The Ryder Cup
Meet the Captain
In January 2013, Irishman Paul McGinley was named as Europe’s Captain for The 2014 Ryder Cup.
Paul McGinley played an instrumental role as a Vice Captain in Europe’s 2010 and 2012 Ryder Cup victories. Now he has stepped up to the top job and will lead the European Team’s defence of the Cup at Gleneagles.
In 2009 and 2011, McGinley demonstrated his fine leadership skills in team golf when he led Great Britain and Ireland to victory over Continental Europe in the Vivendi Seve Trophy.
The Irishman has always been passionate about the team format and has played in three consecutive successful Ryder Cup Teams. The first was in 2002, when he holed the winning putt. As well as The Ryder Cup, McGinley has been on a winning team in the Vivendi Seve Trophy, the World Cup and the Royal Trophy.
A winner of four European Tour titles, his best campaign to date came in 2005, when he finished runner-up three times before securing victory in the Volvo Masters.
McGinley might have pursued a career in Gaelic football, but a broken knee cap sustained when he was 19 put paid to that dream – and he had a sixth knee operation towards the end of 2009.
He played in the 1991 Walker Cup and gained his European Tour card on his first visit to the Qualifying School later the same year.
In 2014, he will pit his wits against one of his golfing heroes – US Team Captain Tom Watson.
- In an interview for EY, Europe’s 2012 Ryder Cup Captain, José María Olazábal, welcomes the appointment of his successor.
Let me start by congratulating Paul McGinley. I am sure that he will be a great Captain for Europe. Obviously, I know him well not only as a fellow player, but also first hand from his roles as Vice Captain at Ryder Cups and Captain at the Vivendi Seve Trophy. He is highly experienced in team events, he loves the Ryder Cup and he is very precise and meticulous.
He will leave no stone unturned in his preparations for the 2014 match at Gleneagles. He knows the players extremely well. He will be aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and will be able to bring the best out of them during their matches. And I cannot stress enough one key element. He has the full respect of the players – as you may already have witnessed on Twitter.
The challenge has always been to assemble a strong team from 12 individual players and then to deliver as a team. Paul will be extremely good at this. He knows the players and the event so well.
I admit that I was surprised when I heard about the appointment of Tom Watson as Captain of the US Team. I suppose the Americans felt it was time for change after Europe’s streak of winning five of the last six matches. Tom is one of golf´s great heroes. He is loved in Scotland and he will be wonderful for the event.
He will push his players to the limit to form a strong team – and they will be prepared. They are always prepared for The Ryder Cup. It will be a great pleasure to see Tom as Captain, but it does not bring any added pressure for Paul. Europe’s Captain will make sure that we will also be well prepared.
Paul was not only an important part of the team at Medinah, but already at previous Ryder Cups. He knows how to bring the players together and when to take decisions.
I will of course support him whenever he wishes to seek advice. That advice would include not underestimating the commitments in the one-and-a-half years leading up to the event.
Which new players might be on McGinley’s team? The European Tour today has such depth that it is impossible to predict who will break through. Fortunately, many have the potential. I am not a betting man, but I can say that I would not be surprised if more rookies play on the European Team at Gleneagles than at Medinah, when Nicolas Colsaerts was our only one.