McGinley to play in Hassan II Golf Trophy

November 2nd, 2008 - 10:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Nov 2 (IANS) Paul McGinley will be hoping to emulate the feat of his compatriot and defending champion Padraig Harrington when he competes in the forthcoming Hassan II Golf Trophy by Emaar to be held in the Moroccan capital of Rabat from Nov 5 to 9 this year.Double major winner Harrington, making his debut in Morocco last year, left an indelible mark at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam with a brilliant three-shot victory over Darren Clarke in the country’s longest-running tournament. Harrington won’t be there to defend his title this year and in his absence McGinley will carry the Irish flag - and hopes.

McGinley, who forever will be remembered as the guy who holed the winning putt in Europe’s Ryder Cup victory at the Belfry in 2002, will need to conjure another piece of magic if he aims to keep the Irish eyes smiling.

The Irishman, who posted six top-10 finishes this season with his best being a runner-up place in the KLM Open, will be joined by a star-studded field led by Ernie Els, who also will be making his first appearance in the event.

“I am looking forward to play in this tournament which has an interesting format,” said McGinley who finished tied 14th in the Dubai Desert Classic earlier this year. “With players like Ernie in the field, I will have to play my best golf to be in contention for the title,” said the affable Irishman who would like to be remembered as a guy who had a very successful career.

“Indeed he is enjoying a good career and his winning putt at Belfry has become part of the Ryder Cup folklore,” said Mohamed Chaibi, Executive Director of the Hassan II Golf Trophy by Emaar. “We are delighted to welcome him to Rabat and I am sure his presence will provide a massive boost to our tournament,” he added.

Since its inauguration in 1971, the Hassan II Golf Trophy has attracted some of the finest players in the game and has helped launch the careers of the likes of Payne Stewart, Vijay Singh and David Toms.

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