ireland to Paul’s appointment, and not just from within golfing circles but every walk of life in Ireland,” he said.
However the delight in the McGinley family was not mirrored at yesterday’s US Open qualifier at Walton Heath, where the three Irish competing each failed to qualify. Shane Lowry was bitterly disappointed and was observed in the locker room slumped with his head in his hands after posting a three over par 75.
Lowry was then among 24 players in the 94-player qualifier not to contest the second round, and instead the reigning Portugal Masters champion was looking to board an earlier flight to the States and this week’s Jack Nicklaus hosted Memorial in Ohio.
“That score was not in the script and I’m really disappointed, and that’s putting it mildly,” he said.
Also failing to qualify for Merion was Peter Lawrie (72 & 80) while Ballyclare’s Gareth Maybin joined Lowry in not contesting the second round after shooting an 81.
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