Player power sinks Monty! It's Rory's choice as McGinley is named Ryder Cup captain
McGinley has never been involved in a losing Ryder Cup side.
European Tour wins: Four (plus five other professional titles).
Best finish in a major: Tied sixth at the 2004 US PGA Championship.
P.S. In the 2009 and 2011 Seve Trophy, McGinley was the winning captain of Great Britain and Ireland over Continental Europe.
But it was McIlroy and the rest of
the miracle makers at Medinah who held sway; McIlroy's intervention on
Twitter last December that turned everything McGinley's way.
Where he went, other critical voices
followed, such as Luke Donald, Justin Rose and the hero in the last
match in America, Ian Poulter.
Thomas Bjorn, chairman of the
Players' Committee, said: 'Our players on tour wanted us to make this
choice and we listen to our players.'
As so often these days, McIlroy was
spot on with his judgment. McGinley might not have the star persona of
other captains but this was a deserved victory for a decent man who will
leave no stone unturned in his quest to complete a successful defence.
Never have you seen a golfer look
more proud than the 46-year-old Dubliner, who becomes the first Irish
captain in Ryder Cup history.
'I am obviously thrilled and also
feel very humbled to become the captain and I'm relishing the chance to
go up against one of my all-time gol f ing heroes i n Amer ican skipper
Tom Watson,' he said.
'I thought I had a strong hand
because I had the support of the players and, obviously, when the new
star of golf is so vocal in your favour, that is very gratifying as
well. If Rory doesn't make the team I think he has got a good chance of
getting a pick.'
All smiles: McGinley at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club on Tuesday ahead of this week's championship
The kingmaker was in the back of the
room to see his nominee gain his due, as was another architect of
Ireland's wondrous recent success on the world stage – McGinley's
long-time friend and golfing partner, Padraig Harrington.
'I couldn't be more thrilled for him,
he's a dogged man with a real passion for team golf and I think he will
be a brilliant captain,' said Harrington. One of the first to send his
congratulations was Watson.
'Paul is a class act,' he said.
Ironically enough, given what transpired, it was Montgomerie who gave
McGinley his first stab at captaincy, when he invited him to become
Britain and Ireland skipper at the 2009 Seve Trophy.
One of the team members was McIlroy.
'Paul made me feel so comfortable from the start,' said McIlroy.
'He makes you feel so good about
yourself. He put me out as No 1 and I was so determined to deliver a
point for him. He is the best captain I have ever played under.'
McGinley has fewer tournament wins in
526 European Tour starts than Watson has triumphs in The Open – four to
five – but it matters little.
Common sense: Rory McIlroy was pleased with the decision to install McGinley
More Twitter reaction
IAN POULTER (Ryder Cup specialist, looking to make his fifth appearance next year): 'Paul Mcginley Ryder Cup captain truly really happy that he has given the opportunity to captain the 2014 Ryder Cup team.'
RORY McILROY (World No 1, and McGinley's biggest supporter for the job): 'Common sense prevailed in the end…. Paul McGinley 2014 European Ryder Cup captain!!! Couldn't be happier for him… Roll on Gleneagles'
EDOARDO MOLINARI (Italian who played in the 2010 match): 'I am sure that Paul will be a fantastic captain! Well done to him…and now it's time to work even harder to be part of his team!'
SCOTT JAMIESON (Scot who has made a flying start to the season): 'Congrats Paul McGinley, def gets my vote, will be a great Ryder Cup captain.' UNITED STATES
TOM WATSON (United States Ryder Cup captain): 'Congrats to Paul McGinley on your R/C Captaincy. Looking forward to our future competition. You're a class act.'
DUSTIN JOHNSON (2011 Open runner-up, Ryder Cup player in the last two events): 'Heard the Ryder Cup news about McGinley… @TomWatsonPGAPro & the USA will be ready!!!!'
DAVID DUVAL (former world No 1 and two-time Ryder Cup player): 'Congrats to McGinley for the captaincy. We competed first 20 plus years ago in the Walker Cup.'
In the Ryder Cup he has been a lion,
sinking the winning putt at The Belfry in 2002. Alongside Donald, he is
the only European never to have been on the losing side having played at
least three Ryder Cups.
He was a vice-captain in 2010 and at
Medinah. 'I don't know what it is but team golf and the Ryder Cup have
always brought the best out of me,' said McGinley, who was forecast to
become a Gaelic football star for Dublin until his career was cut short
by a knee injury at the age of just 19.
McGinley's nomination as captain was a
victory for modesty, for he never felt the need to blow his own trumpet
in the months leading up to the announcement.
He started the drawn-out process
trailing Darren Clarke by a seemingly hopeless margin until the
Ulsterman's campaign was derailed by McIlroy's tweet of support for
McGinley before Christmas.
Then came Montgomerie as those committee members who wanted a big personality switched their allegiance to the Scot.
Sky were trailing in the days leading
up to the announcement that Montgomerie was confident he would get the
nod. Still McGinley kept silent.
'It's amazing how much you hear when you don't talk,' the Irishman said wryly.
'To be honest, it was my wife,
Alison, who told me not to join in but I didn't need much persuading. I
watched the story grow legs and the speculation swell but I thought I
was much better just letting the players speak for me.'
It is that sort of judgment call that
will serve McGinley well when he lines up opposite Watson. After 30
minutes of usual committee business, McGinley and Montgomerie, both
members of the body that decides on the captaincy, were asked to leave.
Glory days: Europe won the Ryder Cup in incredible fashion in 2012
Not chosen: Colin Montgomerie was not asked to reprise his role as captain
Thinking man: McGinley says he loves the tactical side of the game
McGinley retreated to a room with his
brother, Michael. Thus began the longest two hours of his life. They
ate oatmeal cookies. Still no knock on the door.
'I've been there so I knew what was going on but it didn't stop the time dragging on,' he said.
Eventually, the call came, the one
that signalled the proudest moment of his professional life. Down an
escalator he went and into a world where the phone never stops ringing
and there's always another interview to give.
'I don't mind all that,' he said,
smiling broadly. Indeed, the grin never left his face all night. He was
wearing a 2014 Ryder Cup sweater of Seve Ballesteros blue, and he might
never take it off.
Derek Lawrenson weighs up the two captains in their areas of influence
Watson: If this counted for very much, Europe might as well hand over the trophy right now. Eight majors and still going strong at the age of 59 says it all. Such a glorious CV earns Watson the guaranteed respect of his team. But that's about all. McGinley: No captain in the modern era has had so few wins as the four mustered by McGinley. However, like Watson, he has never been on a losing Ryder Cup side (he played in three winning ones) so something will have to give. USA one up. Partnerships
Watson: An area where the great man may well struggle. How can he possibly know the different personalities of his team and what makes them tick when he's never played alongside them on a regular basis
McGinley: One of the Irishman's great strengths. Will know the players inside out and whether the time is right to put an arm around the shoulder or deliver a kick up the backside. All Square
Watson: Before Peter Baker played his matches at The Belfry in 1993, captain Watson made a beeline for the young Englishman and looked him squarely in the eye while shaking his hand. Baker was left with the clear impression Watson was trying to intimidate. Expect similar moves at Gleneagles.
McGinley: One of the reasons why Rory McIlroy was so effusive about McGinley for captain is his work in this area, where his attention to detail is second to none. Brilliant in this regard when Britain and Ireland captain at the Seve Trophy. Europe one up Home advantage
Watson: One of the reasons why Watson was picked was to nullify the partisanship of the Gleneagles crowd. Will the cheers ring out quite so raucously when the opposition is led by the golfing hero of so many Watch Watson play on this for all it is worth – and it is worth a lot.
McGinley: Not one of life's cheerleaders like all the other recent captains on home soil. His relatively low profile means that the roars when he appears on the first tee may well feel slightly muted when compared to previous matches. All Square
Watson: In the press room, Watson is second to none. When he's telling one of his stories he has an audience of usually hard-bitten journalists eating out of his hand. Anticipate glowing testaments from the usually hostile UK press.
McGinley: Contrary to popular opinion, journalists like a bit of intelligence and the erudite McGinley has it in spades. Expect passionate and articulate answers laced with enough lines to keep even the most cynical tabloid man happy. All Square Speeches
Watson: One thing's for sure – he won't be standing up and forgetting how many children he has, like Hal Sutton did in 2004. At the opening ceremony expect a speech that strays perilously close to cheese territory but is also filled with grace and warmth.
McGinley: The fundamental reason why so many of the Medinah miracle makers wanted McGinley as captain is to do with his powers of persuasion in the team room. Knows what to say at the right time. Europe one up
1966: Born December 16 in Dublin. 1986: Promising Gaelic football career is ended by a broken kneecap. 1987: Wins an Irish youth cap in golf. 1988: Becomes Irish youths champion. 1989: Crowned Irish amateur champion. 1991: Earns a Walker Cup cap and turns professional. 1993: Makes his Dunhill Cup and World Cup debuts. 1996: Claims first European Tour win, in Austria. 1997: Achieves his second European Tour victory, and wins World Cup with Padraig Harrington. 2001: Wins Wales Open. 2002: Finishes 18th in first Masters. Makes his Ryder Cup debut and holes the winning putt. 2004: Earns second Ryder Cup cap and finishes unbeaten in a record nine-point win for Europe. 2005: Wins Volvo Masters to finish third on European money list and reach a career-high 18th in world rankings. 2006: Third Ryder Cup cap, and again McGinley plays his part in a nine-point win. 2009: Captains Britain and Ireland to Seve Trophy win. 2010: Among Europe's vice-captains in Ryder Cup win at Celtic Manor. 2011: Makes his 500th European Tour start and captains Britain and Ireland to another Seve Trophy win. 2012: Among vice-captains in another Ryder Cup win for Europe, this time at Medinah. 2013: Named Europe's captain for the 2014 Ryder Cup, to be staged at Gleneagles.
Ryder Cup record:
Caps: 3 (2002-04-06) Matches played: 9 (4 foursomes, 2 fourballs, 3 singles) Wins: 2 (1 foursomes, 1 singles) Halved: 5 (2 fourballs, 1 foursomes, 2 singles) Lost: 2 (2 foursomes) Points: 4 1/2