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Gutted McGinley must go under the knife, yet again

By Bernie McGuire

Paul McGinley is staring at an eighth operation on his troublesome knees that will see the triple Ryder Cup winning star sidelined from competition for close to two months.

After carding a level par 72 on the opening day of the Madrid Masters at El Encin Golf Hotel, McGinley revealed that he is to undergo further keyhole surgery on the right knee later next month.

“I've had six operations already on my left knee, but this next operation will be the second on my right knee,” he said.

“I'm going back into hospital for surgery after playing out in Singapore and Johor. It will mean missing next year's Dubai Desert Classic, but then I'm going to play the Pebble Beach AT & T Pro-Am with Dermot Desmond as my playing partner.

“I'll just be in and out of hospital over a couple of days and it's just to clean out some more debris in and around the kneecap.”

There is some added pain for McGinley (pictured) at the moment, as he has not yet been confirmed to contest the Andalucia Masters later this month — he had the last of his four Tour victories six years ago in this tournament at Valderrama.

As he approached the Madrid Masters scorer's hut yesterday, he asked Tour official, Jose Maria Zamora: “How's my Andalucia Masters invitation going?”

“Don't worry Paul, you are top of the list,” Zamora replied.

England's Ross McGowan had the honour of the first official El Encin course record after an eight-under-par 64 to end the round one stroke clear of Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, along with Australia's former Irish Open winner Brett Rumford and Italy's Lorenzo Gagli.

Gareth Maybin heads Ireland's three-man contingent at three-under-par. Maybin capped his round by landing a lob-wedge to three inches at the par four 17th for the easiest of birdies.

Damien McGrane is a shot further back after recording a two-under-par 70.

Meanwhile Rory McIlroy finished day one of the Korea Open a single shot behind joint leaders Rickie Fowler and YE Yang.

McIlroy, who is trying to better his third placed finish two years ago — birdied three of the first eight holes, including the first to send him shooting up the leaderboard.

A bogey at the 10th was followed by a double-bogey at the par four 11th had him back on level par, but he finished three under thanks to birdies at the 12th, 14th, 15th and 17th, with a further bogey at the last.

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