Monday 18 December 2017

Monty hails McGinley's captaincy credentials

Golf

Bernie McGuire , at Gleneagles

Despite the groundswell of support, Paul McGinley continues to play down his chances of being chosen as 2014 European Ryder Cup captain.

McGinley's reappointment earlier this week as GB&I Vivendi Seve Trophy captain added weight to his credentials for taking over the Ryder Cup reins from Jose Maria Olazabal when Europe take on the Americans at Gleneagles in three years' time.

Colin Montgomerie, who led last year's victorious European side at Celtic Manor, again endorsed McGinley's candidacy.

"Paul is very intelligent and very thoughtful, and rather than being a facts and figures man, he's very good with people, and I believe he will be a super Ryder Cup captain," said Monty at Gleneagles yesterday.

"He's going to be again a good GB&I team captain later this year at the Vivendi Cup, and there's no question that last time around, the GB&I team had a weaker team than continental Europe, yet with Paul as the captain, the team won well.

"Many of the guys on that GB&I team said it was all down to the captain, and how good he was.

"That's why Paul had a very big tick in my column before and after the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.

"And for him to be the Vivendi Seve Trophy captain again does strengthen his case to be captain here in three years' time, there's no question."

Monty was speaking ahead of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, starting today -- the event will be switched to earlier in the year in 2014 to accommodate the Ryder Cup.

McGinley will then be 47 years old, and before any decision is made on Olazabal's replacement or whether McGinley will travel to Medinah next September as a vice-captain, the Dubliner continues to be diplomatic.

"You're going to have to ask 'Ollie' whether he wants me in his team next year, as I can't answer it," he said. "It's just not for me to decide on whether I am going to be on his team next year, and it's the same with the Ryder Cup captaincy.

"And yes, while I admit being again appointed the GB&I Vivendi Cup captain is not going to hurt my chances of getting the Ryder Cup captaincy, there are so many other players who are potential candidates.

Important

"What's important for me is to keep my head down, do my thing and see what happens. I'm not going to say who those candidates are but they're the obvious ones."

But when it was put to McGinley that he was the obvious candidate, he again poured cold water on the suggestion.

"There's Paul Lawrie, who's Scottish and also a former (British) Open champion, but there are so many guys who are potential candidates," he said.

"I remember there was a period back in the early 90s when Bernard Gallacher was captain for a few occasions in a row, and then we had Tony Jacklin, and while they both did very good jobs, it won't happen again.

"There are just so many guys lining up for the captaincy, and that shows the success that the Tour has enjoyed, that we have so many players in line for the European captaincy.

"But everyone knows I would love to be a Ryder Cup captain."

And even Lawrie seems to agree it should be McGinley.

"Everyone has positive things to say about Paul, and he's captain material," said Lawrie.

"He's a good lad, and he's played in a few Ryder Cups himself, so he knows what to do and what not to do."

McGinley is among five Irish teeing up in this week's Johnnie Walker Championship -- the other four are Peter Lawrie, Damien McGrane, Shane Lowry and Michael Hoey.

The goal for all five, aside from victory, will be to cement their places among the top 60 in the Order of Merit so as to qualify for the season-ending Dubai World Championship.

McGinley is currently lying 150th, Lawrie 64th, Hoey 81st and McGrane 92nd. Lowry is presently inside the mark at 54th.

Also in the field is Olazabal, who has been drawn to play alongside Monty and Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee.

Johnnie Walker Championship,

Live, Sky Sports 2, 10.30

Irish Independent

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