Sport Golf

Thursday 23 November 2017

McGinley hails Furyk as top US choice but says he'll stay on sidelines

McGinley: “I’m still involved in the choosing of the captain.
McGinley: “I’m still involved in the choosing of the captain." Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly

Paul McGinley, the 2014 European Ryder Cup-winning captain, will not be tempted to emulate Davis Love III by returning to action as a vice-captain in 2018.

Love, who skippered the USA to their first victory in six years at Hazeltine last September, was a surprise announcement as an assistant to newly-appointed captain Jim Furyk yesterday.

This is a role swap by the two highly-respected American golfers for the match at Le Golf National in Paris in September 2018.

Thomas Bjorn, recently awarded the European captaincy for that match, has not named his vice-captains but Paul McGinley is definitely not a candidate.

"I've done my bit. I've a lot of other things going on. I still have an interest. I'm still involved in the choosing of the captain. I'm now on the board of the European Tour so there's a lot of ways I can influence the Ryder Cup without being a vice-captain or captain, and that's good enough for me. It's a huge commitment to be a captain or a vice-captain.

"I've been there before as a captain, and when you've been number one, it's hard to go back in again as a number two, so I don't see that happening. In fact it won't happen for me," said McGinley.


The Dubliner faced Furyk four times in Ryder Cup action, three times in 2002, and once in 2006. They played twice in foursomes, once in fourballs, and once in singles, and McGinley never got a win over the American. He did, however, gouge out a crucial half point in the epic finish to the 2002 Ryder Cup at The Belfry which clinched the overall result in favour of Europe.

No wonder McGinley rates Furyk, 46, who played in nine Ryder Cups, as the ideal captain.

"There's no doubt he's a very nice fella, but there's a real steeliness to him as well. If you look at the way he plays golf, he plays golf in a very structured and organised way and those attributes will be helpful as captain. I think he'll represent America, he'll represent himself, and he'll represent their team in a very strong way," said McGinley.

An emotional Furyk, winner of the 2003 US Open and 17 other PGA Tour titles, spoke of rating the Ryder Cup as his favourite event.

"This is such an honour. I feel overwhelmed right now," he said.

Furyk has not ruled out qualifying as a player for the 2018 event, but McGinley believes the job is too demanding for a dual role.

Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy gets his season under way at the South African Open when he tees off this morning alongside defending champion Brandon Stone and George Coetzee at 9.10. Darren Clarke, the other Irishman involved, starts 20 minutes later.

South African Open, live, Sky Sports 4, 8am

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