Saturday 21 April 2018

'Vice' one! Smyth is Ryder pick

Marcus Cavaroli

DROGHEDA's finest ever golfer Des Smyth has spoken of his delight after being confirmed as one of Paul McGinley's two Vice Captains for the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

The European Tour announced last Thursday that the honour of assisting McGinley would fall to Scotland's Sam Torrance and 61-year-old Smyth, who was also a Vice Captain to Ian Woosnam when Europe recorded their record home victory over the USA at The K Club in 2006.

In addition, it was revealed that Smyth will be Vice Captain to Miguel Angel Jiménez for the inaugural staging of the EurAsia Cup between Europe and Asia, which will be played at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in Malaysia later this month.

Giving his reaction, McGinley said: 'I am delighted to officially unveil Des and Sam as two of my Vice Captains for the Ryder Cup. As well as being good friends, they are two guys that I greatly admire, both personally and professionally, and I know they will be vital assets to me in Scotland in September.

"They were the first two people I had in mind for this role when I was appointed captain and, since then, I have talked to a lot of the experienced European players about having them as part of the team and, to a man, they have been very supportive.

'Des took me under his wing when I was a young rookie on Tour and he gave me tremendous advice which was not only valuable then but has continued to ring true for me throughout my professional career.

'His views and ideas about the Ryder Cup particularly have consistently proved to be spot on and I really enjoyed working with him as a Vice Captain in 2006 when I was a player.'

In an interview with this newspaper four weeks ago, Smyth said he'd been told he had a great chance of working with McGinley this year at Gleneagles and was delighted that his 'buddy' had been chosen, and now his dream has come true.

'I was thrilled when Paul contacted me and asked me to be one of his Vice Captains at Gleneagles – there was no hesitation for me in saying 'yes'. I relished the opportunity to be a Vice Captain at The K Club in 2006 and I look forward to playing a positive role once again in supporting Paul and the team.'

As a player Smyth captured eight titles on the European Tour, including the 2001 Madeira Island Open which at the time made him the oldest winner in Tour history at the age of 48.

Europe will defend the Ryder Cup title they won at Medinah two years ago when the 2014 match takes place at Gleneagles from September 26th to 28th.

Drogheda Independent