Paul McGinley named European Captain for The 2014 Ryder Cup

15/01/2013 18:15:00
Paul McGinley - 2014 European Ryder Cup Captain  (Getty Images)
Paul McGinley - 2014 European Ryder Cup Captain (Getty Images)

Paul McGinley has accepted an invitation from the Tournament Committee of The European Tour to become Captain of The European Team in The 2014 Ryder Cup at The Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire, Scotland from September 26 - 28, 2014.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, on December 16, 1966, McGinley becomes the first Irishman to captain a Ryder Cup Team against the United States. He will be the 24th different golfer to lead the European (formerly Great Britain and Ireland) Team.

McGinley, a four time winner on The European Tour, made three consecutive, and victorious, Ryder Cup appearances from 2002 – 2006 and will always be remembered as the man who holed the winning putt during his first appearance at the Belfry 11 years ago.

McGinley succeeds José María Olazábal with the aim of retaining the Ryder Cup following the Spaniard’s brilliant stewardship of Europe’s ‘Miracle at Medinah’. The 46 year old was a Vice-Captain to Olazábal in Chicago last year, the same role he fulfilled for Colin Montgomerie’s victorious 2010 Team at The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales. 

Having suffered defeat to Stewart Cink and Jim Furyk alongside Padraig Harrington in his first Ryder Cup match during day one at the Belfry, McGinley came back to secure a vital half alongside Darren Clarke against Furyk and Scott Hoch in the Saturday afternoon fourballs.

One down with two to play against Furyk in the Sunday singles, McGinley was looking an unlikely hero standing on the 17th tee but a brilliant birdie four squared the match just as Welshman Phillip Price put the seal on a magnificent 3 and 2 victory over Phil Mickelson to take the European Team’s points total to 14 with three matches left on the course.

Europe needed a half point to ensure Sam Torrance’s Team could regain the trophy that had been so dramatically lost at Brookline three years earlier.

Both men produced wayward approaches to the par four 18th, with Furyk finding the greenside bunker and McGinley the left rough. The Irishman chipped on to ten feet before Furyk almost spoiled the party by nearly holing his bunker shot. But when the American’s ball came to rest above ground, McGinley’s moment had arrived.

The rest, as they say, is history and moments after making his putt, McGinley found himself swamped by his Captain and team-mates as the celebrations began.

While no Ryder Cup experience can substitute holing the winning putt, McGinley’s finest performance in the team event actually came two years later, during Europe’s record-breaking 18 ½ - 9 ½ victory at Oakland Hills.

The Irishman was undefeated in three matches in Detroit, partnering Luke Donald to a half point against Chris Riley and Stewart Cink on the first day before he and Harrington beat Davis Love III and Tiger Woods with a 4 and 3 win in the Saturday foursomes. He then put the seal on a tremendous week with an outstanding 3 and 2 singles victory over Cink to finish the week undefeated.

McGinley’s captaincy credentials are there for all to see. Not only has he played a crucial vice-captaincy role in Europe’s last two Ryder Cup wins, he has also been Captain of two winning Great Britain and Ireland Teams in the Vivendi Seve Trophy, defeating Continental Europe in both 2009 and 2011.

At The Gleneagles Hotel, McGinley will look to continue Europe’s phenomenal recent record which shows them to have won seven of the last nine biennial contests with the USA. Since the change from a Great Britain and Ireland Team to that of Continental Europe in 1979, Europe have won nine and tied one of the 17 matches contested.

Europe's victories were achieved under the captaincies of Tony Jacklin (1985, 1987), Bernard Gallacher (1995), Seve Ballesteros (1997), Sam Torrance (2002), Bernhard Langer (2004), Ian Woosnam (2006), Colin Montgomerie (2010) and Olazábal (2012), while Jacklin presided over the halved match in 1989.

Richard Hills, Europe’s Ryder Cup Director, said: “We are delighted that Paul has accepted the invitation of the Tournament Committee to take up the role as Captain for 2014. Having played in three Ryder Cups and holed the winning putt at the Belfry in 2002, Paul has an innate understanding of every attribute required to be a successful Captain.

“Paul’s meticulous nature and his passion for the strategic aspects of the Captain’s role have been evident for many years, through his role as a Ryder Cup Vice-Captain and as Captain of the Great Britain and Ireland Team in the Vivendi Seve Trophy. We already know that he will leave no stone unturned in his quest to retain The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in September 2014.”