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The 2014 Ryder Cup Captain hosts this week’s tournament through his Foundation following from a successful tournament in 2021, which saw fellow former Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjørn lift the trophy in a play-off with Welshman Phillip Price.
Not only is the event in McGinley’s home country but it is also in an area close to his heart, in County Donegal, Ireland which he spent many happy years as a child and always rekindles some fond memories throughout the years.
“I’ve been coming up here as long as I can remember,” McGinley said. “My mum and dad are from here we’ve always had a house here and any long weekend, bank holiday weekend five kids and the family we were all in the backseat of the car in the old days. A lot of time spent up here! It was a big part of my childhood and my teenage years, and I love it, it really touches the heart, I love it up here.
“It’s busy but look I feel I do better when I’ve got four or five things on the go at the same time a bit of stress in my life, I think works well I think I perform well when it’s on me, just meeting and greeting people and making sure they have a good time and showcase Donegal which is a place which is very close and dear to my heart, I’ve got big connections up here family wise with my mum and dad and I just want people to enjoy it and enjoy the beauty of it and enjoy what a great offering we have up here.”
The Irish Legends will be played on the Old Tom Morris Links, a course which was designed by the four-time Open Champion, and offers striking views of the Sheephaven Bay, in which many of the holes run parallel too.
“It is growing and it’s becoming more and more popular,” he said. “This golf course is well over 100 years old, The Old Tom Morris design, incredible history, how many golf courses can boast that Old Tom Morris had a hand, Harry Vardon had a hand where we are standing on, these greens that we are standing on, an incredible history.
“I’m pleased that the weather is good, you know we’re on the very top left-hand corner here of Ireland and the weather can get a bit gnarly even in August, we were lucky last year and so far, we have been lucky this year too and hopefully it is going to hold up, a little bit of wind we can take that, but it’s beautiful today isn’t it.”
The Irish Legends Celebrity Series took place yesterday which showcased many familiar names from media, sport and television including Irish music stars Brian McFadden and Keith Duffy, footballing greats Niall Quinn and Mick McCarthy and the winner and former footballer Packie Bonner who finished on a points total of 41.
Joining McGinley in the field tomorrow is 1999 Open Champion Paul Lawrie, two-time Legends Tour winner James Kingston and American Brandel Chamblee.
The action gets underway at 7:30 local time on Thursday August 18, with McGinley teeing it up alongside South African James Kingston at 9:10am.
CLICK HERE for more information on the Irish Legends presented by McGinley Foundation.