Player power seals the deal for McGinley
GOLF: Ryder Cup 2014In the end, good sense prevailed and the European Tour listened to its players. Paul McGinley was last night chosen as the European Ryder Cup captain for next year’s matches in Gleneagles and in accepting the nomination he paid tribute to the sterling work done on his behalf by the continent’s best players and Rory McIlroy specifically.
The Twitter campaign waged by McIlroy, Luke Donald and Ian Poulter swung the decision for him, with Players’ Committee chairman Thomas Bjorn admitting that they couldn’t very well ignore the groundswell of support for McGinley. “Well if Rory doesn’t make the team,” smiled McGinley, “I think he’s got a good chance of a pick.”
Although five names were initially put forward, it ultimately came to McGinley and Colin Montgomerie. The others mentioned were Sandy Lyle, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Paul Lawrie but neither the Spaniard or either of the latter two Scots were considered seriously.
Montgomerie and McGinley – committee members both – had to leave the room while the serious business of choosing between them was taken. After an hour of discussion, during which McGinley stewed in his hotel room with his brother eating oatmeal biscuits, he was called back. Bjorn met him at the door and congratulated him. Ryder Cup captain 2014. It has quite a ring to it.
McGinley had watched from the sidelines as the hectic pushing and shoving went on over the weeks building up to the vote. But while others got publicly involved, he sat on his hands and said nothing. In the end, his silence and understated class won the day. With such voluble support in his corner, in any case, he didn’t have to open his mouth.
“It’s amazing what you learn when you listen and you don’t talk. I knew I had the support of the players and if it was meant to be it was meant to be. I felt it was the right thing to do not to speak in public on it. I read and followed every word that went on in the last two weeks. I’ve watched with interest my chances go up and down like a yo-yo.
“I can’t wait to get working with the players, particularly the ones who’ve given me so much support in recent days.
“I was very tempted, to be honest, to speak up. I’m very pleased. I’ve got a great wife and great friends around me whose opinions I respect and those friends and my wife told me to stay with dignity in this whole thing and don’t get involved. ‘It will work in the long term for you.’ And that advice was really good. I believed that myself, as well, too. It wasn’t difficult to convince me.”