Sunday 18 March 2018

McGinley's quiet campaign nears end

Paul McGinley is in line to become Europe's next Ryder Cup captain
Paul McGinley is in line to become Europe's next Ryder Cup captain

Paul McGinley has had very little to say publicly these past few months, but that could be about to change.

The 46-year-old Dubliner has maintained a dignified silence during the debate over Europe's next Ryder Cup captain and now comes the time to find out if that has paid off. The European Tour's tournament committee - made up entirely of his fellow players - meets in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday night.

Until recently it looked like being between McGinley and 2011 Open champion Darren Clarke, but the 44-year-old Northern Irishman is now favourite to do the job in America in 2016 after saying "this may not be my time".

Instead 2010 captain Colin Montgomerie has come back into the frame, Clarke himself voicing the need for a big personality to oppose Tom Watson next year at Gleneagles - only a few miles from the Scot's home.

But McGinley has world number one Rory McIlroy and a number of other leading players on his side, all having seen him in action either as Seve Trophy captain or a Ryder Cup assistant. He has never lost in either event - and that includes his playing career.

Since September's thrilling victory in Chicago McGinley has not seen fit to advance his claims to the top job. His last lengthy answer on what he would bring came at Gleneagles last August when discussing his vice-captaincy position under Jose Maria Olazabal. Back then, he was clear on his strength.

"Tactics - my role is to provide information to the captain and based on that, assimilate it (with the three other assistants) and, based on all of that information coming to the captain, he then makes a decision," he said. "It's important that information is put in front of the captain and that he makes that decision.

"Personally, I love the tactical side of it, the motivational side and the team element of it - and I love being in the team room. The team meetings always give me a great buzz as a player. I don't want to give too much away, but I do watch a lot of things you wouldn't even know about, including press conferences.

"I'm intrigued with it, I have to say. I'm intrigued with how Ryder Cups have been won and lost over the years. I've asked a lot of questions of a lot of people and got a lot of information, not just from our side. I've always enjoyed having a beer with the American players or captain afterwards.

"I've done that on a few occasions and asked them their strategy for the week and why did they make certain decisions."

Press Association

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